south dakota plates

South Dakota Vehicle Presence Noticeable in Excelsior Springs

This South Dakota license plate was seen in the Walmart parking lot on Sunday, August 7, 2022. It is only an example and taken at random, not related to the story.

Earlier this week a citizen of the community posted a question that has since been taken down by the author asking about the many South Dakota license plates that have been seen around town. It does seem strange that there are so many from the state that seem to always be visiting. However, many of them are not visitors and are instead residents who have registered their vehicle in South Dakota, in an attempt to skirt tax regulations in the state of Missouri.

“Getting your vehicle registered in a state that you don’t live in is tax fraud,” an anonymous local law enforcement officer shared. “If you live in Missouri but you register your car in South Dakota, for example, It is a crime. Instead of ‘saving you money’ you can ruin your life, simply because you didn’t want to pay your states taxes and fraudulently claimed to be living elsewhere.”

In fact, according to Missouri State Statute 143.911 – “Attempt to evade or defeat tax, penalty — Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by sections 143.011 to 143.996 or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, and upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one year or by not less than two nor more than five years in the state penitentiary or by both fine and imprisonment together with the cost of prosecution.”

The offense at minimum would be a Class A Misdemeanor and, depending on the circumstances, could potentially get up to a Class D Felony.

This has become a lucrative endeavor for states like South Dakota and Montana. Making it even easier, they allow citizens to register their vehicles online, so they don’t even have to have taken a step into the state to make a registration. Telling how lucrative it has been isn’t easy. Because of the variance of registration options, the amount can only be estimated. Rapid City Journal reached out to the South Dakota Department of Revenue in 2018 and reported an estimation of nearly $7 million. The practice has become so popular that there are companies focused on facilitating the process for out of state vehicle registrants.

What’s not reported here is the amount of financial loss to the home state. While the individual might save themselves hundreds to thousands of dollars, the lost revenue could cost the state much more.

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1 thought on “South Dakota Vehicle Presence Noticeable in Excelsior Springs”

  1. What’s also not reported here are the many legal reasons someone may have out of state tags. Garbage article.

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