New license plate procedures coming

KANSAS DEPT. OF REVENUE PHOTO

TOPEKA — Allen County residents who need a new license plate will notice some changes later this year. The state will modernize its license plate process by digitally creating plates on demand and mailing them directly to customers starting Aug. 1.

That means customers who go to the Allen County Treasurer’s Office after Aug. 1 won’t walk out with a license plate when they register a new vehicle or need to order a new plate because one was lost, damaged or stolen. Customers still need to complete the appropriate registration paperwork at the treasurer’s office, Darolyn Maley, Allen County Treasurer said, but staff instead will hand them a 30-day temporary tag and a registration sticker. A permanent plate will be printed by the state and mailed within 10-14 business days. Then, the customer will affix the registration sticker to the new plate and attach it to the vehicle.

The new plates will be flat, rather than embossed.

Because the new plates will be mailed, customers must provide a current, accurate mailing address, Maley said. Those who need a new plate should verify their address during the registration process.

The annual tag renewal process won’t change, Maley said, and current plate holders do not need to replace their license plate. Typically, new plates are needed only after a car is purchased and there is no plate to transfer; when a plate is lost, stolen or damaged; or if a customer orders a personalized plate.

Those who want a personalized plate will notice changes, too. Starting April 27, the state will stop accepting new orders for personalized plates; orders will resume Aug. 1. That’s because the state will dismantle its old machinery to install the more modern, digital system. Once the new system is up and running, customers can expect faster, on-site approval of the requested personalized plate. Like standard plates, personalized plates will be mailed directly to customers on demand.

The state is long overdue to streamline the license plate process, Gov. Jeff Colyer said. The old process had been in place since the first license plate was created in 1913.

Maley expects some confusion as the new system takes effect. “We have generations of people who are used to walking out the door with a plate,” she said.

County treasurers across the state will use existing inventory until Aug. 1. The new system is expected to eliminate millions of dollars’ worth of license plate inventory that sits in county offices and goes unused, Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said.

Customers can provide an email address or mobile phone number to receive alerts when their plate is ordered and shipped. The shipment notice will include a link to track the status of the package.

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