Surprise…Your car tag has expired.

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 12, 2006

Who worries about when their car tag is going to expire? Some of those that are fairly new to Marengo County may very well be the last ones to worry about it.

Many native and long-time residents of Marengo County probably don’t find it surprising when they don’t get a notice in the mail from the county, reminding them that their car tag will expire in 30 days. This is not the case for some of the county’s newer residents.

Bettye Holloway, who became a Marengo County resident a few years ago, was given a fine for driving with an expired tag, and then had to pay a $15 late fee. “The ticket was $100,” Holloway said. “I never got a tag notice in the mail.”

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Holloway said the fine and late fee came as a surprise, since she had never lived anywhere in the state where she did not receive a tag renewal notices.

When she went to settle the matter with the authorities, she asked why she didn’t receive a tag renewal notice. “They said it cost to much money,” Holloway said.

“When I went to get my driver’s license renewed, there wasn’t even a sign posted,” Holloway said. “If it cost to much to mail the notices, they should post a sign somewhere because a lot of people don’t know and they depend on getting the notice.”

Like several other counties in the state of Alabama, Marengo County does not send out tag renewal notices to the county’s residents. Out of the 67 counties in Alabama, 26 of them were contacted and six of them said that they didn’t send out tag renewal notices to the residents of their county. The only thing all 67 counties may have in common is the $15 late fee.

“When my wife and I moved to Demopolis, I was also surprised to learn that I wasn’t going to be mailed a tag renewal notice,” The Rev. Marshall Murphy of First Christian Church in Demopolis said. “Maybe it will save the county some administrative costs.”