Hello all, especially those fellow "Show Me" staters, I shared this ongoing story in another thread and decided to move it to its own thread to avoid hijacking the other thread.
In mid July, after several weeks of work with the MO DOR getting a proper MO title for my 1923 touring/pickup (the first title had the wrong VIN), I sent in my paperwork and check to get a set of historic license plates. Over a month passed by, so I sent them an email last Thursday asking for the status of my application for historic plates. I also (nicely) requested a reply from a real person instead of the usual auto-reply with a link to their website.
So, what showed up in my email today? An auto- reply with a link to their website! The link sent me to an official electronic form with which I could request the status of my application. I filled in the form and submitted it today online, the post-submittal reply said that they would get back with me in 3-4 business days.
Are there any Missouri members that can give me some tips on untangling this? Should I have skipped using the mail and driven to Jeff City to get the plates in person? Am I just making it harder on myself by asking for status? Thanks.
What do they say if you phone 573-526-3669?
Thanks for the phone number, I'll give them a call if the reply to my query on the official form isn't helpful.
I haven't had to go through the process since we bought the T in 1996. At the time, though, I did everything in person at my local license office. When the YOM plate law was passed (thank you, John Loudon!), I had a contact in the Dept of Revenue in Jeff City and dealt with her on the phone as far as available numbers were concerned. For the straight Historic Vehicle plates, though, as I said, I dropped by the local office.
Have you joined the St Louis chapter of the MTFCA yet?
Thanks for the reply Dick, no, I haven't joined the local chapter yet because the first thing folks will want to do is see the car, and right now I can't drive it because I don't have license plates! At least the delay has allowed me to get the car into a nearly finished state (just waiting for the top kit from Classtique) than it otherwise would have been.
For my title work, I dealt with the folks in the DeSoto office - for the most part they're helpful, but unfortunately one of their staff misread the VIN on the original IL title and started the go-around on getting a correct MO title.
I'm going to look into getting year of manufacture plates for my 1971 Plymouth GTX. Do you remember who your contact was in Jeff City?
Sometimes a local state official will aid you in getting plates corrected. An election year will speed up the process because they want votes. contact a local state rep.
No everybody will not insist on seeing the car. They would like to but it is not mandatory. You should join us at the Feasting Fox on the second Friday of the month at 8 pm. You may have a good time. We do have a video and book library that cost nothing for members to use. If you have questions about you car just email me or send me a private message and I will send you my phone number.
Vice-Pres. Greater St. Louis Model T Club
Mark, I remember my contact very well, but she retired over five years ago. Your state representative is a good contact for getting things done at the Department of Revenue if you ever seem to hit a roadblock. It's amazing how quickly they react to a representative's office.
I second what Steven Thum said about the club. I have been less active in recent years than I used to be, at lest as far as meetings are concerned, but I do try to make as many tours as I can. If your car isn't yet road-ready when the Fall Tour rolls around on October 27th, drive a modern car and participate anyway. I'm going to do that tour with my daughter and son-in-law and their 6-year-old twins. The back seat may be a little full, but the kids love riding in the car.
Missouri has some good historic plate laws. Thanks to the late Bud Barnes (state representative and old car person), the Historic Vehicle law allows us 1,000 "personal miles" a year in addition to unlimited shows, parades and club events. Thanks to John Loudon (state representative and then state senator and son of an old car person), we have the YOM law. Unfortunately, Bud is gone and John was term-limited out of the legislature. I'm not sure who our old car person is these days, but if we need one, I'm sure we can find one.
Quick P.S.: A friend in our local club is a retired mailman. The first thing he noticed about my YOM plate is that it looks like a ZIP code. He pointed out that 63080 is Sullivan MO and 63084 is Union MO, so if there actually were a 63081 ZIP code (which there is not), it would be for a place that starts with a "T" - go figure....
Good news - I got an encrypted email reply from Jeremy at the MO Department of Revenue today telling me that my historic plates have been sent out in the mail, so they should arrive this week. Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help.
I also got an email from Elizabeth at Classtique Upholstery yesterday, telling me that my top kit should be shipped out today, woohoo!
Here's a picture of the car, waiting for its top and plates.
Great news, Mark!
Remember, Fall Tour is October 27th.... Just sayin'.
The car is gorgeous. You need to bring it on some of our tours.
Mark, when I sent in to get year of manufacture plates on my 1927 it took them about a month. Seem there are not many people who work in department, or there are other items that have higher priority. I am guessing some of that has to do with budget cuts.
Whenever anybody mentions the silly New York requirement that YOM plates can't be restored, I wonder: How do they know whether the plates are restored or NOS? When I see restrictions some states put on miles driven or the purpose for driving, I have the same question. How does anybody know how many miles you've driven, especially in a T with no speedometer? How do they know whether you're on your way to work, or out for a test drive, or going to a meeting? Are all these states so flush with dough they can afford to send agents out to check up on you? I doubt it.
In Missouri, most historic vehicles (the ones with odometers) are expected to carry a log in the car noting the "personal" miles driven. I doubt that anyone does, though.
The MO DOR website has a blank logbook form, so I downloaded it and printed out several pages, folded and stapled them into a book format. I plan to at least put a few entries in it and keep it in the running board toolbox in case I'm ever stopped and asked for it. Regarding the comment about low staffing at the DOR, when I called them yesterday to inquire about the status of my plates, the recorded message told me I was number 63 in line! I just put the phone down and kept working on the computer, picking the phone up to check my queue status every few minutes. It actually didn't take too long to move to #1 in line and the person I spoke to (Maya) was very courteous and helpful.
In addition to being a fellow member of the Model T club and my state legislator for years, the late Bud Barnes also lived less than a mile away on the same street I do. Any time I saw him out in the yard, I would stop and chat with him. Since he wrote the "personal miles" provision in the law, I asked him one day about cars without odometers. He said that they didn't have to keep the log book. I thought to myself, "Easy for you to say, Bud, but you could have written that into the law...." I can see me trying to explain to a cop that I don't have a log book because Bud Barnes told me ten years ago that I didn't need one...
Here's a link to the blank logbook form:
I keep a mileage and maintenance log in all my cars (I make an entry for each fill-up and each maintenance action), so keeping a log for the T won't be any extra work for me. I don't have an odometer in my T either, so I'll just do a rough estimate of the mileage for each trip.
I did start the T yesterday as a demonstration for a couple of friends, with fresh gas and new Champion X plugs it fired right up and ran great, I can't wait to get my plates!
I need to change the oil after I make my first trip, the previous owner hardly ever drove the car, so the oil that's currently in there looks almost new despite having been in there for a couple of years. I may also change the coolant, although the previous owner said he filled it with the new 5-year orange stuff when it was restored.
Minnesota adopted its Pioneer license plate statutes for antique cars in 1953. Later came Classic plates, Collector plates, Street Rod plates, and YOM plates.
I think that we have about the best statutes in the country.
- There are no mileage restrictions
- There are no specific event requirements (such as parades and driving to and from shows)
- The plates are permanent - no annual renewal or annual fees
- The statutes state that the vehicle must be operated solely as a collector vehicle and not for general transportation purposes. This is very liberal and allows the owner to make reasonable decisions regarding driving the vehicle. Basically, it means the vehicle shouldn't be used for such things as daily commuting. Recreational driving and touring are perfectly okay.
I believe it was Ralph Ricks who once said, "Whenever I drive my T, it's a parade. Whenever I park it, it's a car show."
Missouri plates are also permanent.
I have never been hassled by a cop when I am in the T. I wave to them, they wave back...
I have an A/V modern Illinois plate on the rear, and an unregistered restored (by me) 1922 plate on the front. I keep the modern front plate handy, but have never been questioned.
As long as you pay the fee, that is all they want.
Well, here it is September 3, and still no plates. I am currently on hold with the Missouri Dept. of Revenue, #65 in queue. Wish me luck!
Well, I finally worked my way up to #1 in queue and got hold of "Rosita". "Rosita" was unable to find any record of my license plate application!
I told "Rosita" about my earlier conversation with "Maya" on 8/26, where "Maya" confirmed that they had received my application and payment and had mailed out my plates and registration on 8/26. "Maya" was even able to give me what the number on my license plates would be! Even with my VIN number and the license plate number that "Maya" gave me, "Rosita" still was unable to find any record of my application or payment.
So then, I told "Rosita" about my 8/27 email exchange with "Jeremy", who was also able to confirm receipt of my application and payment, and stated that a problem had been discovered with the processing of my paperwork, but it was being fixed and my plates should be sent out "in the next few business days".
"Rosita" asked for my name and phone number, she is going to have "Maya" (who is out today) call me back tomorrow to get to the bottom of this. I also asked "Rosita" to kick my case up to the supervisor and asked that the supervisor call me back as well.
Now I know how that small businessman in Tunisia felt when he set himself on fire in despair!
I know it's too late now, but for future reference, I've received excellent service when going to Jefferson City and dealing with the DOR in person. Once on a Model A for historic plates and then with a Model T for YOM plates.
Hang in there.
Thanks for the encouragement.
No, it's not too late, if I can't get resolution tomorrow, I'm driving to Jeff City on Thursday with my paperwork and cash (also checkbook in case they don't take cash) and getting the plates in person.
If three months from now the mail-order plates finally show up in the mail, then so be it, I'll take the mail-order plates to the DOR office in Desoto and let them sort it out.
Another update - Maya called me back this morning! She says that it took a week for the old information in the system to get cleared out so that they could re-process my application. She promised my registration and plates will be mailed to me this coming Friday, 9/6, woohoo! I asked Maya for a tracking number, she said the state uses the cheapest possible postage method, so no tracking :>(
Lesson learned - don't use the mail-based system to get plates! Maya told me that the applications sit in a queue for almost a month before they get processed. Then, it takes another week to process the paperwork and send out the plates. If somebody makes a mistake, it takes another week for the bad data to be removed from the system so that the application can be processed again. It's well worth the drive to go to Jeff City to pick up the plates the same day. That's what I'll do if I find a set of year-of-manufacture plates for my 1971 Plymouth GTX.
Wish me luck!
Hallelujah, my historic plates and registration showed up in the mail today (9/9/2013)! I originally sent in my application on 7/18/2013, so by my count the elapsed time was seven weeks. If you take into account the time for postage to and from, the processing probably took 6 weeks, which is the maximum time that the Department of Revenue website said it would take.
Ah well, the wait is over, now I can get busy becoming proficient at driving my Model T! BTW, the person who did the restoration for the previous owner said that he installed Scandinavian (cotton) bands in the transmission, I sure hope they hold up! I'll do my best to keep from slipping the bands, and I'll keep them adjusted just tightly enough to keep the pedals off the floorboards when I press them hard. Any other tips?
Stopping: Plan your stops well ahead. Throttle down and brake with the engine. Having lined rear brakes, I apply those next, using the lever, then the final stop takes only a slight touch of pedal at the end. The idea behind this procedure is that it's easier to install new rear brake linings than a new brake band.
Congratulations, Mark! I expect to see you putting through Kirkwood any day now...