Thousands of NC permanent plates unaccounted for, misused

Posted February 14, 2012

— Nearly 7,000 permanent North Carolina license plates are either unaccounted for or being used improperly, according to a state report released Tuesday.

The report from the legislature's Program Evaluation Division prompted lawmakers to demand more accountability from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

"We're losing the fees that go along with plate renewal. We don't know that the cars are safe because we don't know if they've been inspected or not," said Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir.

The report found that 4,218 silver permanent plates, which are issued to local government agencies, law enforcement and religious organizations, are being used improperly by private colleges, businesses and utility companies.

DMV Deputy Commissioner Johanna Reese said she couldn't explain how the permanent plates were issued to private entities.

A permanent license plate costs $6 and never has to be registered again, so the people who have one and shouldn't are saving the $28 annual fee to renew the plate. That adds up to more than $100,000 a year in lost revenue for the state, according to the report.

Permanent license plate Private groups wrongly issued permanent license plates

The Program Evaluation Division found in December that 2,623 yellow permanent plates used on vehicles in the state motor fleet cannot be accounted for because North Carolina doesn't have a central database for keeping track of its vehicles.

"Some of those are gone, destroyed, in the junkyard. We won't be able to track all of those down," Reese told lawmakers Tuesday.

"This is a mess. What's the proposal to clear it up?" LaRoque told Reese and other DMV officials.

A legislative oversight committee voted to draft legislation to correct the issues.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • kermit60 Feb 16, 2012

    A question for the legislators or governor. When are you going to start holding people accountable for this type of stuff? I don't know of anyone who could do this on their job and still keep it.

  • ladyblue Feb 16, 2012

    And once again no one will be held accountable, no one will get fired and everyone working for DMV will live happily ever after while the poor working man labors to pay for the inside fraud and mismanagement......

  • pauljohnmartin Feb 15, 2012

    What happens when one of these 4,218 permanent plates that are being used improperly is on a vehicle using The Triangle Expressway Toll Road? Will the toll fee be mailed to DMV Deputy Commissioner Johanna Reese for payment?

  • RonnieR Feb 15, 2012

    Typo 233 ahoulda be 21.

  • Hammerhead Feb 15, 2012

    Still proves nothing, wa4. Take your tinted glasses off, you're assuming a lot. 233 years ago? There was a DMV then?

  • RonnieR Feb 15, 2012

    Hammerhead said:
    "Because, as we all know, only Democrats work for the DMV."

    I would guess that most all the folks that Guv Martin put in 233-28 years ago are gone. I'm sure the ones Guv Holshouser put in 32-36 years ago are gone.

  • Hammerhead Feb 15, 2012

    "Another poor result from the dems that have been running this state into the ground for over a hundred years."

    Because, as we all know, only Democrats work for the DMV.

  • lakeyk1 Feb 15, 2012

    Check with Bev. There were two articles in the news about 100 or so, "seldom used", state vehicles just sitting in a state parking lot that we the tax payers were paying for. Bev said she did not know about this, but would check into it. Haven't heard any more about it....same old pass the buck answer. lakeyk1

  • driverkid3 Feb 15, 2012

    Another poor result from the dems that have been running this state into the ground for over a hundred years.

  • mfarmer1 Feb 15, 2012

    > "license plates are either unaccounted for or being used improperly"

    whats wrong with that?

    Business as normal, I think Bev is looking into it so it should be squared away soon.