Desoto County News

License tags go missing, Tax Collector investigating

Nearly 200 new license plates were mailed out in March that never reached the vehicle owner

Photo: DeSoto County Tax Collector Joey Treadway with an envelope taxpayers should be receiving if their auto tags were renewed by computer or by mail. A total of 178 taxpayers never got their tags returned by mail in March and Treadway’s office is working to determine what happened. (Bob Bakken/  

So, you’ve been dutiful about getting your vehicle tag renewal mailed in or paid online on time and can’t wait to see your new license plates come back in the mail from DeSoto County Tax Collector Joey Treadway’s office.  

And you wait…and you wait…and you keep waiting. Finally, you make a visit to Treadway’s office in Hernando or the two other Tax Collector offices in Horn Lake and Olive Branch to find out what’s going on. There, you find out the tags have been sent out and they’re somewhere…just not in your mailbox.

You can get a new tag there in person, but it’s going to cost you an extra $10 replacement fee to do so.  

Such has been the problem with dozens of DeSoto County residents in the last few months who are finding that the new plates were sent to them but are somewhere in the Postal Service system. No one can figure out exactly where.  

Treadway says his office quickly responds to each registration that comes in by mail or online and sends out the new tags the following day. But he’s at a loss to figure out what’s happening with several tags that are not finding their way to the recipient’s mailbox and he’s been working with the Postal Service to find out why. 

“After we mail out the renewal card, they can mail it back to us to send out to them,” Treadway said Monday. “Online people do it on their computer. We pull off those in the system and mail the exact same thing back to them.”

Just that, several are still waiting to get the plates back by return mail.  

“We had 178 lost in the month of March,” Treadway said. “We may do 15,000-18,000 in a month and 178 is not a bad percentage. But it’s a really bad percentage when it’s that one person who comes in and pays an extra $10 for a replacement tag.” 

Treadway adds the $10 charge is not a county charge, but rather a requirement from the Mississippi Department of Revenue that the Tax Collector’s office must assess.  

Similar occurrences have taken place earlier this year, but the larger number of missing plates in March certainly got the attention of Treadway and his office.   

“February is what got us to start watching what was going on,” Treadway said. “It wasn’t near as bad as now. March and April are our big months in car tags.” 

It’s understandable that taxpayers are coming in upset at the need to pay extra money for license tags that never came, but Treadway said his office is doing everything they can and they’re also communicating with the Postal Service to determine where the missing plates are located.

The back of the registration form also states that the Tax Collector’s office is not responsible for anything lost in the mail if taxpayers choose that option.

Mail leaving Treadway’s office, like most items sent from DeSoto County, don’t directly head to their destinations from the Hernando post office, but are first processed through the main post office in Memphis before delivery. It may be where the problem lies.  

Treadway advises those who choose to use the computer system to send in their tag registrations, or return by mail the card that is sent to them with their tag fee, should check with his office if the tags are not returned after a 10-day period.  

Better yet, take the moment to visit the Tax Collector’s offices in Hernando, Horn Lake or Olive Branch and have your new tags handed to you personally. 

Meanwhile, Treadway said he’s working with the Post Office to determine what’s happening with the tags that have been mailed but never delivered.