Oklahoma's Own In Focus: How A New Law Will Change Paper Tag Replacement Window In Oklahoma

A new law is changing how much time Oklahomans have to replace their paper tags with metal plates. Here's an Oklahoma's Own In Focus look at the changes.

Thursday, June 6th 2024, 10:39 pm

By: Kaitlyn Deggs, Sam Modde


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A new law is changing how much time Oklahomans have to replace their paper tags with metal plates.

Paper tags will only be good for 10 days after buying or transferring a vehicle, instead of two months.

All new owners will also have to pre-register their vehicles with the state within two days of getting the vehicle, even if it's a private sale.

The change comes out of a bill passed through the legislature this year called the Mason Treat Act.

Senate leader Greg Treat asked lawmakers to pass it after his son Mason was pulled over in January for not having a license plate.

He had all the proper paperwork, but the existing law didn't require paper tags or immediate registration if a car was sold privately.

While the deputy was checking Mason's paperwork, a driver who had fallen asleep, ran off the road and hit Mason's car, critically hurting Mason.

Senator Treat talked about the impact the crash had on his family during an emotional speech.

"I don't typically get emotional about car tags. Our life was turned upside down. I ask you to vote for this bill I can't talk about it," he said.

Mason spent 20 days in the hospital but is now recovering.

Senator Treat called it the most important bill he worked on this year and possibly during his career.

Related Coverage:

  1. Senator Greg Treat's Son Hospitalized Following Crash Involving Canadian County Deputy
  2. 'Emotional About Car Tags': Inspired By Son's Crash, Senator's Bill Moves To House Vote
  3. 'A Walking Miracle': Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat Discusses Son's Role In Marathon Following Near-Fatal Crash


A Tulsa tag agent told News On 6 that the change is going to help reduce fraud.

Sydnee Allen manages the Central Tag Agency near 15th and Harvard.

She says the change is going to help the state hold people accountable.

"There is a pretty significant issue with temp tags with people just buying a car and not registering it to themselves, and this is going to fix that,” Allen said.

Starting this fall, people who buy vehicles in Oklahoma will have to go through a new process that involves pre-registering, so law enforcement knows who owns a car.

Allen also says the process is going to increase accountability.

"Right now, the temp tags just have a date on them,” said Allen. “They do have numbers that are registered to a dealer, but they're not registered to a person. So they're running through PikePass and it can't track them. It's really hard to find out who's driving that vehicle, who was it purchased from, who has it?"

Allen says it will make car buying safer because when someone doesn’t change the registration on a car they’ve sold, they can be held liable for anything that happens with that car.

"I think this is really important for people that are going to sell their vehicles,” Allen said. “Dealerships, this should go without a hitch for them. But when you're going to sell your vehicle individually, you need to notify a tag agency who you sold it to, the vehicle information, the date you sold it, you're only going to have about five days to do so, but that's going to protect you in the long run."

Service Oklahoma sent News On 6 the following statement:

The Mason Treat Act, SB2035, signifies a fundamental shift in the vehicle registration process and the way license plates are issued in the State of Oklahoma. Service Oklahoma is working to implement a state-wide public awareness campaign to ensure Oklahomans understand the changes with the new vehicle registration process when it goes into effect on September 1.”


The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority sent News On 6 the following statement:

The Oklahoma Turnpike network is a user-funded, pay-as-you-go system as it does not receive any state tax funding. OTA’s ongoing conversion to cashless tolling allows non-stop travel and the ability to pay tolls online, so having the registered vehicle owner information for billing is critical to having a system where everyone pays their fair share for turnpike usage. Senate Bill 2035, known as the Mason Treat Act, helps the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority address the toll revenue leakage from not knowing who owns vehicles with temporary tags. Oftentimes, many new car owners are already PIKEPASS customers, and this will allow us to connect their new vehicle to their account to ensure they continue to receive the lowest toll rate available. PIKEPASS customers are encouraged to call OTA’s Customer Service to receive a new toll tag for their vehicle. Those who receive a PlatePay invoice may pay those online at www.platepay.com with 5-7 days of travel or call 1-800-PIKEPASS to convert those tolls to a PIKEPASS account.”


Police said the changes will help them crack down on vehicle crimes.

They said criminals drive around with expired paper tags and even write new dates onto the tags.

Tulsa Police said temporary tags can make it hard to trace vehicles involved in hit-and-runs.

"If all we have is a vague car description with a paper tag and no other detail, the trail runs cold real quick," Lt. Steven Florea with TPD said.

Police said paper tags are connected to dealerships, so if you're a victim of a hit-and-run, try to get the date, car dealership and driver description for officers.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority supports the new law because they are required to be notified within two days anytime a car is sold.

OTA said the change will help prevent them from losing out on toll money because right now, they don't know who to bill when a vehicle with temporary tags drives on a turnpike.

They said the information will also allow them to connect new vehicles with someone's PikePass if they already have an account.

Service Oklahoma said it's working on a statewide campaign to help people understand the new law.

It takes effect on Sept. 1, 2024.

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