JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The popular website eBay is being eyed closely by state officials, after a 3-on-Your-Side investigation revealed Mississippi car tags being sold by the hundreds there. Everything from personalized tags to specialty tags are available, and state officials say many are being sold illegally.
We began making inquiries about the Mississippi tags on eBay Wednesday. Since then Department of Revenue officials have scanning the website, collecting information on all the Mississippi tags they saw for sale, in hopes of getting them removed.
Do a search on eBay for Mississippi license plates and you'll find nearly 700 for sale, all years are covered from antiques to the present. Only the current tags are being sold illegally.
"185 are current issue plates they're either the lighthouse plate or specialty tag that is still being used" said Kathy Waterbury of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. "Obviously what we did is we notified eBay immediately and we are working with them."
Waterbury says the tags for sale came as a surprise after we notified her office.
State attorneys have now contacted eBay and asked to have them removed immediately.
"What is supposed to happen to those tags is you turn it in to tax collectors when you are no longer using it" added Waterbury. "The tax collector is responsible for disposing of that. Most of them do what we do and that is recycle those plates. We sell those for the aluminum and recyclers are supposed to destroy those. If not make sure they are not available for sale."
State officials are concerned the tags could wind up on vehicles, creating a problem for law enforcement who rely on them to identify vehicles and their owners.
If they were taken off cars no longer in use, they are supposed to be turned back into county tax collectors for a credit.
Where the tags came from, and the eBay sellers identities both remain a mystery, but state officials are determined to get to the bottom of it.
"We'll start looking at the history of each of these and backtracking, trying to figure out where they came from and how they made it to the Internet" said Waterbury.
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