FEMA: No Money for Cars With Expired Tags

The federal agency says vehicles without up-to-date registration don't qualify for flood damage compensation

Aug 25, 2022 at 10:45 am
Some St. Louis drivers skating by with temp tags may be in for rude awakening after flooding destroyed numerous local vehicles. - Screengrab from @FMtheWeatherman / Twitter
Screengrab from @FMtheWeatherman / Twitter
Some St. Louis drivers skating by with temp tags may be in for rude awakening after flooding destroyed numerous local vehicles.

St. Louis is notorious for its drivers cruising around with registration tags that are months, and often years, out of date. Expired temp tags are such a common sight in the city that lax attitudes around them have become an unwritten rule.

However, anyone who was driving around with expired tags and then had their car ruined by recent flooding may find that lax attitude coming back to bite them.

According to FEMA, if your car's registration wasn't valid when flood waters damaged it, you are pretty much out of luck in terms of getting relief from the federal agency.

According to Bob Howard, a manager with FEMA's Joint Information Center, a vehicle's owner must provide "vehicle registration valid at the time of the disaster" to receive reimbursement for a car damaged by flooding.

Howard clarified that expired temporary tags or an expired registration forecloses any possibility of compensation from FEMA for the damaged vehicle.

In addition to needing the registration to be up to date, Howard says that the car owner also needs to provide proof their vehicle meets Missouri's minimum requirements for insurance.

Additionally, FEMA will only issue reimbursement if the owner has no other operable vehicle.

So if you're currently driving around on expired tags, you might want to swing by the DMV. The next once-in-a-century natural disaster will be here before you know it.

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