Pittsylvania Co. Officials Want to Stop the Abuse of Farm-Use Tags

Pittsylvania Co., - Farm-use tags are important to farmers, but officials in Pittsylvania County say they also make it possible for folks to skirt around the law.

Soon, you may find yourself in trouble for having one of the tags on your truck if you aren't supposed to.

Joe Motley owns at least seven trucks with farm-use tags. He needs them for his sprawling dairy farm in Chatham.

"It has a great use. It's just real important not to have to pay that licensing fee and inspection fee and all that, " Motley said.
The trucks are mostly commercial hand-me downs that he uses for working on the farm - after all, that's the whole purpose of having the tags - but lately, others have been abusing the system.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Marshall Ecker says folks outside the farming community are putting the tags on their trucks to avoid vehicle taxes - potentially costing the county a lot of money.
"You can see farm-use tags on a lot of vehicles that are traveling the highway and you have to wonder, are they really for farm use?", he says, and he also believes the ambiguous plates can be dangerous.
"Suppose that vehicle was involved in an accident and didn't stop. I'll report it to the police, 'Well it had a farm-use tag on it'....well, gee whiz. That's a big help, " he said.
Ecker wants policymakers in Richmond to create a new law - one that would require farm trucks to be registered with the DMV and display a distinguishable tag like some already in use.
Motley says, as a farmer, he thinks cracking down on abuse is the right thing to do.
"If people are using it improperly, I mean, that's tax revenue that they could be collecting that's better for all of us as citizens, so I have no problem with it, " said Motley.
The General Assembly already put a stop to farm-use tags being put on cars back in 2010. Ecker hopes to have a resolution written on this issue and ready to send by fall.