Wait for Tag

(WSVN) - He bought the classic car of his dreams. Everything was great — except his tag. A business he thought was an authorized tag agency could not deliver the permanent tag he paid for and kept issuing temporary paper tags. Is that legal to do? It’s why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Ja Marv Dunn grew up in South Florida, meaning he grew up watching a TV segment that has been around for a while also.

Ja Marv Dunn, classic car enthusiast: “I have been watching Help Me Howard since … I wanna say since I was in high school. At one point, I wanted to be an attorney. I watched Help Me Howard so much.”

Fortunately, Ja Marv didn’t become an attorney and chose to instead focus on kids.

Ja Marv Dunn: “That’s my passion: working with kids and supporting kids.”

In his spare time, this high school principal also has another passion: classic cars.

Ja Marv Dunn: “I love classic cars. I am a classic car enthusiast.”

After attending more classic car shows than he could count, Ja Marv’s wife Ebony finally said enough looking.

Ja Marv Dunn: “‘That’s it. Let’s just go ahead. Let’s get you a classic car. Let’s get the car of your dreams.”

And then Ja Marv found this 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible in Michigan. It was shipped to him.

Ja Marv Dunn: “Patrick, it’s what I thought it would be and more. My kids love it. My wife and I, we take the car out just about every weekend.”

But if you look carefully, you will see the car has a paper tag, a temporary tag, issued by a company in Broward.

Ja Marv Dunn: “‘Buy I can assure you maybe within the next two to three weeks, I will have a custom plate for you.'”

In August, Ja Marv gave the agency nearly $4,500 for the sales tax, registration and a customized tag, and then he started waiting.

Ja Marv Dunn: “‘Give me another document. I need to have this document notarized.’ And then we got to the point where it was the same document over and over and over.”

Ja Marv has three pages where he documented his calls or emails to the business.

His temporary tag was reissued again and again, but he still has no permanent tag and no more patience.

Patrick Fraser: “So you will give her two options: give you the tag or give you your money and documents.”

Ja Marv Dunn: “Thats it.”

Well, Howard, can a business keep reissuing a temporary tag?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No, they cannot. The law requires them to issue a permanent tag in a timely manner. That means days, not months, like in Ja Marv’s case. But he didnt buy his tag from a county-authorized tag agency. He got it from a business that acts as a courier for the customer, and the government has no control over them.”

I spoke to the owner of the agency and told her we were trying to find out why it was taking months for her to get a tag that Ja Marv had paid for in August.

She said the problem now is that the odometer is wrong. When I asked how she knew that, she didn’t say, but that Ja Marv would soon get his permanent tag.

Ja Marv Dunn: “I got my tag two days after Patrick went to her job, her office.”

Howard Finkelstein: “When yhou buy a vehicle tag, even if they have a sign that says tag agency, unless they can issue the tag on the spot, they are a courier who goes to a county-authorized tag agency to get your tag, and they can charge whatever they want.”

Ja Marv didnt get the personalized tag — just an antique tag — but he’s happy he can now enjoy his classic car without any worries.

Ja Marv Dunn: “Thank God I called Patrick Fraser and Help Me Howard. If I hadn’t done so, I would still be riding around with those paper tags.”

That’s our goal, Ja Marv: to fix things and make people happy. Glad it worked out.

Now, if you want to buy your tag online, directly from the county or from a county-authorized private agency, check out the links below for Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

Or you can use an agency that just goes and stands in line for you, but remember they are not regulated.

Tagged with a classic problem that’s growing old on you? Driven to find a permanent solution? Register with us. We won’t steer you in the wrong direction.

Broward County Tag and Taxes

Broward Private Tag Agencies

Miami-Dade Tag Renewal

Miami-Dade Authorized Private Tag Agencies

Monroe County Tags

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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