Playing Catch-Up

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A temporary license plate that you'd get when you buy most new or used cars or trucks will get you by the long arm of the law for 90 days.

The problem is the work that's piling up at the state D.M.V. is more than two-thirds of the way there already.

"The biggest issue is a positive one, cars are selling," said Jane Zarada, the agency's Director.

Thanks to deals like one through General Motors that's pumped up their sales some 40 percent in a year, and followed suit in market share.

"When you go in two or three percentage points, which they did, that's a tremendous number of vehicles being sold," Ken Vance Motors' General Sales Manager David Klinkhammer said.

More cars...More app's...and a skeleton crew at the state D.M.V....

The result of budget cuts.

"We are in the process of hiring a few more staff but it will take a bit for them to come on and be trained," Zarada said.

In the meantime, don't freak! There are ways to get around this.

"We've been notified that they're behind," said Deputy Chief Brad Venaas of the Eau Claire Police Department.

"The system tries to look at that and give a little leway."

Some places will process your application online, on-site, and you'll get a plate that day.

You could pay a little more to get faster service, but as long as you're not going on some kind of Canadian road trip, save your money.

"The intent for us is that people are properly registering their cars before they operate them on the roadways," said Deputy Chief Venaas.

So you shouldn't get a ticket if you've applied in time.

"Carry a copy of the application in your vehicle with you," Zarada said.

In most cases that'll keep you ticket-free as well as a plate would.