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Frequently Asked Questions

Attorney / Clerk / Driver's License / Motor Vehicle / Property Tax

Attorney Questions

Q. Does your office charge any fees to the public?
A. No

Q. Can individuals call you for personal representation?
A. Only as a private attorney, not as the County Attorney

Q. How are you assigned cases?
A. The Sheriff or Police Department investigates a complaint. After that it is turned over to me and I decide whether or not to file charges.

Q. Do you have a part in sentencing?
A. I make recommendations to the Judge.

Q. Do you have a part in enforcing sentencing?
A. No, but I file motions to revoke probation when a defendant violates the conditions of his/her probation.

Q. How do you work with the community service coordinator?
A. Community service hours assigned by my office are monitored by her.

Q. Do you handle all type of offenses
A. I handle criminal, juvenile, traffic, children in need of care, and care and treatment cases.

Q. Will I receive compensation for appearing as a witness?
A. By statute, you will receive $10 per day witness fees plus mileage if you were subpoenaed from out of town.

Q. What if I am threatened as a witness?
A. Any attempt to prevent or dissuade a witness from testifying is a violation of Kansas law. Report any such incident immediately to the police and the prosecuting attorney.

Q. Should I talk to the defense attorney?
A. That is strictly your decision. You may, but you have no legal obligation to talk to the defense attorney.

Q. Can I watch the trial?
A. Unless all witnesses are sequestered, you may watch the trial; however, you should not discuss your testimony with other witnesses.

Q. Can I receive compensation for losses I suffered as a result of the crime?
A. Various means are available to assist you depending upon the type of loss, etc.

Q. When can I get my property back?
A. All property will be released as soon as possible; however, under unusual circumstances, it cannot be released until it is no longer needed as evidence. Any evidence seized which is classified as being illegal to possess will not be returned.

Q. What is a continuance?
A. For a number of reasons, it is frequently necessary to change the date of a court appearance. The County Attorney's office will make every effort to notify you by telephone if the court date has been continued to a later date. If the case is continued, you will receive a new subpoena telling you the new date if you have not already received it. You should call the County Attorney's office (620-544-4684) the day before your subpoena court date to verify that the court date has not been continued and that you are still required to appear in court on that date.

Q. What if I move or change jobs during the proceedings?
A. Always notify the County Attorney's office of any changes in address or employment immediately should they need to contact you.

Q. What if my employer won't let me come to court?
A. If you are lawfully subpoenaed to court, an employer cannot prevent attendance. When appropriate, the County Attorney's office will contact your employer to discuss the importance of your role as a witness.

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Clerk Questions

Q. Where do I register to vote:
A. The County Clerk's office or at the Driver's License Examiner's office when you renew your license. Sometimes political organizations set up booths at local businesses close to election time at which you can register also.

Q. Where can I buy a hunting or fishing license?
A. The County Clerk's office / various vendors / Wild Life & Parks

Q. What information do I need to file my Homestead Return and my Food Sales Tax Return?
A. Total household income, including Social Security, and a copy of tax statement

Q. When can I expect my Homestead and Food Sales Tax refund?
A. It usually takes about six weeks.

Q. How do I find out who owns a certain piece of property?
A. Bring the legal description or address to the Clerk's office.

Q. Do we have county zoning?
A. Yes, Contact the
Zoning & Planning Department

Q. Who takes care of the little cemeteries?
A. Call the County Clerk's office for this answer. They are all handled by different people.

Q. What is the population of Stevens County ?
A. 5,379

Q. What is the population of cities in the county?
A.

Hugoton 00
Moscow 00

Q. How can I use my Homestead Refund to help pay up to half of my property tax?
A. If you received a homestead refund last year, you will automatically receive a Refund Advancement Letter and Form ELG from the Kansas Department of Revenue. Take the department's letter and last year's property tax statement to your County Clerk's office by December 20 of that year. A homestead claim must still be filed after January 1 of the next year.

Q. How much is the Food Sales Tax Refund?
A.

If your income (KAGI) is:

Your refund is:

$0 - $12,5000 $60 for each exemption
$12,501 - $25,000 $30 for each exemption

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Driver's Licenses Questions

Q. What are the hours for getting a driver's license?
A. Tuesday through Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Q. Do my parents need to come with me to get a driver's license or an instruction permit?
A. If you are under the age of 16, yes (one parent or guardian). If you are over 16, no, unless you have not had your parent certify your 50 hours of driving time.

Q. What do I need to get a restricted license?
A. Stevens County does not provide this service. However the following will be needed when applying at a full service station:
A state-issued birth certificate, a DE-99 (Driver's Education Completion Form), your social security card, an affidavit stating you have completed at least 25 hours of supervised driving if you are under age 16 (and knowing that 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 hours at night, must be completed before your restriction can be removed), and your parent or guardian to sign the proper documentation. You must have held a state issued instruction permit for at least 6 months before you can apply for a restricted license. You will also have to pass an eye test and pay the appropriate fees.

Q. If I am moving into from another state, can I change and get a Kansas license in the Treasurer's Office?
A. If you have a regular license, you can. If you have a CDL (Commercial Driver's License), you can if not expired over a year.

Q. Can I renew my Kansas CDL (Commercial Driver's License) in the Treasurer's Office?
A. Yes. You may also take the closed-book hazmat test in our office.

Q. How many questions can I miss and still be able to pass to renew my driver's license?
A. Five, for a regular license and six, if taking the closed-book hazmat test.

Q. How many times can I take the hazmat test if I keep failing it?
A. Four times, and then you would have to wait for six months before you could take it again.

Q. If I want to drop my hazmat, can I add it back to my CDL (Commercial Driver's License) at another time?
A. Yes. You can drop it and add it back after passing the closed-book test. You would have to pay the following fees: $3.00 to retest, $2.00 for a photo, and $10.00 for the endorsement.

Q. Do I need a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) to drive a farm truck?
A. No. You have to be using it for farm use only (your own farm) and stay within 150 miles of your farm.

Q. Do I need a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) to drive a farm-registered vehicle?
A. No. You will, however, need a non-commercial Class A driver's license to drive the truck-tractor, semi-trailer combination if the GVWR of the vehicle is 26,001 pounds or more and the GVWR of the trailer is 10,001 pounds or more.

Q. Can I get a driver's license from your office if I have never had a license before?
A. No. You would have to go to a full service station in Garden City, Dodge City, or Liberal.

Q. How old do I have to be to get a CDL (Commercial Driver's License)?
A. You have to be 18 years old.

Q. What do I do if I need an extension on my current Driver's License?
A. You will need a copy of your driver's license and the driver's license number, and then you must fax that information to 785-296-0691. Include your current address for mailing your extension out. An extension (valid for 6 months from the regular expiration date) can be requested by anyone who has a valid Kansas license and is temporarily residing outside the state of Kansas. Active duty military personnel and anyone residing outside of the United States may request to renew their license by mail.

Q. Do I need a CDL (Commercial Driver's License) to drive a bus?
A. Yes, if you are driving a bus that carries 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Q. How can I renew my license if I am in the military and not stationed in the US?
A. You do nothing through this office. You will need to complete your renewal test, send your renewal card with the military address written on it, and include a letter stating that you are in the military and that you need to renew. Parents of the person in the military can pick up a renewal test and mail it to them.

Q. Can I get an Identification Card in the Treasurer's Office?
A. Yes. You must have proper documentation to apply for one.

Q. What do I do if I do not receive a renewal for a driver's license and it is time for me to renew?
A. Bring current driver's license to the Treasurer's Office, and we can then give you a renewal test to take home and fill out.

Q. What can I use to get an Identification Card if I am a foreign exchange student and I do not have my birth certificate with me?
A. We need to see your passport, papers from the school stating that you are a student of that school, or documentation from your sponsors stating that you are a foreign exchange student.

Q. Can I renew my driver's license in the Treasurer's Office if it has expired?
A. If the license has expired within a year, we can renew it. Otherwise, you would have to go to a full service station in Garden City, Dodge City, or Liberal.

Q. Can I get a Kansas Driver's License if my out-of-state driver's license has expired?
A. Yes. However, the out-of-state cannot have expired over one year ago.

Q. Where do I call if my driver's license has been suspended?
A. You need to call Driver's Control in Topeka at 785-296-3671. They will help you with what exactly you need to do to get your license back. You will need to know your driver's license number and your date of birth.

Q. Where do I send money when I am getting my driver's license reinstated after being suspended?
A. Driver's Control Bureau, P.O. Box 12021, Topeka, Ks. 66612

Q. Where do I call if I have a vision or medical question regarding my driver's license?
A. You call the Kansas Motor Vehicle Director's Office at 785-296-3601.

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Motor Vehicle Questions

Q. How much will it cost to register my vehicle?
A.

Title Fees $10.00
Transfer Fees $4.50
Registration:
Autos less than 4500 lbs. $33.00
Autos over 4500 lbs. $43.00
12M Trucks $43.00
Motorcycles $19.00
Motorbikes $14.00
Trailers:
2000 - 8000 $18.00
8001 - 1200 $28.00
12001 and over $38.00


a. If the weight of the trailer and the load combined is less than 2,000 pounds, registration is optional. If a farm trailer hauling the farmer's own product has a load of less than 6,000 pounds, registration is optional. For fees on trucks with gross weight of over 16,000 pounds, call the County Treasurer's Office.

b. Property tax is paid at the time of registration/title application and is determined in the County Treasurer's Office. The exceptions are heavy trucks, trailers, and mopeds, whose taxes are determined by the County Appraiser's Office.

c. Reflectorized plate
fee is $0.50.

d. Sales tax will be collected in the tag office if the vehicle is bought from an individual or purchased out of state. The sales tax rate is 6.3% plus a $0.50 collection fee. For out of state purchases, sales tax is according to where you live. State rate is 5.3 %, Hugoton city is 6.3 %.

e. The fee to transfer a tag is $14.50 plus the difference in the property tax.

Q. What do I need to know about transferring a tag from one vehicle to another?
A. The fee to transfer is $14.50 plus the difference in the property tax. The names on the two titles must be the same. If the old tag is expired, it can only be transferred if it is a personalized tag. If this is your renewal month, your fees will be the same as a new tag minus the $0.50 plate fee. The old vehicle must be sold or traded in, even if it is not running. As long as the title is still in your name, the plate must stay with it.

Q. I'm moving to Kansas from another state; how do I register my vehicle?
A. If you have the title, you need to bring in the title, the vehicle inspection, and the proof of insurance. The person who is named on the title is the only person who can register the vehicle. If two names appear on the title with and/or between the names, only one person has to come in. If two names are on the title with and between them, both persons must come in. All vehicles coming from out of state must have a VIN inspection from the Stevens County Sheriff's Office.The cost is $10.00 in cash.

If you do not have the title because the lienholder of that state keeps it until the vehicle is paid for, you will need to come to the Stevens County Treasurer's Office with your current out-of-state registration or a non-negotiable title. We will also need your proof of insurance. We will then title the vehicle. The State will write to your lienholder and request the out-of-state title. You will receive a letter to get an inspection done at the Stevens County Sheriff's Department. You will need to send the pink copy back to the State and the Kansas title will be held as an E-Title and will not be printed until the lien is paid off.

Q. What papers will I need to title a newly-purchased vehicle?
A. You will need the title or MSO (if it's a new car), signed over to you, the sales tax receipt or bill of sale, the car's current mileage, and your proof of insurance. When transferring a tag between two cars, you need the current registration or tag number of the old car and the name and address of the person to whom the vehicle was sold.

Q. What are your office hours?
A. The Tag Office is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., including lunch hour, Monday through Friday. The office stops doing vehicle business at 4:45 p.m. in order to run reports and balance the day's business.

Q. Where are you located?
A. The Tag Office is located at the Stevens County Courthouse at 200 E. 6th in Hugoton, Ks.

Q. Where can I get my vehicle inspected, and during what hours?
A. All out-of-state title for used vehicles (and Kansas Non-Highway vehicles) require inspection. The fee is $10.00 in CASH ONLY and can be done at the Stevens County Sheriff Department.

Q. How can I renew my tags if I didn't get a renewal notice in the mail?
A. Take your registration or tag number and proof of insurance to the Stevens County Treasurer's Office, and they will be able to process your renewal.

Q. How can I get a refund, and what forms will I need?
A. Bring in your tag, current owner's registration, Social Security number (for a personal vehicle) or Federal ID# (for business or lease vehicles), and name and address of the person to whom the vehicle was sold. Refunds are calculated from the month they are received.

Q. Where can I get a power of attorney / lienholder consent / bill of sale, etc.?
A. These tag forms and many others are available on this web page in the Vehicle Tag Forms section . You will need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and/or print these forms. This is a free download, and the site can be accessed from the Vehicle Tag Forms section above.

Q. My tag was stolen. What do I do?
A. You will need to report the plate stolen to the Sheriff's Office. Bring the registration and proof of insurance, and we will replace the tag for $3.00. If registration is not available an additional .50 will be added.

Q. How do I get a personalized tag?
A. The price for
personalized tags is $44.00, in addition to other fees and personal property taxes.

Q. What will happen if I have delinquent taxes?
A. If you have delinquent personal property taxes in ANY county in Kansas, they MUST be paid before vehicles can be tagged.

Q. How can I pay for my tags?
A. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, check, money order, cashier's check.

Q. Where can I go to renew my handicapped placard? Where do I mail it?
A. This is done at the Stevens County Treasurer's Office in the County Courthouse. It can also be mailed to Stevens County Treasurer, 200 E 6th, Hugoton, Ks 67591.

Q. Do my tags expire on the first day or the last day of the month?
A. Auto, truck, and motorcycle tags expire on the last day of each month, with the exception of heavy trucks (over 12,000 lbs.) and trailers, which expire Dec. 31 with a grace period until Feb. 15.

Q. Why aren't my tags good for a full year?
A. Tag renewals are good for a full year. Tags for vehicles bought new within the year will be good for the period between the purchase date and the expiration date; in some cases this will be for just a partial year.
Tags are prorated from the month the title is notarized until the month your tag comes due, which is determined by your last name. See the Tag Schedule table on the Motor Vehicle Site.

Q. I am a military dependent. Shouldn't I be exempted from property taxes?
A. No. Only the active duty military member is exempt.

Q. Can I get an extension on my thirty-day permit?
A. No. There are no extensions.

Q. My doctor says I'm permanently handicapped. Why do I have to re-certify for handicap privileges?
A. Law requires re-certification every three years for verification of status of the handicapped individual.

Q. Why do I pay taxes on my leased vehicle when I'm in the military?
A. The leased vehicle is in the leasing company name; therefore, they are the legal owner of the vehicle and not exempt.

Q. I am in the military but a Kansas resident. Do I pay taxes on my vehicle?
A. If the military person and the vehicle are stationed in Kansas, the vehicle is taxable. If the military person is a resident of Kansas, but stationed in another state, the vehicle is exempt.

Q. I own businesses in several counties in Kansas. Where do I register my vehicle?
A. The vehicle should be registered in the county where the main business in located, or where the vehicle is housed.

Q. I am active duty military, but the vehicle is in my wife's name. Do I have to pay taxes of the vehicle.
A. Yes. The service member must be included on the title in order to be exempt.

Q. Do I have to get a Kansas driver's license if I have Kansas plates?
A. Yes

Q. Do I have to register my vehicle if I am going to sell it?
A. Yes. You first have to acquire a title in your name before it can be sold to another individual or business.

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Property Tax Questions

Q. When should I receive my tax bill?
A. You should receive your real estate and personal property tax statement for the current year by the middle part of November. If only the first half of the current year taxes are paid in December, the second half tax reminders are mailed out May 1. If the full amount was paid in December, you should not receive a second half reminder.

Q. What if my mortgage company pays my real estate taxes and I received the tax bill?
A. If you have an escrow account for your real estate taxes with a mortgage company, the mortgage company should receive the tax statement. If you do receive the tax statement instead of the mortgage company, we ask you to forward it to the mortgage company so they can pay taxes from the escrow account. We also ask you to have your current mortgage company notify the County Treasurer's office so that we can get the correct billing information from them.

Q. What should I do if I don't receive a tax bill?
A. If you are to receive a statement but do not by the end of November, please contact the County Treasurer's office at 620-544-2542.

Q. When are my real estate taxes due?
A. If you are responsible for paying taxes on a home or other real estate property, the full amount could be paid or the half amount on or before December 20 of that tax year. If the first half is paid, the second half of that year's taxes are due on or before May 10 of the following year.

Mortgage companies are required by Federal Law to make half payments, so they will be paying taxes on or before December 20 and on or before May 10.

Q. What happens if I don't pay my real estate taxes on time?
A. If the first half of the current year real estate taxes are not paid by December 20, interest will start accruing December 21.

If the mortgage company was to have paid these taxes, you must inform them that the Treasurer's office for the County did not receive the payment. If there are any questions, the mortgage company needs to call the County Treasurer's office at 620-544-2542.

You or the mortgage company can pay the first half of the current year taxes with interest up until May 10. After May 10, if the first half of the real estate taxes has not been paid, the full amount of the current year tax plus interest will have to be paid. If the current year tax has not been paid by the first of August, there will be an additional fee of $16.00 for advertising. Stevens County is required by Kansas State law (KSA79-2303) to publish a list of unpaid real estate taxes.

If taxes go unpaid by the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September, taxes will be put on the delinquent tax roll, and it becomes a lien on the real estate. If you want to pay delinquent years, Kansas State Law (KSA79-2401A) requires that the most delinquent year be paid first. Example: If you have taxes owing for 1993, 1994, and 1995, the full amount for 1993 must be paid before payment for the 1994 and 1995, or, of course, you can pay all the years at once.

Q. When would my real estate property be up for tax sale?
A. Real estate property taxes three years delinquent are subject to a tax foreclosure action and public sale.

Q. When are my personal property taxes due?
A. The first half of the personal property taxes are due on or before December 20. If you pay the first half of the personal property taxes in December, the second half is due on or before May 10 of the following year.

Q. What happens if I don't pay my personal property taxes on time?
A. If the first half of the personal property taxes are not paid by December 20, the full tax amount plus interest becomes due, starting December 21. Delinquent notices for personal property are sent out the third week in February. If they are not paid, warrants are issued. Warrants are issued 30 days after notices are mailed. Tax warrants go to the County Sheriff for collection of delinquent taxes, interest, and sheriff fees.

If you paid the first half of your personal property taxes on time, the second half of the personal property taxes are due on or before May 10. If these taxes are not paid by May 10, interest will begin to accrue.

Delinquent personal property tax notices are mailed on or before July 27. If they are not paid, tax warrants are issued by August 15. All delinquent personal property tax must be paid at the County Treasurer's office. Kansas State Law (KSA79-2017) requires delinquent personal property to be advertised in October. If you have any previous years owing on personal property tax, they must be paid at the County Treasurer's office.

Q. What is the interest charged on delinquent taxes?
A. At the current time, it is 8% annually. This is subject to change without notice.

Q. Can I make partial payments on my taxes?
A. No. Depending on the time of year, you can only make half or full payment.

Q. What type of payment is acceptable for tax payment?
A. You may use a personal check, money order, cashier's check or cash.

Q. To whom do I make my check out?
A. For real estate and personal property tax statements and reminders, make checks payable to Stevens County Treasurer. For personal property tax warrants, checks should be made out to Stevens County Treasurer.

Q. Where can I pay real estate and personal property taxes?
A. You may pay your taxes at our office located at the Treasurer's Office, County Courthouse, 200 E. 6th, Hugoton, Ks. 67951.

Q. To where can I mail my tax payment?
A. The Stevens County Treasurer, 200 E. 6th, Hugoton, Ks. 67951.

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