GARFIELD COUNTY, Oklahoma – Otoe-Missouria tribal citizen Crystal Deroin was written a ticket by Oklahoma Highway Patrol for operating a “vehicle on which all taxes due to the state have not been paid”.
Deroin had been pulled over for speeding. According to OHP, since her home address was outside of her tribe’s tribal jurisdiction, state taxes were owed on her vehicle.
OHP and Oklahoma state officials stated that if a vehicle is registered and primarily used by a tribal citizen who resides within their tribe’s jurisdiction the owner will not be ticketed. Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee citizens will not be ticketed because those tribes have a tag compact with Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond stated that he was not consulted on the change in policy and is reviewing what guidance OHP was given, and who gave it.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill issued a statement on the situation on Nov. 10,
“Today, the Executive and Legislative Branches discussed allegations that have come to our
attention about tribal vehicle tags with registered addresses outside the Reservation possibly being ticketed as illegal. We met and discussed the facts in front of us and the verifiable information that we have gathered on this matter. As we continue to seek out more clarification and resolution on this issue, we are in constant communication with our legal team for counsel and determining any action that may be necessary. We will keep citizens updated with further communication on this matter as it continues to develop. Mvto.”
Mvskoke Media will have ongoing coverage of this developing story.