SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you think you’ve been seeing more cars driving around Springfield with expired tags, you’re not alone. The Springfield Police Department said officers have noticed it too.

SPD’s latest trending crime report focused on making sure your car is properly registered and your tags are up to date.

“As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been an increase in vehicles driving on Springfield roads with expired tags, both regular and temporary,” said Springfield Police Officer Nathan Fetters.

Registering your car can be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s in your best interest to do so in a timely manner, according to SPD, because thieves can take advantage.

When a car is stolen that hasn’t been registered properly, it’s more difficult for officers to find the car, and even when they do, it can be more difficult to prove you own it if its registration isn’t up to date.

There’s also the obvious risk you take when driving around with expired tags on your car: you could get a ticket.

More advice from SPD to make things harder for car thieves is something you may not think of. Look at your plates periodically. Thieves may steal license plates and put them on a stolen car in order to go undetected longer.

You can find information on registering your car on the Missouri Department of Revenue’s website.

If you notice your license plate or plates are missing or may have been tampered with, report it to the police.

Officer Fetters also said in Thursday’s crime report that officers have noticed a rise in thefts from cars over the summer months. The advice to prevent this crime: keep your car tidy, don’t leave anything in your car that may tempt someone to break in or try to open your doors, and always keep your car locked.