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Changes made for pistol permits, car tag payments

Online pistol permit renewals and waived late fees for car tags are two accommodations available to Pike County residents now.

The changes, announced this week by Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas and Probate Judge Michael Bunn, stem in part from trying to serve customers during the social distancing orders in place relating to COVID-19 spread.

Since the courthouse is closed to the public, Thomas said residents have been calling with questions about how to renew their pistol permits or apply for new permits.

“We have moved to the online system to better accommodate our citizens,” he said. “We like the flexibility of online pistol permits, so that community members don’t have to take off work to come in during the week; pistol permits purchased online will be mailed to you.”

The online option has been added to the sheriff’s website, www.pikecountyalsheriff.com.

The system allows community members to apply for pistol permits 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Thomas said. “Previously they were only available during Sheriff’s Office business hours.”

Residents also can renew permits online and sign up for email reminders regarding renewals.

Anyone applying for new permits through the online portal will receive a text or email notification when their permit is ready, Thomas said.

“In light of the global pandemic, the online application process is helpful to the community to maintain the social distancing protocols currently in place,” Thomas said.

He also suggested residents sign up for alert notifications via email and/or text through the website (www.pikecountyalsheriff.com/alerts_signup.php) regarding local changes and rules relating to COVID-19.

In the Probate Office, which is also housed in the closed courthouse, Bunn said new statewide guidance provides waives late fees for car tag renewals.

“If you were a March or April renewal, you will now be able to renew your tag as late as May 15 without a penalty,” he said. “Also, those who have purchased a vehicle between March 15 and May 15 have been given an extension to register without penalty.”

Normally, residents have only 20 days to register new vehicles.

“They must still have insurance on the vehicle, or they could receive tickets and fines,” Bunn said.

Residents can renew tags via mail or through the website,  pikeprobate.com.

“And of course, if someone needs assistance they can call into our office and 334-566-1246 and we will help them,” he said.