On Wednesday, Sarah Stewart with the Department of Public Safety sent KFOR the following list of tribes who have access to provide the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (OLETS) with their vehicle registration information:
- Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
- Muscogee (Creek) Nation
- Osage Nation
- Seneca Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma
- Pawnee Nation
- Absentee Shawnee Tribe
- Caddo Nation
- Citizen Potawatomi Nation
- Miami Tribe of Oklahoma
- Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma
- Wyandotte Nation
- Kaw Nation
- Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma
- Quapaw Nation
- Kickapoo Tribe
- Sac and Fox Nation
- Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
- Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
- Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
- Ponca Tribe
- Delaware Nation
- Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma
- United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians
- Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma
“Each tribe is responsible for producing a file containing its vehicle registration records and uploading that file to be processed by the OLETS system,” said Stewart. “The State of Oklahoma cannot confirm the accuracy or timeliness of the vehicle registration information reported by these tribes to OLETS.”
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has claimed concerns with tribal tags is a public safety issue, despite many tribal leaders who have said they have provided the state with tribal tag information.
“Let me be clear: Oklahoma backs the blue. Our law enforcement doesn’t have vehicle registration data from tribes without valid compacts— it’s a public safety issue that puts officers at risk and it can’t be ignored. OHP is enforcing the law and keeping Oklahomans safe,” said Governor Stitt in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Seminole Nation Chief Lewis Johnson responded to comments made about public safety.
“If a vehicle that has a Seminole Nation tribal tag on it and an excuse is being given where we’re stopping that for safety purposes, that would be not totally true,” said Johnson.
The chief said Seminole Nation has shared information to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, OLETS, which can track tribal government tag registration.
KFOR also asked the Department of Public Safety which tribes have shared information to OLETS.
“We don’t share information about data into or out of OLETS,” said Sarah Stewart, in an email to KFOR. “I would suggest you reach out to the tribes for that information.”
News 4 reached out to nearly 20 tribes. While we wait to hear back from a handful of those tribes, many stated they do submit information to OLETS.
Three tribes have compacts with Oklahoma for car tags, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw, and some of the tribes we called receive tags under those compacts.
“We do not want our elders terrified, harassed or made to feel less than any other citizen of the state of Oklahoma,” said Johnson.
KFOR also spoke to the former lawmakers and authors of a 2011 bill, signed into law, aimed at collecting vehicle information from tribal governments through DPS. The law received full support from tribal leaders and would require DPS to collect records on all tribal tags.
The authors of the legislation said it was never implemented despite all the work to get it passed.
News 4 asked DPS if they implemented the 2011 law but, instead, were told everything runs through OLETS.