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Texas DMV Increases Paper Tag Security

State

New Texas Paper Tag | Image by NBC DFW

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has introduced a new paper tag with additional security features, according to the TxDMV website. 

On Friday, December 9, TxDMV rolled out the tags to help police crack down on fraudulent and counterfeit tags. 

The new design contains several security features to aid law enforcement in the identification of counterfeit tags. Among those new features, the tags have numerous pieces of embedded data and text, which are linked to police databases and can only be created by internal TxDMV computers. 

“I felt very strongly that this agency needed to change its posture, change its focus. You have done that, you responded, we are in a better place than we were 10 months ago. But we cannot stop being vigilant, and I know we won’t,” said Charles Bacarisse, TxDMV board chairman, according to NBC DFW. 

NBC DFW previously reported on criminals taking advantage of weak background checks to become licensed as car dealers, so they could issue false tags in the hundreds or thousands under the TxDMV’s electronic tag system.

To combat this, at the end of June the TxDMV Board voted to require fingerprinting for car dealers.

Law enforcement has been asking for additional resources to combat criminals’ use of fraudulent and counterfeit tags. Some lawmakers are calling for metal plates to replace the paper tags. 

In November, a man was arrested for his alleged involvement in the death of a Grand Prairie police officer who attempted to pull him over because of a suspected fake paper license plate, as reported by The Dallas ExpressThe initial investigation involved police looking at every vehicle, numbering over 200, with the same paper tag as the one involved in the crash.

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James Holland
James Holland
1 month ago

I hope the program is successful as the fake tags probably belong to cars without insurance or drivers without a license. When these cars are involved in an accident, the drivers go free to get their updated fake tag. It is interesting to learn that the issue is with fake car dealers. Last time I had a temporary tag, it had my name on it and that’s a good thing..

LoWa
LoWa
Reply to  James Holland
1 month ago

Then there are small dealers that use the paper tags on vehicles used by their family members, rather than requesting and insuring the vehicles as privately owned.

Zulia
Zulia
1 month ago

I honestly don’t know if it’s a good idea to show publicly about security stuff. Only gives opportunities for thefts to get smarter with it.

RiverKing
RiverKing
Reply to  Zulia
1 month ago

Notice the blurred Q–code in the upper right corner of the paper tag illustrating this article. If it were not blurred, it could be read by a police officer’s cell phone to instantly identify the issuer IF it is a valid plate. Ever try to fake or duplicate a Q-code?

H E
H E
1 month ago

The entire paper tag system is fraud waiting to happen. The people who put the paper tag system in place need to be held accountable.

Pap
Pap
1 month ago

They should go to metal plates. A different color for each month. Ex: Green expires end of December, Red expires end of February, etc. Then expiration dates are unnecessary. Makes it easy for officers and citizens alike. Then even citizens can report a tag out of date because it will be blatantly obvious. The dealers can charge a 100% refundable deposit for the plates. Want your $200 back? Return the plates. Then the plates can be safely stored and reused for that specific month the next year, keeping costs to a minimum. The dealer keeps files for each month, by license number with customer’s contact information. (We have computers, it’s not that hard. This could even be done in a written log book.) Any time a license is returned, a ✔ goes in a row in the file. Then on the first of each month, the dealer checks the file, for say, December due date, and reach out to anyone whose plate has not been returned. If the customer can’t be reached or refuses, then they can phone the police and let them know.

The number on that plate would need to be in a state system that shows what make, model and color of the car that tag belongs to, that is deleted when it’s returned to the dealer. This might require more effort in installing a program, but I’m sure it could be accomplished.I

Either that, or you can’t take possession of the car until it’s registered and you have the tags.