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 Express. The initial investigation involved police looking at every vehicle, numbering over 200, with the same paper tag as the one involved in the crash.