Temporary tags in Texas have been redesigned to reduce fraud

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday announced a major overhaul of temporary tags in the state to curb fraud.

Fraudulent traders gained access to the government system and created thousands of fake temporary tags that have been popping up across the country.

The DMV says they spent months redesigning the cardboard signs and working with law enforcement to add new security features to try to reduce production of and access to temporary tags.

“With the support of our law enforcement partners, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is setting a new standard for security and temporary tag design,” said Daniel Avitia, executive director of TxDMV.

(Source: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)

According to the DMV, the new tags are more complex and difficult to duplicate than the current ones.

The new tags include:

  • Texas flag watermark. • Improved display of tag expiration date, vehicle year and make, and issuing dealer name.
  • Identification of the specific type of tag issued.
  • Font selection and size that maximizes the readability of the main components.
  • Active and passive security features identifiable by law enforcement agencies.
  • Lots of embedded data and text linked to law enforcement databases that can only be generated by internal TxDMV computer systems.

Earlier this week, Grand Prairie Police Officer Brandon Tsai died after his squad car was involved in an accident while chasing a car with a fake temporary license plate.

Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney expressed frustration at the number of counterfeit paper plates on Texas streets and urged Texas lawmakers to do more to address the problem.

“This is a problem that plagues the entire state. Where violent criminals, burglars and car thieves use the fictitious tags to disguise their identities and facilitate crimes,” Scesney said during an update on Tuesday’s officer’s death.

“It cost the life of a police officer”: Police chief railed against counterfeit paper license plates in Texas

The Texas DMV says they’ve made a number of changes since the 2021 Legislative Session to prevent the improper use of temporary tags.

Measures include limiting the number of tags licensed Texas traders can create.

In April, the new head of the Texas DMV told lawmakers that production of counterfeit temporary tags had plummeted, but acknowledged more needed to be done.

Licensed dealers will begin issuing the new license plates on December 9, 2022.