Texas redesigns temporary tags to reduce widespread fraud

After years of widespread fraud throughout the Lone Star State and the recent death of a North Texas police officer, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced a “major design overhaul” to temporary tags on Thursday, November 17.

The redesigned temporary tags will be more complex in design and security than predecessors and will include “numerous additional data points and security features” to help law enforcement identify counterfeit tags, according to the TxDMV.

The redesigned Texas temporary tags will be more complex and secure than the existing design.

The redesigned Texas temporary tags will be more complex and secure than the existing design.

Courtesy of the TxDMV

Components of the new tags will include:

  • Printed over a Texas flag watermark
  • Highlights the expiration date of the tag
  • Identifies the specific type of tag issued
  • Identifies the vehicle year and make
  • Identifies the issuing dealer
  • Font selection and size maximizes readability of primary components
  • Includes both active and passive security features identifiable by law enforcement
  • Includes numerous pieces of embedded data and text, linked to law enforcement databases, that can be created only by internal TxDMV computer systems

The “major design overhaul” comes just days after a Grand Prairie police officer died while chasing after a vehicle that shared the same tags with more than 200 vehicles in the DFW area. The death of officer Brandon Tsai on Monday, November 14, brought out calls for major changes from Grand Prairie Police Chief Daniel Scesney the following day.

“This is a problem plaguing the entire state,” Scesney told CBS DFW. “Burglars, car thieves are using these tags to conceal their identities and facilitate crime”

Last year alone, Texas officials estimated that at least 1.8 million fraudulent temporary license plates were driving on Lone Star roads, according to ABC13 KTRK-TV.

The new design for Texas temporary vehicle tags will be issued for use staring on Friday, December 9. 

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