Texas Outlaws Temporary Paper License Plates

Estimated read time 2 min read

More states need to follow its lead.

A favorite method of criminals to cover up their identity and maybe the fact the car they’re driving has been stolen is using fake temporary paper tags. In most states they’re difficult if not impossible to track, so Texas has done the only logical thing and just outlawed their use. We think this law should be passed in every state.

Learn how a Georgia man purchased a stolen car from a dealership.

The problem has become so widespread in the state that a bill introduced to the legislature, HB 718, passed and landed on the governor’s desk, who signed it into law. Pretty much everyone is sick of seeing a proliferation of paper tags on cars, most of them fictitious, and the people who drive like maniacs on public roads with few consequences.

Using fake paper tags on stolen cars or to mask one’s identity isn’t a new trick. We’ve personally known people who have been involved in a hit-and-run where the other driver had these types of tags, they got the number, only to be told by police there was nothing that could be done to find the other driver.

But the problem is on the rise in places like Texas, much like car theft in general. By taking away one of criminals’ favorite ways of covering up that a vehicle isn’t theirs, law enforcement in the Lone Star State hopes to crack down hard.

 Fake paper tags not only help cover up that a car might be stolen. Sometimes they’re used by people who don’t even have a license or don’t feel like carrying insurance coverage. They’re also popular with those who wish to skip vehicle inspection.

There’s time for everyone to get ready for this law because it doesn’t go into effect until July 2025. In the meantime, the state’s DMV is getting an expedited process for metal plates ready with a deadline of December 1, 2024 to have the rule change finalized.

Steven Symes https://writerstevensymes.com/

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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  1. 1
    BIcycle Bill

    When I registered my first vehicle in Wisconsin, I went down to the county courthouse, turned in the paperwork and paid the tax on the vehicle (I bought it from a private party), and they handed me a plate right over the counter right there on the spot. Now, you have to do everything online or by mail.

    Although you can always find one of the few DMV offices still in operation, get there when it is open, wait a half-hour or more, pay your money (along with a ‘counter convenience fee’ for coming there in person to do your business), and then wait at least a week or more before you finally get your metal plates by return mail…

    If Tex-ass is going to do something like this, they’d better have metal plates in hand and available at DMV facilities, car dealerships, country clerks’ offices, and anywhere else vehicle registration/renewals are processed.

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