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Texas DMV promises to crack down on fraudulent use of temporary tags

In hopes of curbing the illegal activity, the Texas DMV said it will be limiting the number of temporary tags available to dealers.

AUSTIN, Texas — In an effort to crack down on the unlawful use of temporary tags across the state, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles held a special board meeting this week to decide what responses it could take.

In a news release issued on Friday, the DMV said it was hoping to address an issue brought to its attention earlier this week involving people obtaining vehicle dealer licenses in order to fraudulently issue temporary tags throughout the state.

The DMV said it was believed that some of those tags were also being used for illegal activities or were sold on social media.

In hopes of curbing the illegal activity, the DMV will be limiting the number of temporary tags available to dealers, as well as "denying bad actors access to the temporary tag database as soon as fraudulent activity has been identified," the department said.

The DMV cited House Bill 3927, which went into effect Sept. 1, 2021, for the ability to enact the changes. According to the DMV, the new law gives the department legal authorization to "take swifter action" in regards to addressing the illegal use of temporary tags.

"These tools will reduce the ability of criminals to print unlimited numbers of temporary tags for illegal purposes while ensuring legitimate dealers retain full access to temporary tags needed to support vehicle sales," the DMV said in its news release.

KBMT in Beaumont reported in October 2021 that temporary paper tags were a growing concern in the southeastern area of the state. The Vidor Police Department claimed about seven out of 10 paper tags on Interstate 10 were fake.

The DMV also said in its new release that department staff members were directed to look into ways of enhancing the identification process for dealer license applications. 

According to the DMV, staff will be looking into the ability to use fingerprinting during the approval process.