Texas lawmakers may eliminate paper tags completely

KPRC 2 has reported extensively on the issue of fraudulent paper plates used by criminals to commit crimes

KPRC 2 Investigates what's being done to crack down on criminals using paper tags on cars (KPRC 2 / Click2Houston.com)

Houston – Texas representatives in Austin will vote on a bill that, if passed, would eliminate temporary paper tags in Texas.

House Bill 718 was authored by State Rep. Craig Goldman from Fort Worth. The Texas House Transportation Committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday.

The bill would require dealers to give buyers metal plates when they purchase vehicles, instead of the easily-copied paper plates. KPRC 2 Investigates has reported extensively over the last two years on fraudulent paper plates that are used by criminals and used to commit crimes. They are difficult for law enforcement to distinguish from legitimate paper tags.

Our reporting of hundreds of crimes including murders, linked to the paper tags has lead to many changes. The executive director of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles resigned. In December, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles introduced a new plate design, but it was still issued on paper. Law enforcement told KPRC 2 the differences were too subtle to solve the counterfeiting problem.

Old style vs new style of paper license plate tags in Texas. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

The bill is now expected to head to the House floor in the next several weeks. State Sen. Royce West from Dallas has introduced an identical bill in the Senate.

If passed into law, the DMV would have until March 1, 2025 to ditch the paper tags.


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