New law bans paper license plates in Texas

See KPRC 2 Investigates’ extensive reporting on fraudulent paper plate issues.

No more paper plates! New Texas law eliminates paper license plates. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

You can soon say goodbye to paper tags in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott signed HB718 into law Monday that eliminates the use of paper license plates in Texas. Car dealers will be required to issue metal license plates when the vehicle is sold.

This law is the answer to years of issues linked to fraudulent paper plates in Texas. 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.

SEE MORE: Full version of bill that eliminates paper license plates

Our reporting of hundreds of crimes, including murders, linked to the paper tags has led to many changes. The executive director of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles resigned.

KPRC 2 Investigator Amy Davis attends DMV meeting in Austin to ask about the temp tags issue in Texas. Soon after this 2022 meeting, the executive director of the Texas Department of Motor vehicles stepped down. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

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 that the differences were too subtle to solve the counterfeiting problem.

Big support for new law eliminating paper license plates

Before Abbott signed the bill into law, HB718 overwhelmingly passed both chambers.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has also been asked to come up with a system for implementing the new law. The DMV has already been working on new security measures to help fight the sale of fraudulent tags on the black market. The TxDMV has until Dec. 1, 2024, to come up with rules to implement the new law.

The new law will replace all paper tags with metal ones starting July 1, 2025.


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Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.