(AUSTIN, Texas – January 25, 2022) Stopping the fraudulent production and use of temporary tags is the top priority of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Addressing this serious issue requires the ongoing collaboration of law enforcement, TxDMV staff, and state and local leadership.
Criminals are obtaining vehicle dealer licenses to fraudulently issue temporary tags to vehicles used in illegal activities in Texas and across the country. Some use the fraudulent tags themselves, while others sell tags through social media or in-person deals.
TxDMV is pursuing initiatives on multiple fronts to combat this illegal behavior. The most significant of which is the continuing consideration and adoption of administrative rules necessary to implement the provisions of House Bill 3927, passed during the 87th Regular Legislative Session. The bill provides the authority for TxDMV to limit the number of temporary tags available to licensed dealers and terminate access to temporary tags when the department identifies licensed dealers are involved in fraudulent activities. The TxDMV Board will consider these rules for immediate adoption at its upcoming special meeting on January 27.
As part of regular department operations, TxDMV works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement to stop criminal activity related to temporary tags. Collaboration with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office recently resulted in numerous arrests in Montgomery County. The department is also working with local law enforcement to embed TxDMV investigators in operations around the state to help identify the illegal sale and use of temporary tags as part of criminal investigations. TxDMV welcomes any opportunity to work with law enforcement at all levels of government across the state as they pursue investigations into motor vehicle crimes.
“The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is grateful for the ongoing cooperation and engagement of law enforcement agencies across the state to combat the fraudulent use of temporary tags,” said TxDMV Executive Director Whitney Brewster. “My staff and I are committed to working with law enforcement in every way we can to end this illegal activity.”
Beginning in calendar year 2021, TxDMV dealer licensing and enforcement staff began reviewing licensing application records to verify existing licensed dealers and refer specific concerns to local law enforcement for potential criminal investigations. TxDMV staff is also able to use the information collected from these reviews to take administrative action to reduce access to temporary tag systems when appropriate and allowed by law.
Many of these joint law enforcement operations are funded by the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA), a division of TxDMV governed by a separate board. MVCPA awards grants to empower local law enforcement agencies and multi-agency taskforces to combat and prevent motor vehicle crimes. MVCPA taskforces work in local communities to stop criminal activities and educate citizens on automotive crime prevention.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles registers and titles motor vehicles, licenses motor vehicle dealers, credentials motor carriers, issues oversize/overweight permits, investigates complaints against dealers and motor carriers, and awards grants to law enforcement agencies to reduce vehicle burglaries and thefts. Learn more at www.TxDMV.gov. Subscribe to receive TxDMV news releases via email or text message.