Houston

Lawmakers begin hearings on paper license plates

The hearings are geared toward stopping scammers from promoting the short-term plates.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers on Tuesday begin listening to arguments on paper license plates geared toward stopping scammers.

The Texas House Transportation Committee is scheduled to sort out the difficulty first with the Senate anticipated to carry extra hearings within the coming weeks.

The video above is from a KHOU 11 News report from April 6.

A loophole with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has allowed pretend automobile dealerships to print and promote short-term plates.

The state listening to was scheduled to occur as county leaders in Houston plan to launch new statistics on the impacts of fraudulent short-term license plates in Harris County.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia stated pretend plates have price an estimated $80 million in lost income over the previous six years as crimes involving automobiles with short-term tags jumped by greater than 300%.

The head of Texas Department of Motor Vehicles in February resigned amid strain on the company to handle safety vulnerabilities which have allowed criminals to create and promote tons of of 1000’s of faux paper license plates.

Whitney Brewster announced her resignation on the time however didn’t immediately deal with the difficulty surrounding the sale of faux license plates.

RELATED: Fake paper plates in Texas: A multimillion-dollar legal enterprise hiding in plain sight, police say

“I understand the frustrations of our stakeholders to the problems and evolving situations we are working daily to resolve,” Brewster stated in an announcement on Feb. 7. “Often the hardest thing to do as a public servant leader is to step back and accept that you have done everything you can, and that it might be time to allow new leadership to take the reins.”

Texas lawmakers handed a bill in June that authorizes TxDMV to “take swifter action when fraud is identified and to reduce the potential number of tags at risk for illegal use,” in line with a division press release late final month. The regulation permits officers to restrict the variety of short-term tags accessible to sellers and terminate entry to short-term plates if the division finds out licensed sellers are concerned in unlawful actions.

RELATED: Head of Texas DMV resigns amid strain to cease widespread sale of faux paper license plates

The Texas DMV has acted in opposition to sellers it stated are abusing the system.

Records obtained by KHOU 11 News present that the company revoked the license to print tags from 34 Texas sellers from the beginning of 2021 via the final week of February. Many of them have been in Houston. 

According to HPD’s Auto Theft Task Force, the DMV has put new limits on the variety of tags a single vendor can print every month and made it simpler to shortly shut down sellers for fraud.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this report.

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