paper tag nation

Texas Officers Show Support for Bill Eliminating Temporary Paper License Plates

Grand Prairie officers were among those attending the hearing

NBC Universal, Inc.

Police officers from across Texas packed a hearing room in Austin demonstrating their support for a bill that would eliminate temporary paper license plates. 

Since 2021, NBC 5 Investigates has exposed how the paper tag system has been riddled with fraud.

Officers, including Grand Prairie Chief Daniel Scesney, showed up at a House Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday urging lawmakers to switch from paper plates to metal tags that they say would be harder for crooks to counterfeit and sell online.

"I don't think anybody can look at this issue with plain common sense and come to any other conclusion that paper tags are bad for Texans. So I'm optimistic that our elected officials will get this done," Scesney said.

Scesney has made it his mission to eliminate paper tags. As NBC 5 Investigates first reported on Monday, Scesney’s department has confiscated hundreds of fraudulent tags in recent months many of them replicas of the Department of Motor Vehicles' new paper tag format that was supposed to be harder to copy.

Among the group showing support were Grand Prairie officers who worked alongside Brandon Tsai, who died in November in a crash while pursuing a car with a fraudulent paper tag.

Wednesday, Scensney and Rep. Craig Goldman from Fort Worth passed out fraudulent tags the Grand Prairie Police Department made with each of the House Transportation Committee members' names on them, trying to illustrate just how easily the new paper tags can be manipulated and reproduced.

Goldman and Scesney told the committee metal tags are the best solution and told NBC 5 Investigates they were humbled by the number of officers who turned out to back their message.

"Very humbling. Very humbling. I mean, when we filed the bill in November, we heard from law enforcement all over this state," Goldman said.

The bill was left pending in committee but could come up for a committee vote in the next week.

Senator Royce West has introduced identical legislation in the Senate.

Goldman and West have said they were motivated to act after seeing NBC 5 Investigates' series of reports which first showed how crooks were becoming licensed car dealers so they could get into the state's computer system and system and produce and sell tags for profit.

Since NBC 5 first reported on this issue in 2021, the Texas DMV has taken steps to shut down many of those so-called dealers, but counterfeiters quickly filled the void producing replica tags.

Now, many police officers are hoping the legislature will help put a stop to that.


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