Dallas Councilman Concerned Over Paper License Plates

Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway is concerned about temporary license plates in Dallas and brought up the issue at the Public Safety Committee meeting this week.

These paper tags are the ones that car dealerships put on vehicles when they’re purchased. They are temporary and must be replaced within a few weeks of putting them on the car.

Caraway has several concerns about the temporary tags in Dallas.

He said the writing is too small to quickly read on the back of the vehicle.

"If there's a hit-and-run and a person has a paper tag, you can't get the license number. If there's a robbery and the person has a paper tag, you cannot read the license plate," said Caraway.

Law enforcement said that police license plate scanners also can't scan the temporary license plates if there’s a glare on the plastic covering or if the plate is wet. So instead they will punch in the numbers to find the driver.

"They don't know the technology the City of Dallas and the police department has," said Caraway. "You cannot just ride behind one of those cars and just punch it in and match it up, that is not true."

Another one of Caraway's concerns is that there aren't license plates on the front and back of the vehicles.

Managers at Park Cities Ford said that temporary license plates have been evolving for many years.

When the dealership fills out a new paper license plate, they have to register the driver with the DMV. The driver then has up to 60 days to get a permanent license plate.

"The state, the county, and law enforcement knows that it belongs to this person and their authorized to be driving," said Jeff Enright, Park Cities Ford Managing Partner.

Dallas City Police Chief heard these concerns at the Public Safety meeting. He said he will look into it and bring back at report at the next meeting.

Caraway said this is also a state legislative issue and plans to keep talking about it.

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