Information About Temporary Tags in Texas

Texas Temporary Tag Administration:

Since the end of the 87th Legislative Session, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has taken action to curtail and prevent the fraudulent production of, access to, and use of temporary tags and timed permits. Implementation of House Bill 3927 allowed the department to place limits on the number of temporary tags licensed Texas dealers can create, consistent with the actual sales volume of their business and other business-specific factors, and provided TxDMV authority to immediately deny access to the temporary tag system when fraudulent activity is identified. The department complemented these statutory changes with numerous operational enhancements, including simplified coordination with law enforcement; expanded access to data by law enforcement; additional data validation prior to issuance of temporary tags and timed permits; additional automatic checks on vehicle identification numbers; enhanced licensing review standards; and fingerprint-based criminal background checks on license applicants. The department documented activities implemented to prevent the fraudulent use of the temporary tag process in October 2022.

These actions have been highly effective in reducing the extent of fraudulent temporary tag activity. Continued work with law enforcement identified the opportunity to further reduce temporary tag fraud related to counterfeit tags. Counterfeit tags are produced by criminals using various tools outside TxDMV systems. To obstruct such activities, department staff has redesigned the look and embedded security features of official TxDMV temporary tags issued by licensees.

New Temporary Tag Design:

A new design for Texas temporary vehicle tags will be issued for use beginning December 9, 2022. The redesigned Texas temporary tags are more complex and secure than the existing design and include numerous additional data points and security features to facilitate law enforcement identification of counterfeit tags. A sample of the tag components include:

  • Printed over a Texas flag watermark
  • Highlights the expiration date of the tag
  • Identifies the specific type of tag issued
  • Identifies the vehicle year and make
  • Identifies the issuing dealer
  • Font selection and size maximizes readability of primary components
  • Includes both active and passive security features identifiable by law enforcement
  • Includes numerous pieces of embedded data and text, linked to law enforcement databases, that can be created only by internal TxDMV computer systems