Deputy constables will begin to look for drivers with fake paper license plates on toll roads

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- For the next two weeks, the Harris County constable's offices are stepping up enforcement on fraudulent paper plates.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority announced the "Tag You're It" initiative that will focus specifically on toll roads.

"We are trying to stop everybody, but there are more temp tags than there are officers," Sgt. Alex Gonzalez with Precinct 5 said.

Folks can expect to see double the number of law enforcement, both stationary and driving the tollways.

"We will run them and if it doesn't come back to that specific vehicle that's our probable cause to stop them," Sgt. Gonzalez said.

Precinct 5 started cracking down on fraudulent plates in April of 2021. From the time they started to December, the constable's office reportedly gave 2,100 tickets and made 10 arrests.

SEE RELATED STORY: Fake paper plates causing real problems on the road and costing Texas millions

Sgt. Gonzalez said they are trying to cut off the issue at the source by cracking down on individuals and small dealerships that are providing people with fake tags.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles will vote on Jan. 27 on two items that would regulate dealerships as well. The first will establish a maximum number of temporary tags that a dealer can issue in a year. The second will allow vehicles to be denied access to the temporary tag database or to get temporary tags without an inspection.

Records requests by ABC13 found the state is losing millions of dollars in revenue because of the temporary tags, partially because of tolls.

The Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority recorded 968,688 cars with untraceable plates traveled through their 14 toll booths in one year. During the same period, TxDOT had almost 773,000 cars with invalid plates travel on their sections of the Grand Parkway, which consists of 36 toll booths.

HCTRA said they had 412,000 cars in a year through their 121 toll booths.

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