Tracing paper temporary license tags can be a real problem for Florida law enforcement officers, says the Miami Herald. They must seaarch a database and then call the dealership that sold the car or the motor vehicles department to find the car’s owner. If it’s after 5 p.m., good luck. Some criminals are using the delay to help secure their escape. In other cases, people using fake tags simply want to avoid paying for car insurance.
Police said the proliferation of sophisticated computer equipment and printers has made fake tags much easier to come by. Fake tags usually sell for $25 to $50; a real temporary tag in Florida costs $4.50 but requires proof of car insurance. Experts said the fake-tag problem is a national one. ”We’re allowed to drive all over the U.S., but how is a police officer in Colorado supposed to know what a temporary tag from New Jersey looks like?” asked Greg Kinnear, vice president of sales for OpSec Security Technologies. Florida is one of at least 30 states that use paper temporary tags while a metal plate is being issued. Kinnear’s company makes a more secure version of temporary license tags for 15 states. Others, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, are moving to directly issuing metal plates, bypassing temporary tags, Kinnear said.