Texas DMV head Whitney Brewster resigns amid widespread pressure to stop selling fake paper number plates

The head of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has resigned as the agency comes under pressure to address security vulnerabilities that have allowed criminals to create and sell hundreds of thousands of fake license plates.

Whitney Brewster announced She resigned on Monday but did not directly address the issue surrounding the sale of fake number plates.

The video above is from an earlier story.

“I understand our stakeholders’ frustration with the evolving issues and situations we are working daily to resolve,” Brewster said in a statement Monday. “Often the hardest thing about being a civil servant leader is stepping back and accepting that you’ve done all you can, and maybe it’s time to allow the new leader to take over.”

NBC 5 television station, based in North Texas, aired an investigation in November into how criminals exploited a loophole in the state’s system to create a $200 million business selling illegal license plates. across the country.

SEE MORE: The police chief will start searching for drivers with fake license plates on toll roads

The forged tags can be used by criminals to remain anonymous from law enforcement or by people whose vehicles fail to pass an inspection. They were forced into crimes in that area from evading toll fees and selling damaged vehicles to out-of-state robberies and robberies, The Houston Chronicle reported last year.

Temporary cards or license plates are issued to motorists to use for a short period of time before they register their vehicle or go to car dealerships to lend a car or for rallies.

However, criminals created hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tokens through security holes in TxDMV’s systems and then sold them for profit, NBC 5 reported. By posing as an auto dealer, the seller used fraudulent information to sell cards across US law enforcement officials who have warned of slow action by the department in resolving the matter, saying that it interferes with the violator’s ability to locate.

“Texas is leading the way in the number of fraudulently issued paper cards across the country,” said Brannon Coker, an FBI agent with the Houston Room, said in December.

SEE MORE: Fake paper plates cause real problems on the road and cost millions of Texas dollars

Last month, three people have been charged with a nationwide plan to sell these fake number plates – one of them is a Houston resident. The trio are accused of using fake auto dealers to issue nearly 600,000 car paper cards and then sell them online without selling any cars. If convicted, each faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Although the problem has existed for years, TxDMV officials say they don’t know how to deal with it. 1 statement, Brewster said the agency is “responsible for implementing laws that have been passed by the legislature” but has “limited authority” to pass that.

SEE MORE: Houston criminals use fake license plates to cover up their crimes

However, the Texas Legislature and TxDMV have both recently made policy changes to address the issue.

Texas legislators passed a bill in june allowing TxDMV to “take faster action when fraud is detected and reduce the number of cards at risk of illegal use,” according to the department’s press release late last month. The law allows officials to limit the number of temporary cards available to dealers and terminate access to temporary number plates if the department finds licensed dealers involved in illegal activities. France.

“These tools will reduce the possibility of criminals printing an unlimited number of temporary cards for illegal purposes while ensuring legitimate dealers have full access to the temporary cards needed to support the sale of vehicles,” the statement said.

Brewster has been with TxDMV since 2012. Shelly Mellott, the division’s deputy chief operating officer, was appointed interim chief executive officer until the board finds a replacement.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and interacts with them – about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues. Texas DMV head Whitney Brewster resigns amid widespread pressure to stop selling fake paper number plates

Dais Johnston

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