Major cities in Connecticut have recently caught drivers using replicas of temporary license plates, which the Department of Motor Vehicles commonly issues car dealers.
“In the past couple weeks, we've seen an increase in fraudulent plates, paper plates, temporary plates, that are not real. It appears people are making them out of computer, then laminating them. Typically they replicate a dealer or repair plate,” said Waterbury Deputy Police Chief Chris Corbett.
Waterbury police pulled over a car with a fake plate and found two pounds of marijuana inside. Corbett said it can be dangerous because a fake plate means no record of the car.
“We can't track these people down. So, if they commit a crime, and a witness writes down license plate, it comes down to nothing, such as a hit and run, or a violent crime,” said Corbett.
Temporary plates are designed for customers who buy new cars and are waiting on plates they've ordered. They're usually accompanied by a signed agreement that drivers store in the glove box.
“If someone came in, for instance, and purchased a car, didn't have a plate, the dealer could give them a plate to put on the car,” said DMV Commissioner Melody Currey.
Currey said that often, people using false plates don't have insurance or the proper safety inspections done on the unregistered vehicles. Her office has been monitoring the problem for some time now and is looking for solutions.
“The staff is going to be issuing me a report tomorrow on status and suggestions on what we can do to really perfect this, so it doesn't happen as often,” said Currey.
Right now, using a fake plate is only an infraction.