Houston-area authorities noticing custom metal decorative license plates illegally on cars

Authorities in the Houston area are warning against drivers using fake decorative license plates on their vehicles.

"It’s a problem, because it’s not a legal license plate," said Montgomery County Pct. 4 Lieutenant Jim Slack. "It doesn’t have registration attached to the vehicle on it. The fees associated with it that go to the roads and bridges in the state, those were not paid. So, the state is losing on those types of things. If these vehicles are used in an offense of some sort, there’d be no way for us to track those people down for investigations."

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This week, the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office pulled over a driver who was using a fake metal license plate on their car.

"The driver said he just moved from out of state," said Slack. "He needed a license plate for a vehicle he just purchased. He went to Amazon to find such a thing."

FOX 26 looked on Amazon and saw several different options that sell vintage license plates. Easily, they can be customized with personal numbers and letters for different states.

"You might think you’re just doing something to make your car look cooler with a colored plate or a Texans logo," said Sgt. Tracy Hicks from the Houston Police Department. "But, you’re drawing attention to yourself, and who knows what other kind of tickets you might end up with."

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The license plates are illegal to drive with on vehicles. Authorities say they actively look for people driving with fake plates.

"We can tell if those plates are real or not," said Sgt. Hicks.

"Don’t buy license plates on Amazon," said Slack. "You can get in trouble for it. You can get fined and the plate confiscated. And, it’s just not the right thing to do."

An Amazon spokesperson provided the written statement below:

"Third party sellers are independent businesses and are required to follow all applicable laws, regulations, and Amazon policies when listings items for sale in our store," said an Amazon spokesperson.  Those who violate our policies are subject to action including potential removal of their account."