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019-07 Increased Issuance of License Plates

Registration and Title Bulletin - #019-07

Date: June 12, 2007

To: All County Tax Assessor-Collectors

Subject: Increased Issuance of License Plates

These documents contain text of correspondence sent by TxDOT to the county tax assessor-collectors, statutory agents who provide vehicle registration and titling services for citizens in Texas. This information is provided to apprise the general public of issues affecting the state's vehicle titling and registration process.


To provide you information regarding the increase in the number of license plates issued under the "Needs Replacement" Program.


In December 2006, Registration and Title System (RTS) Version 5.3.0 provided functional changes in RTS to accommodate the registration and titling of exempt vehicles at the county (refer to RTB #075-06). This release also included a change to the method of plate age calculation in RTS from "renewal period" (which updated the plate age only after the renewal was processed) to "birth date" (which automatically updates the plate age each year from the month/year of issuance). This change resulted in license plate age changes as depicted in the following table:


Plate Age "Renewal Period" Calculation Replacement Required  Plate Age "Birth Date" Calculation Replacement Required After Change

 New License Plate 01/2001

 0 N/A  0  N/A

12/2001 Renewal

 0 No   1 No 

12/2002 Renewal

 1 No  2 No 

12/2003 Renewal

 2 No  3 No 

12/2004 Renewal

 3 No   4 Optional 

12/2005 Renewal

 4 Optional   5 Optional 

12/2006 Renewal

 5 Optional   6 Optional 

12/2007 Renewal

 6 Optional   7 Mandatory 

12/2008 Renewal

 7 Mandatory   8 Mandatory 

Under this new procedure, license plates not renewed for consecutive periods were corrected to reflect the plate age for the plate birth date. This resulted in an increase in the number of license plates being eligible for replacement under this program during calendar year 2007, and is the reason you are seeing some renewals that reflect a plate age greater than eight.

Testing has shown that the reflectivity of the license plate decreases dramatically after eight years. This plate replacement program identifies those plates that are approaching that plate age and provides for their "no charge" replacement once they reach the prescribed optional or mandatory replacement renewal periods. As license plate reflectivity is a major contributor to a driver's ability to recognize approaching vehicles, and plays a significant role in enhancing visibility of vehicles at night, the timely replacement of these plates is essential to providing the public a safer driving environment.


The counties may experience varying increases in mailing of license plates replaced under the "needs replacement" program. This increase will likely extend through the end of the calendar year and, possibly, into the early part of 2008. At that point, plate replacement volumes should return to approximately the monthly levels experienced in 2006.


If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact your local Vehicle Titles and Registration Division Regional Office. You may also call Bob Tanner, Director, Systems Management at (512) 467-5952.

In some cases the Registration and Title Bulletins (RTB) contain attachments. If you require a copy of the original signed RTB and the attachments, please e-mail us and include the RTB number. Repeat requests are

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