Temporary License Plates

For most states, the use of synthetic paper helps optimize durability, security and readability during the temporary plate time period.

Temporary license plate fraud is on the rise. There are accounts on the news of criminals using temporary plates to commit crimes because of how difficult it is to identify the vehicles. State agencies are losing toll and parking revenue from drivers using fraudulent temp plates. With COVID shutting down motor vehicle offices and causing law enforcement staffing shortages, temporary plate fraud has become a national issue.

As a result, there is a movement to update temporary license plate programs. States are shifting from handwritten cardboard plates to durable and more secure temporary license plates. These plates are printed on-demand at the dealer. They incorporate multiple identification and security features to aid law enforcement and plate vehicle identification efforts. Synthetic durable paper designed for laser or inkjet printing has become the recommended material for this application.

Why do temporary license plates need more security?

Today, most states are not tracking or using a controlled stock for temporary plates. To make matters worse, there are many suspect websites offering temporary plates to the public.

Plates that are handwritten or use a small font make it nearly impossible for law enforcement to identify drivers, which is vital for instances of hit-and-runs or other criminal acts. Beyond public safety concerns, states also are losing revenue on fake temp plates sold on the internet to avoid paying toll road fees.

Adding security to plates assists law enforcement, parking/toll monitors and vehicle agencies in identifying vehicles driven without valid license plates. The addition of security features on plates also makes them difficult to alter or duplicate.

Temporary plates that meet industry standards

Until recently, there has not been a national standard for temporary plates. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) has now released an updated license plate standard that provides best practice information on materials and what should be printed on plates. This standard calls for security features, controlling access to stock and printing temporary plates on-demand using special number fonts that are designed for plate readers. Additionally, durable materials should be used.

Here is an example of how plates should be printed to meet AAMVA standards.

Printable synthetic paper is the material of choice

The use of synthetic paper optimizes durability and readability during the life span of temporary plates. Some states and dealers still use paper cardstock or cardboard for temporary plates. But these paper plates simply do not hold up when exposed to moisture, which damages printed numbers and barcodes beyond recognition. Synthetic stock solves durability problems because is it weatherproof, tear-proof, waterproof, fade-resistant and tolerant of high and low temperatures.

RELYCO specializes in synthetic papers that are used specifically for laser and inkjet printing applications. We partner with many of the leading laser and inkjet printers to ensure our materials work well in most desktop and large format digital printers. RELYCO’s synthetic paper is called REVLAR.

REVLAR is the best synthetic paper for temp plates

REVLAR is a unique, innovative and easily printable synthetic paper. With REVLAR, you have the option of adding different security features, such as watermarks, state seals, control numbers, QR codes, holograms, tamper evident films, etc.

REVLAR has an ultra-bright white background, which allows large bold plate numbers to stand out to ensure compatibility with open road tolling and electronic license plate readers (LPRs).

We offer different template options. There are REVLAR options for automobiles, motorcycles, trailers, watercraft and recreational vehicles. We also have templates with special die-cuts and perforations for including a temp registration card with a plate.

Temporary plate experience provides a level of trust

RELYCO is a leading industry expert in temporary license plates. With our temporary plates being used by 12 states, RELYCO has experience providing a wide range of plate options. Many of our customers are auto dealers who purchase plates directly from RELYCO, some are state agencies and others are agency contracted print providers who purchase blank stock that is then customized for state contracts.

RELYCO understands the requirements for building temporary plate programs that are best in class and meet motor vehicle agency industry standards. We’re a trusted advisor that not only supplies the material, but we also help states set up secure and durable temporary plate programs.

One of our newest programs is used in California, which recently passed legislation for durable temporary plates. We have also provided plate solutions in Texas, Arizona and Nevada for many years. In Nevada, RELYCO worked directly with the Nevada DMV to set up a special program for auto dealers.


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