Texas DMV improves state vehicle registration sticker - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas DMV improves state vehicle registration sticker

AUSTIN, TX (KCBD) - The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) Monday announced it is giving Texas drivers what they asked for: An improved registration sticker.

During a press conference Thursday at the Tarrant County tax office in Arlington, the department unveiled a TxDMV vehicle registration sticker that allows drivers to see the expiration date through the back side of the sticker, much to the relief of Texans who found the sticker's blue back distracting and those who say seeing the date from inside their car or truck helps them to remember when to renew their registration.

"Texans told us what they wanted and we listened," said TxDMV Board Chairman Victor Vandergriff. "Everyone who owns a vehicle in Texas is familiar with this blue and white sticker that resides on the driver's side windshield.

"For those drivers who found glancing at the lower left-hand corner of their windshield caused them to see a big blue blob rather than a defined sticker, we're happy to tell you it will soon be gone," he added.

Changes in the manufacturing process allow the sticker's expiration date to be seen from inside the vehicle. The front of the sticker will carry the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles name and logo.

The registration sticker keeps the features Texans said they like, including the blue border that allows drivers to place the sticker on their windshield without showing fingerprints.

The TxDMV began mailing the new registration stickers last week to county tax offices. To avoid waste and save taxpayer money, the state's 254 county tax assessor-collectors will exhaust their existing sticker stock before issuing the new version.

There are more than 21 million registered vehicles in Texas – the second highest in the country. Texas is the largest state to issue windshield stickers customized for the vehicle to which they are affixed. Each sticker features the owner's license plate number, county of residence, and partial vehicle identification number.

"Law enforcement can use this information to help identify stolen vehicles or use it to help identify the vehicle owner when there's an accident," said John Ames, the Dallas County tax assessor-collector. "It's also a deterrent to license plate theft because police can readily see whether the plate number on the car and sticker match."

When the customized sticker was introduced in 2004, drivers could see the expiration date from inside their vehicles, but they did not like that the printed paper was exposed nd the sticker's clear edges, which needed to be touched during application, sealed fingerprints to the windshield.

"Four years ago the current sticker design was released and while customers liked the front, they were unhappy with the blue back," said Betsy Price, the Tarrant County tax assessor-collector. "Customers really care about the registration sticker, how it looks, and whether they can check the date of expiration from inside their vehicle."

Price added she believes the TxDMV has hit the mark. "The department has responded to what customers said they wanted," she said. "It would be unrealistic to think that every owner of the millions of vehicles in Texas will be completely satisfied, but the TxDMV is proving it will do everything it can to satisfy as many customers as possible."

Randy Elliston, the TxDMV's Vehicle Titles and Registration Division director who oversees the sticker's production, said Texans also can expect to see a new registration renewal notice. The department began mass mailing the TxDMV registration renewal notices at the beginning of September. "One of the first things you'll notice on the back of the renewal notice is we make sure to thank you for being a Registered Texan," he said.

Revenue from vehicle registration contributes more than $1 billion each year to build and maintain Texas highways, roads and bridges. About a third of the registration fee stays in the county where the vehicle is registered and is used for local road and safety projects.

Learn more about vehicle registration at www.TxDMV.gov or www.registeredtexan.com. Join the vehicle registration conversation at Registered Texan on Facebook, and follow the department's activities on Twitter @TxDMV.

Copyright 2010 KCBD.  All rights reserved.

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