DMV System Granted Access to Unlicensed Car Dealership
BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville woman said the arrest of two relatives for selling temporary license plates is a misunderstanding.
Deisy Yael Lopez-Becerra and Jesus Lopez-Becerra were charged for selling temporary license plates on an expired license.
Their car dealership is lined up along east 14th Street in Brownville. Areli Lopez took over the business since they were arrested. She said the state is to blame.
Dealers get registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue out temporary license plates. They receive a username and a password to access the department’s computer system.
Lopez said they got on the phone once their license expired in November.
“We called the state asking what to do about the cars once the licenses expired. They told us we had three months to get rid of the inventory,” she explained. “That’s why we thought we had three months to use the system… When the system let us log in, we thought were right about the time.”
Investigators found out temporary plates were being issued while their license was expired. Lopez said her relatives were arrested after a random inspection.
“When the license is expired, that’s it. You can’t sell them,” she said. “We didn’t know that. This is the first time we have a dealer’s license. We didn’t know any of that.”
Brownsville Police Department spokesman J.J. Trevino said it doesn’t matter.
“It’s the dealership’s fault because of the fact they were issuing paper plates while their license was expired,” he said.
Trevino said it’s the responsibility of the dealership to make sure they’re following the laws. Lopez said the state should put more restrictions on the computer program.
“If the license is expired, we shouldn’t be able to log into the system,” she said.
A current license from the DMV currently hangs in their office. Lopez said her relatives plan to fight their charges.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out the Department of Motor Vehicles about their restrictions. We didn’t receive a response as of news time.
Consumers who purchased cars from the dealership will not be affected. The temporary license plates are legal.