Sgt. Joe Escribano

Sgt. Joe Escribano of the Travis County Constable’s Office Precinct #3 Clean Air Task Force conducted an eTAG – or temporary tag – course recently at Texas State Technical College’s campus in Harlingen.

The multi-agency training included members of the TSTC Police Department, several local police departments, and area magistrates and prosecutors.

The training covered all aspects of temporary tag enforcement, including countermeasures, detections, interviews, and criminal charges. The event benefited TSTC and the surrounding community by offering tactics that can improve patrol operations. That knowledge will assist all attendees in traffic law enforcement.

Additional focal points of the training included examining the definition of an eTAG, the reasons behind the alteration of eTAGs, and other areas.

Escribano discussed a temporary tag system known as webDEALER, which the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles operates. The system is used to create buyer tags, process title applications and simplify processing dealer tags throughout the state in real-time for law enforcement officials.

“There are three security lines that run through a tag,” he said. “These are the same as permits. There will be a geometric layout, state seal, and a bar code reader.”

Drivers cannot operate a vehicle that displays a temporary tag that is in violation of a transportation code – or any other unauthorized temporary tag. If they do, their vehicle will eventually be pulled over.

Juan Lucio, a TSTC police officer, added that identifying the specific clues to the various types of eTAGS is interesting.

“Typically, we do not get this type of traffic with buyers near the campus,” he said. “These situations normally occur at auctions. However, we do keep an open mind. We never know if a driver might reroute through our area. In that scenario, this course will definitely be beneficial.”

For more information about the Clean Air Task Force in Austin, visit

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