Port Neches man creates program to deter fake paper license plates and reduce crime – Port Arthur News
Quentin Reynolds worked as an emergency responder for years and realized a common problem.
Too often he would arrive on the scene to find a vehicle with a fake paper license plate. False documents have become a bit of his pet peeve, regularly spotting them while driving or driving.
“In dealing with the public I have seen and heard stories of the impacts of uninsured drivers, who have these plates. You have someone who abides by the law and does everything they can to get away with it, and then you have someone who for some reason doesn’t, and they have no recourse. For a very long time I wanted to know how this could be solved.
Reynolds had learned to code for computers for several years. During a gap year, he took an online course to become more familiar with the process. After becoming relatively comfortable, he realized he could potentially help solve one of the biggest problems facing the state and its personal pet peeve.
He created an app called Vin Guard that could create and read a QR code, which would contain vehicle and driver information. The app would only be available to state and licensed auto dealers.
“It’s blockchain-based,” he said. “It does create NFTs, but it’s not like anything else in use today… This app would take everything you can publicly tell about a vehicle by looking at it and getting to the facts about the car. It encrypts all of that Due to the way it is done, it runs on a private blockchain.
The QR code will be an NFT (Non-fungible token), which makes it harder to duplicate.
“The code can be printed on the license plate or returned as a sticker, like an inspection sticker,” Reynolds said. “The flip side is that no bad actor can access it. Someone could create a QR code if they wanted to. order an immediate verification of the condition of this license plate.
If the code is wrong, it will display an error on the app.
The app is more than just a one-trick pony. Reynolds said the database could also contain information that could also help law enforcement in the fight against auto theft.
“By removing counterfeit plates, it takes dangerous vehicles off the road,” he said. “The system could contain vehicles that have been flooded and deemed unsafe or unsalvageable. This prevents anything being issued for this vehicle ever again. Once it enters the system, you can forget about it.
Fake paper plates have been a big problem for the state in recent years.
“It’s really bad,” he said. “This week there was a report from Houston that Harris County had lost $80 million over the past six years. I extrapolated that to Jefferson County. We’re approaching $120,000… After researching, Texas lost up to $300 million for FY 2021 for unregistered vehicles. It doesn’t matter anything else. (The crime that comes with unregistered vehicles) is a huge problem… A lot of crime is related to fake paper plates. In 2021, there were three people the Justice Department managed to secure indictments against. They had generated more than 600,000 paper plates between three people.
For those who have access to the program to generate the codes, they will have to go through several steps to ensure its security.
“To access mine, you must have a reseller license,” he said. “It requires a fingerprint, which can be retrieved with a thumb drive, computer, or phone. It requires a picture of the person associated with that account. Once they’ve been granted access, it creates a profile like with anything else. This information is embedded in the code. If law enforcement shows it, they can see my name, address, vehicle condition, and insurance. It’s extremely efficient. “
Reynolds contacted several government officials and received interest from some of the state’s most senior officials.