AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Under current law, the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas (DPS) has the authority to issue renewal and duplicate driver's licenses, election identification certificates, and personal identification certificates. As the state's population has increased, so has the demand for these services. Unfortunately, DPS has been unable to meet this growing need. In many areas of the state, it is an inconvenience for Texans to obtain these services due to either overcrowding at their local DPS office, or the lack of a DPS office within their vicinity altogether.
S.B. 1729 authorizes DPS to enter into an agreement with a county clerk or county assessor-collector to train the staff of the respective office to provide services related to renewal and duplicate driver's licenses, election identification certificates, and personal identification certificates.
S.B. 1729 amends current law relating to an agreement between the Texas Department of Public Safety and a county for the provision of renewal and duplicate driver's license and other identification certificate services, and authorizes a fee.
Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas in SECTION 1 (Section 521.008, Transportation Code) of this bill.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 521, Transportation Code, by adding Section 521.008, as follows:
Sec. 521.008. PILOT PROGRAM REGARDING THE PROVISION OF RENEWAL AND DUPLICATE DRIVER'S LICENSE AND OTHER IDENTIFICATION CERTIFICATE SERVICES. (a) Authorizes the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish a pilot program for the provision of renewal and duplicate driver's license, election identification certificate, and personal identification certificate services in:
(1) not more than three counties with a population of 50,000 or less;
(2) not more than three counties with a population of more than 50,000 but less than 1,000,001;
(3) not more than two counties with a population of more than one million; and
(4) notwithstanding Subdivisions (1)-(3), any county in which the department operates a driver's license office as a scheduled or mobile office.
(a-1) Authorizes DPS, under the pilot program, to enter into an agreement with the commissioners court of a county to permit county employees to provide services at a county office relating to the issuance of renewal and duplicate driver's licenses, election identification certificates, and personal identification certificates, including:
(1) taking photographs;
(2) administering vision tests;
(3) updating a driver's license, election identification certificate, or personal identification certificate to change a name, address, or photograph;
(4) distributing and collecting information relating to donations under Section 521.401 (Statement of Gift);
(5) collecting fees; and
(6) performing other basic ministerial functions and tasks necessary to issue renewal and duplicate driver's licenses, election identification certificates, and personal identification certificates.
(b) Prohibits an agreement under Subsection (a-1) from including training to administer an examination for driver's license applicants under Subchapter H (Education and Examination Requirements).
(c) Requires a participating county to remit to DPS for deposit as required by this chapter fees collected for the issuance of a renewal or duplicate driver's license or personal identification certificate.
(d) Authorizes the commissioners court of a county to provide services through any consenting county office. Authorizes a county office to decline or consent to provide services under this section by providing written notice to the commissioners court.
(e) Requires DPS to provide all equipment and supplies necessary to perform the services described by Subsection (a-1), including network connectivity.
(f) Requires DPS to adopt rules to administer this section.
SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter R, Chapter 521, Transportation Code, by adding Section 521.428, as follows:
Sec. 521.428. COUNTY FEE. Authorizes a county that provides services under an agreement described by Section 521.008 to collect an additional fee of up to $5 for each transaction provided that relates to driver's license and personal identification certification services only.
SECTION 3. Effective date: upon passage, or September 1, 2013.