The TxDMV Board adopted new rules regarding identification requirements for titling vehicles and first-time registrants in Texas last week. The rules “pave way for future automation” and, beginning in September 2013, will limit acceptable forms of ID (see listing below). The rules were required by revisions to the Transportation Code during the last session that required acceptable identification be determined by the DMV board. News Release
The rule was passed amid some controversy over the acceptance of the “Mexico Matricula Consular” card. The Consulate identification card is often issued to illegal aliens who do not possess US documents. An incredible amount of testimony and discussion transpired during two meetings of the TxDMV board – in April when the rule was presented for public posting and again last week prior to adoption.
I did not support passage of the rule in its presented form.
Based on testimony and reports provided by TxDMV, TIADA (Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association), and various law enforcement officials, competing forces were at work – money and public safety. On the one hand, car sales could plummet with more rigid requirements resulting in less sales tax revenue for the State. Conversely, law enforcement testimony and presented reports indicate acceptance of the matricula undermines immigration enforcement and compromises US security. I was so convinced by the testimony that I adopted a policy limiting sources of identification in June. That policy must now be rescinded.
Other issues that concerned me involved acceptance of expired TX driver’s licenses and addition of a processing fee for bonded title transactions. I could be getting a bit old fashioned, but it seems that, with rare exception, purchasers of motor vehicles should have a valid – not expired – driver’s license! With regard to the new fee, I support the economic philosophy that tax and fee increases are counterproductive in a depressed economy. Although a $15 bonded title fee may not create a hardship for many, it was not warranted.
Ronald Reagan popularized the medical ethic to “Do No Harm”. I am not certain that tenet was at work last week but only time will tell.
Cheryl E. Johnson, RTA
On Sept. 1, 2013 and thereafter, acceptable government photo identification will include:
· Texas driver’s license or identification certification issued by a US state or territory
· United States or foreign passport
· United States military identification
· North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) identification
· United States Department of Homeland Security identification-issued document
· Identification issued under a U.S. Status of Forces Agreement
· United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation
Section 501.023(a) requires that, “The owner of a motor vehicle must present identification and apply for a title as prescribed by the department…” and Section 501.0235(a) requires that title applicant must provide current identification “as determined by department rule.”