HB 2671

84(R) - 2015
House Homeland Security & Public Safety
House Homeland Security & Public Safety
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Senfronia Thompson


Larry Phillips
Joe Pickett

Bill Caption

Relating to the suspension of a driver's license or denial of a driver's license renewal for failure to pay a debt owed to a governmental entity or failure to appear in court.

Fiscal Notes

The fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time. The bill would make a number of changes to the amounts, timing, and applicability of existing driver responsibility program surcharges and the net effect cannot be determined.

Bill Analysis

The bill allows a judge to dismiss a charge of operating a motor vehicle without a required license if the defendant obtains a driver's license within 60 working days of the offense. A judge may also dismiss a charge of driving without insurance if the defendant obtains motor vehicle liability insurance within 20 working days of the offense. The judge shall assess a $50 administrative fee for charges dismissed under these provisions. It cannot be determined how many people would use these options, but the Office of Court Administration (OCA) indicates in each such case, there would be a reduction in Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) surcharge revenue to the state and an increase in revenue to the county.
The bill prohibits the Department of Public Safety (DPS) from extending the period of license suspension for a person convicted of driving while license invalid, if the person has not been convicted of a the same offense in the previous 36 months, and the person's license is suspended at the time of the current offense because of failure to pay DRP surcharges. It is assumed any costs to the agency associated with this change could be absorbed within existing resources.
The bill removes the driving while license invalid surcharge for a first offense and only applies the surcharge for a second or subsequent conviction. DPS estimates this change would result in a loss to the state of approximately $2.2 million per year in General Revenue and $1.9 million to Trauma Facility & EMS Fund 5111. 
The bill changes surcharge amounts under the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) for driving while intoxicated, driving while license invalid, driving without insurance, and driving with no license. It also changes the surcharges from being assessed each year for three years to being assessed once. The change in the surcharges for DWI offenses and driving without a license does not affect the total assessed amount overall. The change in the surcharge for the offenses of driving while license invalid and driving without insurance could have a negative fiscal impact since defendants will be paying $100 less in surcharges overall. Changing from assessing surcharges over three years to a one-time assessment would increase the revenue expected in the first year but decrease it in the subsequent two years.
The bill also extends the length of installment plans offered by DPS for surcharge payments totaling $500 or more from 36 to 48 months, which would decrease revenue from assessments within a given year. 
The bill requires the Texas Education Agency to develop rules to require information about the DRP and surcharges from that program in curriculum for driver education and driver safety courses. The Texas Education Agency estimates any additional work resulting from the passage of the bill could reasonably be absorbed within current resources.

Vote Recommendation Notes

HB 2671 gives those not in compliance with the law ample opportunity to come into compliance. This supports our principle of personal responsibility, and we support the bill.

Organizations Supporting

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Texas Association of Goodwills
Texas Public Policy Foundation