SB 616

86(R) - 2019
Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security
House Homeland Security & Public Safety
Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security
House Homeland Security & Public Safety

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Brian Birdwell


Dawn Buckingham
Bob Hall
Bryan Hughes
Robert Nichols
Kirk Watson


Chris Paddie

Bill Caption

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas, the conditional transfer of the driver licensing program to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the abolition of the Texas Private Security Board, the transfer of the motorcycle and off-highway vehicle operator training programs to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and the regulation of other programs administered by the Department of Public Safety; imposing an administrative penalty; authorizing and repealing the authorization for fees.

Fiscal Notes

The General Revenue fiscal impact of the bill cannot be determined at this time due to the unavailability of certain fiscal estimates associated with the transfer of the driver license program. There would be fiscal impacts to the Texas Mobility Fund and the Motorcycle Education Account.

Bill Analysis

SB 616 is the sunset bill for the Department of Public Safety and would transfer various administrative operations and non-law enforcement functions. The bill provides for the conditional transfer of the driver license program from DPS to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill also includes provisions extending the sunset of DPS for 12 years, extending the term of a non-commercial driver license from six to eight years, creating the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board, requiring DPS to track and publicly provide crime statistics as part of its border security performance reporting, while also amending certain regulations regarding private security services. SB 616 would also add requirements to DPS that relate to upgrading the background checks for certain persons dispensing controlled substances under the Texas Compassionate Use Act.

Additionally, the bill would extend the term of renewal for noncommercial driver's licenses from 6 years to 8 years and increases fees for license renewals for motorcycles, mopeds, and commercial driver's licenses without a hazardous materials endorsement. Fee increases would also include a renewal cost for a Class M license.

SB 616 would transfer the Off-Road Vehicle Operating Training Program from DPS to the Texas Department of License and Regulation (TDLR). The transfer would encompass all duties, assets, and existing authorities of the program. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

CSSB 616 is a bit of a mixed bag in that it contains a number of provisions we support, such as extending the terms of most drivers licenses, while also containing provisions we oppose such as increasing the renewal fee for a Class M license and creating a Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board. For these reasons we remain neutral on CSSB 616.