End long lines at the license centers!

No half-billion spending increase without fixing the real problem.

The Department of Public Safety suggested last month that it will need $420 million more from tax payers to expand driver-license centers.

Instead, we should reduce the lines by addressing the underlying problem -- rampant license suspension for unpaid tickets and fines. The Driver Responsiblity surcharge, a fee added by the state to a local traffic fine, must be paid once a year for three consecutive years. Nonpayment in any year results in automatic license suspension. 1.4 million Texans are dealing with this, and these complex renewals are slowing the lines for everyone.

Michigan recently waived its uncollectible fee debt, eliminated its "driver responsibility" fee, and gave people their licenses back.

Renewing a drivers license should be simple. Verify the residential address, make sure the person doesn't need better glasses, take a new photo, then send people on their way.

Texas must repeal the failed "driver responsibility" fee and return the drivers license to its original purpose (ensuring drivers are qualified to be behind the wheel.)

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To: Texas Senate