Friday, October 22, 2010

State changes course on driver surcharges

The Texas Department of Public Safety has finally come to the conclusion that hitting motorists with surcharge after surcharge is not working. The Public Safety Board has decided to implement a plan by which those with incomes less than 125% of the poverty level who are in default will have their surcharges reduced to 10% of what's owed up to $250. Once arrangements are made for payment the license suspensions will be lifted and the motorists will not be in danger of picking up additional surcharges and suspensions for driving on an invalid license.

Of course the program doesn't apply to motorists who have been paying their surcharges, nor does it apply to anyone making more than 125% of the federal poverty line (approximately $27,562 for a family of four).

The real solution to the mess is to rescind the Driver Responsibility Program altogether so that motorists don't fall into an endless cycle of surcharges and suspensions.

1 comment:

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Actually, there is also an amnesty provision for those who've already defaulted on their surcharges. From a DPS press release:

"The Amnesty program:

· Will apply to individuals who have been in default, and the Department will determine the time in default for each amnesty period
· Will reduce amount to 10 percent of total surcharges owed, not to exceed $250
· Will rescind suspension for those who receive amnesty while payments are being made."

Those who are current on their surcharges, unfortunately, won't get a break.