Part of the responsibilities of the Office of the Texas Attorney General (AG) is the collection and enforcement of child support payments. To carry out that mission, the AG can implement policies to aid in the collection of past due support. For example, driver’s licenses or other state-issued licenses can be suspended if a person is behind on support payments.
The newest addition to these collection tools will go into effect with the renewal of vehicle registrations beginning in December of this year. If a person is six months or more behind in child support payments, they will not be able to renew their vehicle registration until the past due child support is addressed. The entire past due amount does not necessarily have to be paid in order to lift the renewal ban if a satisfactory payment plan is set up. The AG has set up a dedicated phone line for these situations. It should be noted that this policy applies to the renewal of existing registrations, but not to applications for the registration of new vehicles.
Although the policy does not go into effect until December, the impact may be felt as soon as this month as registration renewal notices are sent out three months in advance.
The policy will most certainly have its supporters and its critics. It is not the role of this blog to advocate policy one way or the other, but simply to provide information regarding family law in Texas. The more this policy change is shared, the better-informed parents can be and avoid an unpleasant surprise when registration renewal time rolls around.