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Texas Lawmakers Reconsider Driver ID Program For Non-Residents

Wikipedia Commons

Members of the Texas House are taking another look at implementing a driver ID program for those who may be in the country illegally.

The Texas House State Affairs Committee is reviewing whether or not a driver ID program is needed. During the 2013 legislative session, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, authored legislation that addressed a 2011 law requiring proof of legal residency when applying for a driver’s license. 

“The reality is these individuals are still driving, and as we are getting ready to discuss today many individuals are getting insurance without a driver’s license,” Cook said.

State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Kingwood, said the state needs to enforce existing laws instead of making new ones. But state Rep. René Olivera, D-Brownsville, said he doesn’t agree with that assessment, and that the people in his district have been directly impacted by the 2011 residency law.

HUBERTY: “So some of it -- some of it is that they are choosing not to buy it, they’re just choosing not to comply with the law, so it seems to me to be a matter of enforcement."

OLIVERA: "But Rep. Huberty if you can’t afford it, it doesn’t matter what the law is. Without a license they are thrust into a higher market; it's at least double in some instances" 

There are currently similar driver ID programs in 12 other states.