Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 396
By: Wise
Public Safety


Under current law, all applications for a Texas driver's license must state
the applicant's full name, and place and date of birth and must be verified
by presentation of proof of identity satisfactory to the Department of
Public Safety (DPS).  DPS sometimes requests that social security cards be
presented because DPS uses social security numbers to track applicants who
owe child support.  However, some applicants may not be eligible for social
security cards.  House Bill 396 provides a list of acceptable alternatives
or documents that DPS may use in lieu of social security numbers to help
applicants obtain a valid drivers license. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Public Safety in
SECTION 2 (Section 521.142(a), Transportation Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 396 amends the Election Code to prohibit the Department of
Public Safety from providing a voter registration application form to a
person who applies in person for an original or a renewal driver's license
and provides for verification of identity a passport, federal
identification card, voter identification card or work permit bearing a
photograph of the applicant and is issued to the applicant by another
country or a governmental agency of another country, or a duplicate
original birth certificate or certified copy of a birth certificate issued
by another country unless the person also presents acceptable proof that
the person is a citizen of the United States.  The bill provides an
exception to the requirement that a licensing authority request and an
applicant for a license provide the applicant's social security number for
the purpose of assisting in the administration of laws relating to child
support enforcement. The bill provides that an application for a driver's
license may be accompanied by the applicant's social security number, an
SSA L-676 letter from the Social Security Administration stating that the
applicant is ineligible to obtain a social security number, a tax
identification number issued to the applicant by the Internal Revenue
Service, or a notarized affidavit from the applicant stating that the
applicant has not been issued any of these documents.   
The bill also amends the Transportation Code to specify what proof of
identification an applicant for an original driver's license must provide
to verify that applicant's full name and place and date of birth.