Late or missing child support checks are a problem for single parents across the nation, but Texas is attempting to crack down on child support payments that have fallen into delinquency. As CBS DFW reports, the ability to register a car is now linked to a driver's child support payments being in good standing. The program, which went into effect in September 2016, prevents drivers who have not paid the child support from being able to renew their cars' registration. More than 4,600 cases have received payment since the law was enacted.
The primary custodial parent is often the mother, and 48 percent of single mothers in the Lonestar State have incomes below the poverty line. In the past, the government tried to recoup these payments by withholding tax refunds, the garnishment of wages, and even taking lottery winnings. Other licenses have also been denied for being behind in child support payments.
According to the SE Texas Record, delinquent payments do not have to be paid in full for the parent to be able to register his or her vehicle. The parent who has fallen behind gets a letter 90 days before their registration is due so there is ample time to get a payment plan put together before their registration expires. In only seven months the program has collected over a million dollars in back payments, and in one case, $54,000 was received. The average amount for one case is just over $250.
In addition to Texas, Florida and North Carolina have programs linking vehicle registration to child support.