Mid-Coast calling on Texans to support HB 623

Mid-Coast Family Services is calling on Texans to call their legislators to support House Bill 623.

HB 623 was introduced on January 3rd and would provide an exemption for homeless residents to have fees waived towards issuing a driver’s license or personal ID card.

Mid Coast President Lisa Griffin says having this bill approved would go a long way towards getting homeless back on their feet and working again.

“It’s very important. It’s not an easy process and it’s an expensive process. But, if that particular portion of it was free and at no charge, it would certainly make things better. It would speed up the process of people being able to get back to work as well.”

If the bill is voted into law, the fee waivers for the homeless would go into effect in September.

Below is the official HB 623 bill as it was written:

By: Neave
H.B. No. 623

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subchapter R, Chapter 521, Transportation Code,

is amended by adding Section 521.4265 to read as follows:

Sec. 521.4265. EXEMPTION FOR HOMELESS INDIVIDUAL. (a) In

this section, “homeless individual”:

(1) means an individual who:

(A) lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate

nighttime residence; or

(B) has a primary nighttime residence that is:

(i) a supervised publicly or privately

operated shelter designed to provide temporary living

accommodations, including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and

transitional housing for the mentally ill;

(ii) an institution that provides a

temporary residence for individuals intended to be

institutionalized; or

(iii) a public or private place not

designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping

accommodation for human beings; and

(2) does not include an individual who is imprisoned

or otherwise detained in a correctional facility.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (f) and (i), a

homeless individual is entitled to an exemption from the payment of

fees under this chapter for the issuance of a driver’s license or

personal identification certificate.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a person’s status as a

homeless individual must be confirmed by a notarized affidavit

from:

(1) an employee of a homeless shelter or transitional

housing facility;

(2) an employee of an organization that provides to

homeless individuals or assists homeless individuals in obtaining

services such as health services, mental or behavioral health

services, substance abuse services, public assistance services, or

employment services;

(3) an attorney licensed to practice law in this

state;

(4) a peace officer who is an official homeless

liaison;

(5) an employee of a faith-based organization that

provides benefits or services to homeless individuals; or

(6) a counselor or administrator at a school attended

by the homeless individual.

(d) A person may not charge a fee for the affidavit

described by Subsection (c).

(e) An affidavit described by Subsection (c) may not be used

for a driver’s license or personal identification certificate

application if the affidavit was signed more than 60 days before the

date the application is submitted.

(f) Subsection (b) does not apply to a person subject to the

registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal

Procedure.

(g) For each exemption granted under this section the

department shall deposit to the credit of the Texas mobility fund an

amount from the identification fee exemption account under

Subsection (h) that is equal to the amount of the waived fee that

would otherwise be deposited to the mobility fund.

(h) The identification fee exemption account is created as

an account in the general revenue fund of the state treasury. The

fund consists of grants and donations made to the department for the

purposes of this section. The department shall administer the

account. Money in the account may be appropriated for the purposes

of Subsection (g).

(i) The department may not grant an exemption under this

section if money is not available in the identification fee

exemption account to meet the requirements of Subsection (g).

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.

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