With the return of the Texas Legislature less than a month away, many lawmakers have been busy pre-filing legislation. Few have filed more than State Rep. Tony Dale (R–Cedar Park) and his most recent bill is very encouraging.
Today, Dale filed HB 580 and HB 581 which shore up laws relating to limited-term driver’s licenses. Currently the Texas Department of Public Safety issues approximately 3,000 licenses each month to non-citizens with legal status to work or reside in the United States.
Dale’s legislation shores up that process by requiring that temporary permits include language stating that they are not valid for voting or federal purposes such as boarding an aircraft.
The legislation also requires the licenses appear substantially different from a standard Texas Driver’s License and for applicants to submit ID records, insurance records, and be fingerprinted before a license can be obtained.
The measure also updates election procedure and training materials to make clear to election judges that temporary licenses are not a valid ID to vote in Texas.
“These bills will make clear that a limited term drivers licenses and personal identification certificates are not valid forms of identification with regards to voting or other federal purposes,” said Dale in a statement. “It is important that the differences between these types of identification are well-defined and there is transparency as to the privileges associated with each type of license.”
Dale’s legislation is an encouraging step in the right direction in improving both election law and public safety. It’s also a direct repudiation of House leadership, including State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook (R–Corsicana), who has repeatedly authored legislation to give driver’s permits to illegal aliens.