TEXAS DPS is Violating State Law – Help needed!

Please call your Texas State House Representative
AND
Your Texas State Senator
(Not the U.S. members)

Find their information here:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

DPS Fingerprint Scanner

DPS Fingerprint Scanner

This is all you need to say:

“I want Representative _ _ _ _ and Senator _ _ _ to contact the Texas Attorney General immediately and demand that the Attorney General issue an order to the Department of Public Safety to promptly cease collection of all 10 fingerprints from persons applying for new driver licenses, renewal driver licenses, and I.D. cards, at least until the 84th Texas Legislature convenes and can address this issue through statute.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is violating Texas law. They are collecting full sets of fingerprints – all 10 digits – against legislative intent of the following Texas bills passed:

1967 HB 354 (60th Legislature) – Added thumbprints or index fingerprints (if a thumb was not available) requirement to application for original or renewal driver license
1995 SB 1252 (74th Legislature) – Extended thumbprints or index fingerprint requirement to application for duplicate driver license and personal identification certificate
2005 HB 2337 (79th Legislature) – Established the Image Verification System – requiring DPS to authenticate the facial image and thumbprints or fingerprint provided by an applicant”

The Attorney General represents the DPS. Only the Attorney General can take action to stop the DPS immediately, without waiting for the Texas Legislature to convene and begin passing laws. How many sets of fingerprints can DPS collect between now and then, against legislative intent?

The Department of Public Safety, through the Texas Administrative Code, has violated legislative law. DPS has been contacted by several Texas Legislators and yet they continue to collect prints of all 10 digits, against legislative intent.

Neither you nor I can make the AG’s office act. Only certain state legislators can.
According to the AG’s website, the entity that can initiate action on the part of the AG in this matter is “a committee of a house of the Texas Legislature”.

If you reside in the districts of the following legislators, contact them. They sat on a committee that discussed and voted one of these bills out of committee (either in 1995 or 2005). These bills specifically order the DPS to collect thumbprints only and the index finger when a thumbprint is not available; NOT all 10 digits. Representative Garnet Coleman sponsored the bill, so he would be ideal to contact if you live in Houston. Tell him his legislation is being violated.

-1995- SB 1252 (74R)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Garnet Coleman -Houston (713) 520-5355 / (512) 463-0524

Senate committee on State Affairs:
Sen. John Carona -Dallas (214) 378-5751 / (512) 463-0116
Sen. Jane Nelson –Grapevine (817) 424-3446 / (512) 463-0112
Sen. Royce West –Dallas (214) 741-0123 or (214) 467-0123 / (512) 463-0123
Sen. John Whitmire –Houston (713) 864-8701 / (512) 463-0115

-2005- HB 2337 (79R)
House committee on Defense Affairs & State-Federal Relations
Rep. Abel Herrero –Corpus Christi (361) 884-2277 / (512) 463-0462

Senate cmttee on Transportation & Homeland Security
Cmttee Chair: Sen. John Carona –Dallas (214) 378-5751 / (512) 463-0116
Sen. Rodney Ellis –Houston (713) 236-0306 or (713) 776-2228 or Missouri City: (281) 261-2360 / (512) 463-0113

If you reside in the voting districts of any of these Texas Legislators – PLEASE call them. Ask you neighbors to do the same.

Rights are like teeth; only floss the ones you want to keep,
and fight for the rights you want to retain.

BACKGROUND:

So that you can look this up yourself, the original bill (HB 354 in 1967) specifically stated that only thumb prints be collected. If a thumb print was not available then an index finger could be substituted, and this was specifically for original or renewal license applications. In 1995 the action was extended to duplicate licenses and personal I.D. cards. In 2005, the facial imaging photos were added. (clicking on the years above will take you to the bill wording)

The DPS takes statutes passed by the Legislature and enacts the law through the Texas Administrative Code. However, they violated the legislative intent in this particular case. First, they began collecting all 10 digit prints in January 2014 (according to a Dallas Morning News article – see below). Second, DPS didn’t change the Texas Administrative Code to collect 10 digits until an effective date of July 6, 2014. They’ve been caught with their pants down but you and I can’t do anything. Only a Texas Legislator can request the Texas Attorney General put a stop to this immediately.

Here’s the Texas Administrative Code where DPS tried to over-ride Texas statute:

PART 1 TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
CHAPTER 15 DRIVER LICENSE RULES
RULE §15.45 Fingerprints
An application for original, renewal, or duplicate driver license or personal identification certificate must include the fingerprints of the applicant. This section does not apply to an applicant who is permitted and utilizes an alternative method for renewing or duplicating a driver license or identification certificate.
…amended to be effective July 6, 2014, 39 TexReg 5191

To find this part of the Code:

http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.viewtac
TITLE 37 (PUBLIC SAFETY & CORRECTIONS)
PART I (TEXAS DEPT. PUBLIC SAFETY)
CHAPTER 15 (D.L. RULES)
SUB CHAPTER B (APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS)
RULE 15.45 (FINGERPRINTS)

To read three Dallas Morning News articles with more info as of this blog posting:

Watchdog: Driver’s license centers snatch your fingerprints
June 7, 2014

The Watchdog: Texas DPS no longer trying its hand at fingerprint processing
July 27, 2014

Texas DPS whistleblower insists officials aren’t being candid
August 2, 2014

One thought on “TEXAS DPS is Violating State Law – Help needed!

  1. Pingback: More on DPS Collecting Fingerprints | 89erPride

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