AUSTIN – The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has seen great success with its innovative program to collect child support payments.
Under the program, which took effect last September, parents who have been delinquent in making their child support payments in the preceding six-month period will not be permitted to renew their vehicle registrations. Written notice is sent to these parents 90 days before registrations expire, allowing them enough time to contact the attorney general’s office and arrange a payment plan.
“The program was developed by the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division after the 80th legislative session provided the Title IV-D program with the authority to deny license renewal... SB 228,” Annette Hernandez, director of communications with the office of the attorney general’s child support division, explained to The Record.
Relative to the amount of child support the program has successfully retrieved, the costs of the program are quite low.
“The Denial of Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal program has a recurring monthly cost of approximately $17,000. This program alone has generated over $1 million in delinquent child support in the seven months since implementation,” said Hernandez.
More specifically, according to a press release from the AG office, “As of March 31, 2017, 3,852 parents have paid $1.17 million in child support payments on 4,634 cases, which averages $252 per case. The highest single amount collected was $54,000.”
The program does not require that delinquent parents make their back payments in full in order to renew their vehicle registration, but must make and honor a payment arrangement.
According to Hernandez, Texas is not the only state to have implemented the Denial of Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal program.
“The programs I am aware of exist in North Carolina and Florida,” she said.
However, according to the attorney general’s press release, the Texas Child Support Division “is the most successful and cost-effective program in the nation… The division collects $12.26 for every $1 spent to operate the program.”