Unpaid child support is an issue across the nation, but Texas officials have found one way to help remedy the problem. According to CBS DFW, parents with unpaid child support bills are unable to renew their car’s registration. With approximately one million parents across the state responsible for making child support payments, almost half of them are behind in payments by one month or more. Mothers are often the primary custodial parent, and in Texas 48 percent of single mothers and their children have incomes below the poverty line.
With late or missing payments so common, the state already had several avenues to collect payment, including garnishing wages and withholding lottery winnings and tax refunds. Some licenses for recreation and even professional purposes have not been approved due to owed child support payments in the past, as well.
According to KVUE, the program began in September 2016, and Texas has already collected $1.7 million in owed child support. In one case, $54,000 was collected, but the average case produces $252. If a parent has missed payments for the last six months, he or she receives a warning letter in the mail about three months in advance of the renewal date for the car registration stating that the parent needs to work out a payment plan in order to renew. The parent does not have to be completely caught up in order to receive their car’s registration, but a payment plan does have to be in place to be eligible, and the parent must follow the arrangement.