State Cracking Down on Late Child Support Payments

Posted: Updated:

EDINBURG — Texas is cracking down on people who are falling behind on their child support payments.

“If you’re over 185 days delinquent, I'm not going to be able to sell you that license plate renewal,” said Pablo Villarreal, Hidalgo County tax assessor-collector.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles are partnering together.

“They're going to be implementing it, and I'm going to be enforcing it,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal is trying to get the word out now.

“I'm asking the residents that may have some issues with child support to, hopefully, please go out there and try to be up to date,” Villarreal said.

Janece Rolfe, communications director with the Attorney General’s Office, said Texas racks up more child support than any other state in the nation. Last year, nearly $4 billion was collected.

"The law already allows the suspension of driver and professional licenses. This is another avenue for getting parents who are behind on child support to pay what they're legally obligated to pay,” Rolfe said.

Esteban Salinas, a parent who pays child support, said, “With the license suspension, we can't really work. By taking from us, how do you want us to pay?"

Salinas said he just got his driver’s license back. He had no idea about the new mandate that’s about to take effect in September.

“How do I take my kids to school? How do you want me to work? How do you want me to get from point A to point B? You're just slowing us down from actually progressing,” he said.

Parents who owe child support need to pay up. The Attorney General’s Office said parents can make payment arrangements with them.

The Attorney General’s Office said parents will get a forewarning if they have fallen behind on their child support payments. A reference to the delinquency will be included with their registration renewal notice.

Parents who are behind will also receive a letter from the Attorney General’s Office three months prior to their vehicle registration.

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