Deadline looming for driver amnesty program

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - (KTRE) - There are over 713,000 people eligible for the driver responsibility amnesty program. They're the ones with delinquent payments and no drivers license.

"And they suspend them for long periods of time, six months or a year or longer," Municipal Judge Juanita Springer.

Many people keep driving to work, school and the store. Each time, they risk getting ticketed again. Most do.

"The problem is if they don't take care of it," Trooper Greg Sanches said. "Then they're going to be revoked. They won't be legal to be out there on the roadway."

Automatic surcharges come with DWI-related offenses and other violations.

"No driver's license violation or a no-insurance violation," Springer said. "That's an automatic surcharge."

The amnesty program indicates the difficult time the state has collecting from offenders

"They have enough difficulty paying us," Springer said. "Then on top of that they have to pay the state. It's a double whammy, as far as financial."

So it's baffling. Only 13 percent of the more than 700,000 eligible drivers are taking advantage of a true bargain.

"Two-hundred dollars is what it would cost you to clear up $2,000 worth of surcharges," said Tanya Hall, director of the Nacogdoches County collections department.

You pay only 10 percent of what you owe.

"Hopefully, with them paying all their surcharges they will be able to get their license and stop getting the no driver's license tickets," Hall said.

The balance needs to be paid off by April 17. Go online to apply, get cleared and start driving legally.

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