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Texas changes laws on license plates and child support

In an effort to force people to pay their child support, Texas is changing the laws. Now, those who owe money are not going to be able to renew their license plates.

It's illegal to drive without a current license plate. Those who don't renew once a year could be pulled over by the police when the outdated sticker is noted, and they could face fines. They could also see fines if pulled over for another offense if the officer runs the plates and then notices that the plate is expired.

Lawmakers are looking for real-world ways to get people's attention and make them pay. By limiting how much people can drive -- and basically making it impossible until they pay up -- they are taking a stance that will impact anyone who owns a car.

The law previously gave authorities the power to suspend a driver's license. While this could be helpful, it is technically possible to drive on a suspended license without getting caught, and many people do. It's harder to drive without that sticker on the plate.

There are some stipulations. You'll still be able to renew your plates if you just missed one payment. This change is only going to impact those who are behind by at least 185 days.

Part of the reason for this is that no state pays more in child support than Texas. In 2015, residents paid around $4 billion. Naturally, that also means the state ranks highly when looking at those who are neglecting to pay.

If you are owed child support, this change could help you get the money sooner. Be sure to look into your legal options to get what you deserve.

Source: KRGV.com, "State Cracking Down on Late Child Support Payments," May 23, 2016

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