Mar 11, 2010 4:42 PM by Rob Kirkpatrick
State Rep. Billy Chandler, D-Dry Prong, will file legislation during the upcoming legislative session to remove the additional $15 record check fee for license holders of both Class "D" (chauffers' licenses) and Class "E" (personal vehicle driver's licenses) which was recently imposed.
The legislature gave the Dept. of Public Safety the authority to impose the $15 fee in 1993 to cover the cost of the federal mandate for a National Driver's Register. At that time the department decided to place the fee only on commercial driver's licenses.
The $15 increase was effective March 8, increasing the cost from $21.50 to $36.50 for all new and renewal licenses. The additional fee is expected to generate $13 million which will be used to offset state budget cuts.
Chandler said, "We cannot continue to impose fees or taxes on our constituents to cover budget cuts. These fees will be particularly hard on citizens living on fixed incomes, especially during these difficult economic times. A driver's license is a necessity and the additional fee affects everyone who applies for a license."
The proposed legislation will not affect the fee imposed on commercial drivers' licenses to conduct background checks for suspensions, cancellations, revocations, or for licenses held in other states which is mandated by federal law. Chandler said his legislation will not affect this fee, which has been collected since 1993."