HBA-TYH H.B. 378 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 378 By: Williams Transportation 4/12/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Texas does not offer special license plates for constables or deputy constables. However, many Texas counties require their constables and deputies to provide their own cars to be used in an official capacity. Constables or deputies may encounter certain individuals who do not recognize the personal cars as law enforcement vehicles because of the lack of any specific indication on the vehicle. Special license plates would alert a driver of the approach of a law enforcement officer. H.B. 378 allows the state to issue special license plates for constables and deputy constables. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter F, Chapter 502, Transportation Code, by adding Section 502.2952, as follows: Sec. 502.2952. TEXAS CONSTABLE LICENSE PLATES. (a) Requires the Texas Department of Transportation (department) to design and provide for the issuance of special license plates for a passenger car or light truck that is owned by a person who is a constable or deputy constable of this state. (b) Requires the license plates to bear the words "Texas Constable." (c) Requires the department to issue such a license plate to anyone who applies to the county tax collector in the county of the person's residence on a form prescribed by the department, pays the fee prescribed by Subsection (d), and submits proof that the person is a constable or deputy constable of this state. (d) Provides that the fee for registration and issuance of the special license plate is the fee otherwise prescribed by this chapter for the vehicle. (e) Provides that registration under this section is valid for one year and expires in the same manner as do regular motor vehicle registrations, except as provided by Subsection (f). (f) Provides that registration expires when the owner of the vehicle for which the special plates were issued ceases to be a constable or deputy constable. Requires the owner to return the special license plates to the department. (g) Requires the owner of a vehicle for which plates are issued to return the special plates to the department, if the person disposes of the vehicle during a registration year, and provides that the person may at that time apply for issuance of those plates to another vehicle. (h) Authorizes the owner of the vehicle for which the plates were issued to obtain replacement plates from the department by paying a replacement fee of five dollars, if the license plates are lost, stolen, or mutilated. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.