The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is statutorily required to enforce the laws passed by the Texas Legislature.  As such and based on concerns and questions raised by a number of legislators regarding the statutory authority of DPS to collect all 10 fingerprints in order to obtain a driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card, effective Monday, Feb. 9, the department will cease collecting all 10 fingerprints in order to obtain a DL or ID card.

The department will continue to comply with Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.059*, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2005, which requires the department to collect “an applicant’s thumbprints or fingerprints.”  The department will comply with any further direction or legislative action taken by the Texas Legislature regarding this matter.

*Sec. 521.059.  IMAGE VERIFICATION SYSTEM.  (a)  The department shall establish an image verification system based on the following identifiers collected by the department:

(1)  an applicant’s facial image; and

(2)  an applicant’s thumbprints or fingerprints.

(b)  The department shall authenticate the facial image and thumbprints or fingerprints provided by an applicant for a personal identification certificate, driver’s license, or commercial driver’s license or permit using image comparison technology to ensure that the applicant:

(1)  is issued only one original license, permit, or certificate;

(2)  does not fraudulently obtain a duplicate license, permit, or certificate; and

(3)  does not commit other fraud in connection with the application for a license, permit, or certificate.

(c)  The department shall use the image verification system established under this section only to the extent allowed by Chapter 730, Transportation Code, to aid other law enforcement agencies in:

(1)  establishing the identity of a victim of a disaster or crime that a local law enforcement agency is unable to establish; or

(2)  conducting an investigation of criminal conduct.

(d)  Expired.