LUBBOCK, Texas – What could happen if you do not update the home address on your Texas driver’s license after you move?
“In Texas, your address on a driver license or ID card must be changed within 30 days after moving to your new residence,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said online.
How much will this cost?
A replacement license for a change of address costs $11. But failing to update can cost you eligibility for your homestead exemption. Depending on your local school tax rate, the lost exemption can cost you more than $400, according to Tim Radloff, Chief Appraiser, with the Lubbock Central Appraisal District.
Do homeowners lose the exemption only until the problem is fixed?
“Correct,” Radloff said. “Only until they fix that driver’s license.”
The DPS will issue a paper copy of the license until the actual replacement arrives.
“If we have that with a new [homestead] application and obviously a picture of the old one, we would go ahead and grant the exemption,” Radloff said.
But how would an appraisal district even know if the license is not up to date? The Lubbock CAD has been conducting a homestead audit for several months. Other districts also do audits. If the LCAD records do not match Texas DPS records for home address, the exemption can be lost.
What about a traffic stop when the address is not up to date?
“It’s a Class C misdemeanor,” said a spokesperson for DPS. “There is no jail time for a Class C misdemeanor.”
Ordinarily, a Class C can be a fine of up to $500. However, a spokesman for the Lubbock Police Department quoted state statues as saying, “An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.”
Also, Texas law calls for the charge to be dismissed with only a $20 fee if the address is updated within 20 business days (typically 30 calendar days) of the traffic stop.
How does someone update the address?
There are three ways to request a replacement driver’s license for a change of address. It can be done online, mail-in or in person at a driver’s license office.
For online, the license or ID card cannot already be expired. You must be at least 18 years old, and your social security number must already be on file with the DPS. For mail-in replacements, the requirements remain the same, but the form can be printed and mailed to Texas Department of Public Safety, PO Box 149008, Austin, Texas, 78714-9008.
To do it in person, locate the nearest office.