FAQ: How Coronavirus Affected Texas Driver License Expiration Date, Actual ID Necessities, and Extra

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As the coronavirus continues its journey through the Lone Star State, Texans may have several questions about how the ongoing pandemic affects things like jury duty, driver’s license expiration date, elections, and more. (Courtesy of Fotolia)

As the coronavirus continues its journey through the Lone Star State, Texans may have several questions about how the ongoing pandemic affects things like jury duty, driver’s license expiration date, elections, and more.

Here is a summary of some frequently asked questions with corresponding answers.

Editor’s note: have a question about how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has impacted a government regulation? Let us know by email at sklnews@communityimpact.com and we will try to get the answer for you.

How has the coronavirus affected the expiration date of the Texas driver’s license?

Effective March 18, Governor Greg Abbott announced the temporary waiver of expiration dates for driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, voting cards and ID cards. That is, if a license or card expires on or after March 13, 2020, it will fall under the period that includes the State of Disaster Statement relating to COVID-19 and will remain valid for 60 days. Thereafter, the Ministry of Public Security will publish a public notice that the extension period for this disaster declaration has been lifted.

How has the coronavirus affected the deadline for enforcing Real ID?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on March 26th that the deadline for enforcing the Real ID had been extended by one year to October 1, 2021. The original deadline for enforcement was set for October 1, 2020.

How has the coronavirus affected vehicle registration, titling and related services?

Effective March 16, Abbott issued a statement granting a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, registration renewal, vehicle designation, and permanent disabled parking sign renewal. The temporary waiver will last for 60 days after the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has notified the public that normal vehicle registration, titling and related services have resumed. Since vehicle inspections must be carried out before the vehicle registration is renewed, these can also be delayed.

How has the coronavirus affected legal proceedings?

The Texas Judicial Branch issued its first coronavirus-related emergency warrant on March 13, urging all judges to “avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors and the public” without the consent of an attendee. The Company’s Third Emergency Order, dated March 18, changed the first Emergency Order by prohibiting judges from personally conducting non-material proceedings against local, state, or national directors, whichever is most restrictive in terms of maximum group size. Finally, with the eighth emergency order of April 1, the first order was also changed, which postponed all service and limitation periods in civil matters from March 13 to June 1. For more information on all the Texas Judicial-related emergency orders related to the Coronavirus Branch, click here. For information on country-specific jury duties, juries are encouraged to contact their respective district clerk.

How has the coronavirus affected the deadline for completing the 2020 census?

As previously reported by the Community Impact Newspaper, the US Census Bureau initially planned to start tracking non-responses in early April, but pushed it for early May, citing concerns from its census participants who go door-to-door to collect responses . The office now plans to complete the count by mid-August, an extension from the original July 31st date.

How has the coronavirus affected the upcoming elections?

As reported by the Community Impact Newspaper, Abbott issued a proclamation on March 18, allowing political divisions to postpone local elections on May 2nd to November 3rd general election day.

As reported in Community Impact Newspaper’s partner publication, The Texas Tribune, Judge Tim Sulak said on April 15 that he would issue an injunction that would allow all voters who risk exposure to the coronavirus if they are in person voting under part of a postal vote goes to the Texas Election Code, which allows postal voting for voters who lead a disability.