The Texas “Two Steps – One Sticker” program was supposed to simplify matters for vehicle owners in the Lone Star State. As the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began to merge the state’s vehicle and registration programs into one windshield sticker, problems predicted by at least one lawmaker began to emerge.
The program designed to eliminate one of the two required stickers on the inside of vehicle windshields launched on March 1st. But, on February 25th, House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) predicted a shaky launch. “I personally believe it is going to be chaos for a little while,” Chairman Pickett said to DMV officials, according to an article by Dug Begley in the Houston Chronicle.
It turns out, Pickett was correct. Between massive billing errors where some vehicle owners ended up paying double what they owe and systems that are supposed to verify the status of your current state inspection not functioning properly, chaos is exactly what is happening at Tax Assessor-Collectors’ offices across the state.
Harris County (Houston) is the largest issuer of license plate registrations and renewals in Texas with over 3.7 million renewals per year, according to Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan. He said Dallas County is a distant second with over 2 million renewals.
“The new single sticker program has the potential to be a positive for motorists, but TxDMV has certainly stumbled out of the gate,” Sullivan told Breitbart Texas in response to an inquiry. “The implementation is causing strong backlash from the public. Taxpayers are becoming fed up with the problems.”
“I’ve got people demanding to see me and calling my office,” Sullivan told the Houston Chronicle. “This is a state issue, but the county tax assessors are the face of this… (Motorists) are angry and frustrated, saying they’ll never vote for Mike Sullivan again. I’m a big boy, I can take it, but I feel bad for the people coming in.”
The Chronicle said that 321,927 renewal notices for April went out with errors. Of that number, 83,541 were sent to the eight-county area surrounding Houston. Nearly 57,000 of those were in Harris County alone. In addition to the billing errors, officials ran into problems with the status of some could not be verified electronically.
Because of the billing errors, some inspection stations continued to charge motorists the state’s portion of the inspection fee which the motorist had to then pay again when they arrived at the Tax Assessor-Collector’s office.
Sullivan was less than impressed with the statewide roll out of the program. “Out of the gate, it was poorly launched,” Sullivan told the Chronicle. “The advertising wasn’t there and many people didn’t know about it. The (DPS) website was mediocre at best, to the point I created my own.” Sullivan’s “OneSticker.net” website provides more complete information for Harris County taxpayers.
The informational video (shown above) produced by the Texas DMV to inform taxpayers about the new program has only been viewed a little over 17,000 times since it was launched on October, 2014.