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ASK A COP: Texas vehicle registration waiver ends this week

ATTENTION all motorists: In the state of Texas your vehicle registration waiver will end Wednesday (April 14). This waiver was enacted by Gov. Abbott on March 16, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Law Enforcement officers have been given the green light to once again stop motorists and cite them for expired registration.

If you haven’t registered your vehicle, NOW is the time to do so. It was originally believed there would be a grace period, but now the official announcement has been made, there bill be NO grace period for obtaining an updated registration sticker. Reminder that our registration process is two steps, whereas you must pass a state of Texas vehicle inspection before you can obtain a registration sticker.

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website, there are three ways to register your vehicle: Visit TxDMV.gov/register. This is the quickest and least expensive way to renew. Save $1 if you renew online. Online renewal is available up to nine months past your registration expiration date.

Mail return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment and other required information to your county tax assessor-collector.

Visit the office of your county tax assessor-collector.

In many counties, in-person renewal is also available at other locations, such as certain grocery stores. Contact your county tax office to check hours and locations.

Orin from Groves asks: I’m well aware Texas has reopened against the recommendation of the CDC and I’m an individual that has NOT yet been infected by COVID-19 and I take all precautionary measures to avoid being infected. If I’m stopped by any law enforcement officer during this pandemic and they approach my driver door without a mask and tell me to roll my window down, do I have to roll my window down since they will be within six feet and not wearing a mask? Could they talk to me through the window? I’m not trying to get sick and I know police officers come in contact with many different individuals daily.

Answer: I am in agreement with you that the coronavirus pandemic is still active. I do my best to adhere by the CDC guidelines by wearing a face covering and practicing physical/social distancing of at least six feet. Orin, proper communication with an understanding will need to take place in the traffic stop that you mentioned. But if you’re stopped and given a lawful directive by a police officer who isn’t wearing a mask and you’re concerned about your health, I’d suggest you request the officer speak to you from the passenger-side window. If your request is denied, comply to all legal directives that are given to you, Orin make sure you have your personal protection equipment on. All sworn police officers at the Port Arthur Police Department are suggested to wear personal protected equipment when interacting with the citizens. As strongly as Chief Tim Duriso feels about protection from the coronavirus, I don’t see him rescinding this mask and PPE suggestion until the CDC lifts its protection recommendation.

Peter from Port Arthur asks: I was debating with a friend about NOT signing a ticket that was issued by a police officer. It’s not that she refused to sign the ticket, but the police officer somehow must have omitted requiring her signature because it’s not on the ticket? Is the ticket still valid if she didn’t sign it?

Answer: When someone is issued a citation, commonly known as a ticket, by a police officer in the state of Texas, the usual procedure is to have the person sign it as a promise to appear before the court on or before a specified date and time. If there was no signature on your friend’s citation, warn her it’s still a VALID document and they should address the court about the charge(s) on the citation. The court will normally subpoena any person who received a citation that doesn’t have an accused violator’s signature, and hasn’t appeared by the court date listed on the citation.

Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM “The Breeze” every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as Antoine discusses Ask A Cop. You can also tune in via ksapthebreeze.org. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247. Remember to email questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!