Crime Watch: AG to block vehicle registration for those deliquent on child support

If parents aren't paying child support, they will lose the ability to register their vehicles. It's a new program the attorney general's office has come up with to collect what is due to custodial parents.               

As FOX 7's Noelle Newton shows in this week's Crime Watch, some local offenders owe more than $100,000.

If parents don't pay their child support law enforcement will come knocking. Travis County constables serve warrants daily.

Precinct 5 Constable Carlos Lopez's office receives around 600 per year. He hosts warrant round ups annually. Last year, his deputies arrested more than 50 in a week.

"We had at least three subjects who owed more than $100,000 dollars. One of the individuals we arrested [owed] more than $150,000 dollars,” said Lopez.

Statewide the wanted offenders owe even more. Tomas Roman owes $202,000 for two children. His last known address was in Houston.

Jerry Bigelow owes $181,000 for five children. His last known residence was in Georgetown.

The attorney general's child support division tracks those who are behind on payments and has come up with another mechanism to gain compliance

"This new initiative will block the renewal of vehicle registrations for parents who have missed the last six child support payments,” said spokesperson Janece Rolfe.

Parents who are behind on payments will get a notice in the mail in September.

An arrest is not the ultimate goal. Spokesperson Janece Rolfe says a phone call is so that the AG's office can make a payment arrangement. At that point the hold on the registration will be released.

"We see that parents when faced with non-renewal of a license or registration they call us, they make a payments arrangement and money starts coming into their children. We don't want to deny anyone of their transportation. We do want them to call us and pay their child support,” said Rolfe.

Should parents not comply, Lopez's deputies will come looking for them.

"It's sad that you have to go through those extremes to get people to call and make arrangements, but if it keeps people out of jail, I'm all for it,” said Lopez.