Texas lawmakers were busy during the 2017 Legislature making laws. It’s what they do.

Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to show your photo ID the next time you use a debit or credit card to make a purchase. Many retailers already ask to see an ID, but as of January 1, Texas law will allow any retailers to reject any sale where shoppers can’t or won’t show their photo ID.

Senate Bill 1381 states, “While clearly not a panacea, [this bill] allows a merchant to request government-issued photo identification at the point of sale and will provide the ability for that merchant to decline a transaction.” The law was passed by Texas lawmakers as a measure to help cut down on data breaches that have affected millions of shoppers on the past few years.

SB 1381 is only one of more than two dozen laws that are in effect now. Here’s a look at a few of the new laws.

Voter ID

Senate Bill 5 is a law geared to relax voter requirements. The bill passed into law after the courts ruled that the 2011 state law discriminates against Latino and black voters, now giving voters who say they can’t obtain required forms of ID more options.

Anyone who has a “reasonable impediment” to obtain a photo ID may now show an alternate form of identification; such as bank statements, utility bills, paychecks to vote. The law also goes on to state, anyone who lies about a photo ID and then uses it to vote will face being charged with a state jail felony.


Transfer of ownership of a vehicle just got easier under Senate Bill 1062. Currently, federal law requires odometer disclosure to be made on a secure form to prevent tampering. Up and until this month the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has had a carbon copy paper form that has to be mailed, delaying the ownership transfer process.

SB 1062 lets the state now accept an electronic copy – whether the vehicle is for sale or an insurance claim – his should speed things up for consumers.


Senate Bill 1381 increased the amount milk trailers can haul. The increase is now up to 90,000 pounds as compared to 80,000 pounds. The permit will cost haulers $1200 and the revenue is split between the counties where the trucks run, the state highway fund and the DMV. 


House bill 1036 now requires commercial health insurance providers in Texas to cover the cost of 3-D mammograms, rather than just the traditional 2-D test. No longer will women and men be asked when they go for their annual mammogram if they want to pay the extra charge – which is $100 or more – to have a 3-D mammogram.

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women.

More information

A full list of the 25 bills that are in effect this month can be found at www.lrl.state.tx.us.

Source: TexasGov.com, TexasLegislature.com