TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 4. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION

CHAPTER 84. DRIVER EDUCATION AND SAFETY

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 84, Subchapter A, §84.2; Subchapter C, §84.41 and §84.44; Subchapter D, §84.51; Subchapter E, §84.62; Subchapter F, §84.70; Subchapter M, §§84.500, 84.502 and 84.503; and Subchapter N, §84.600, regarding the Driver Education and Safety program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the December 8, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 6856). The rules will not be republished.

The adopted amendments primarily implement Senate Bill 848 (SB 848), House Bill 912 (HB 912), and House Bill 1372 (HB 1372), 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017). The adopted amendments also replace outdated language and make editorial corrections. The legislation (SB 848/HB 912) removed outdated language; expanded the population of persons who are authorized to provide instruction in the 'parent taught’ driver education program; reduced the driver education course provider bond to $10,000; and authorized driver education and driving safety course completion certificates to be issued electronically. House Bill 1372 added a requirement that the curriculum for each driver education and safety course include information on the proper use of child passenger safety seats.

The adopted amendments to §84.2 remove a definition that was repealed in SB 848 and HB 912 relating to certain qualification for license.

The adopted amendments to §84.41 implement SB 848 and HB 912 authorizing driver education certificates to be issued electronically.

The adopted amendments to §84.44 implement SB 848 and HB 912, removing a burdensome requirement in the driver education and driving safety instructor license renewal process.

The adopted amendments to §84.51 correct an existing typographical error.

The adopted amendments to §84.62 implement SB 848 and HB 912, reducing the driver education course provider bond to $10,000.

The adopted amendments to §84.70 repeal language that was repealed in SB 848 and HB 912 relating to certain qualifications for license.

The adopted amendments to §84.500 implement HB 1372, adding information relating to child passenger safety seats to driver education school curriculum.

The adopted amendments to §84.502 implement HB 1372, adding information relating to child passenger safety seats to driving safety course curriculum.

The adopted amendments to §84.503 implement HB 1372, adding information regarding the proper use of child passenger safety seats to specialized driving safety courses of instruction.

The adopted amendments to §84.600 implement HB 1372, adding information regarding the proper use of child passenger safety seats to the driver education Program of Instruction for Public Schools.

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the December 8, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 6856). The deadline for public comments was January 8, 2018. During the 30-day public comment period the Department did not receive any public comments.

The Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (Committee) met on February 7, 2018, and recommended the proposed rules be adopted without changes. At its meeting held on February 20, 2018, the Commission adopted the proposed rules without changes as recommended by the Committee and the Department.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

16 TAC §84.2

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800723

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER C. DRIVER EDUCATION SCHOOLS AND INSTRUCTORS

16 TAC §84.41, §84.44

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800724

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER D. PARENT TAUGHT DRIVER EDUCATION

16 TAC §84.51

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800725

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER E. DRIVING SAFETY SCHOOLS, COURSE PROVIDERS AND INSTRUCTORS

16 TAC §84.62

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800726

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER F. DRUG AND ALCOHOL AWARENESS PROGRAMS AND INSTRUCTORS

16 TAC §84.70

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800727

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER M. CURRICULUM AND ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

16 TAC §§84.500, 84.502, 84.503

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800728

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER N. PROGRAM INSTRUCTION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, EDUCATION SERVICE CENTERS, AND COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES COURSE REQUIREMENTS

16 TAC §84.600

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800729

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: December 8, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


CHAPTER 92. RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS

16 TAC §§92.1, 92.10, 92.20 - 92.22, 92.30 - 92.32, 92.51, 92.52, 92.60, 92.80, 92.90, 92.91, 92.95

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts new rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 92, §§92.1, 92.10, 92.20 - 92.22, 92.30 - 92.32, 92.52, 92.80, 92.90, 92.91 and 92.95, regarding the registration of Course Providers and Online Responsible Pet Owner Courses, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 12, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 147). The rules will not be republished.

The Commission also adopts new rules at 16 TAC, Chapter 92, §92.51 and §92.60, regarding the registration of Course Providers and Online Responsible Pet Owner Courses, with changes to the proposed text as published in the January 12, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 147). The rules will be republished.

The Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 162 (H.B. 162), 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017), which established the registration of Course Providers and Online Responsible Pet Owner courses to be administered by the Commission and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department). The adopted new rules provide for the Department to perform the various functions, including registration, compliance, and enforcement, necessary to regulate this program. The adopted new rules are necessary to implement H.B. 162.

The adopted new §92.1 establishes statutory authority.

The adopted new §92.10 creates the definitions to be used in the Responsible Pet Owners program.

The adopted new §92.20 provides for the course provider registration requirements.

The adopted new §92.21 establishes the renewal requirements for the course provider registration.

The adopted new §92.22 details when a registration may be denied.

The adopted new §92.30 provides for the responsible pet owner online course general requirements.

The adopted new §92.31 details the course requirements for the responsible pet owner online courses.

The adopted new §92.32 details the attendance verification requirements for the responsible pet owner online course.

The adopted new §92.51 establishes the responsibilities of course providers.

The adopted new §92.52 requires course providers to update information, including when a change of address occurs.

The adopted new §92.60 details the reporting and audit requirements and the manner by which reports must be submitted.

The adopted new §92.80 creates the fee structure to be used in the responsible pet owners program.

The adopted new §92.90 provides for complaints and investigations.

The adopted new §92.91 allows for administrative sanctions and penalties.

The adopted new §92.95 details the reporting requirements.

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the January 12, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 147). The deadline for public comments was February 12, 2018. During the 30-day public comment period the Department received comments from two interested parties. The public comments received are summarized by issue below.

Comment--The first commenter inquired as to why responsible pet owners would need this course.

Department Response--The Department appreciates the commenter's inquiry and notes that House Bill 162 is designed for those defendants who are convicted of specific enumerated offenses involving animals. These rules have been promulgated to implement the directives from the legislation, and the goal of promoting responsible pet ownership throughout the state. The statute and the rules are directed at those individuals that violate the specific offenses. The Department did not make any changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Rule Section 92.31

Comment--The second commenter contended the minimum length of the online course of two instructional hours, as indicated pursuant to subsection (f)(1), was insufficient to effectively convey all of the educational objections indicated in subsection (b) of the proposed rule. The commenter suggested increasing the minimum length of the course to five instructional hours to address the concern.

The commenter also raised an issue with subsection (b)(3). The commenter contended that the educational topics should have also addressed cockfighting, in addition to dog fighting.

Department Response--Subsection (f)(1) expresses a minimum amount of course length for online responsible pet owner courses to address the educational objectives. The Department will examine each application for course approval to determine if the course meets the educational objectives as enumerated in subsection (b). If it can do so within the minimum amount of time, the course shall be approved. The rule has been constructed to give applicants flexibility in the construction of the course to sufficiently meet the educational objectives, if the course length exceeds the minimum duration.

The Department notes that House Bill 162 addresses convictions for specific offenses involving animals that would empower a judge to order a defendant to complete an online responsible pet owner course. The specific offenses do not include cockfighting, which is found under Texas Penal Code §42.105. While the legislation does not specifically include cockfighting as an enumerated offense for the imposition of an online responsible pet owner course, there is neither a statutory nor rule prohibition to the inclusion of course information on cockfighting to the course. The Department did not make any changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

Rule Section 92.32

Comment--The second commenter disagreed with subsection (c)(3)(C) that the participant should not be given the correct answer with an explanation after submitting an incorrect answer to a content validation question after completion of a major unit or section of the course. The commenter contended that the participant would receive an educational benefit in reinforcing the material in the mind of the participant if the correct answer was provided.

Department Response--The Department notes that education is a purpose of the course. The purpose of subsection (c)(3)(C) is to evaluate the participant's mastery of the course content through the correct response to examination questions. Moreover, the test bank of questions is limited and if the course were to give the correct answers to incorrect responses, a participant that is required to retake the course may have an unfair advantage in remembering the correct response given to him in the event the same question appeared in a retest, rather than learning from paying attention to the course material. The Department did not make any changes to the proposed rules in response to this comment.

At its meeting held on February 20, 2018, the Commission adopted the proposed rules with changes as recommended by the Department.

The new rules are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, which authorizes the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 42A.511. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

§92.51.Responsibilities of Course Providers.

(a) A course provider must:

(1) ensure that courses are delivered online in a manner conducive to learning;

(2) include the department-issued provider and course numbers in all advertisements and webpages; and

(3) issue a certificate of completion to each participant who completes the course.

(b) The certificate of completion must be printable by the person completing the course and include:

(1) title and number of the course;

(2) unique participant registration number;

(3) course provider name, provider number, course name and number, and telephone number;

(4) case or cause number for the offense;

(5) offense type;

(6) court number and county of the offense;

(7) date of the offense;

(8) course completion date;

(9) number of instructional hours;

(10) name of the participant who completed the course;

(11) electronic signature of the course provider authorized representative, and the participant; and

(12) the following statement, signed by the participant: "Under penalty of law, I attest to the fact by name and signature on this document I have successfully completed the number of hours as required under Texas Administrative Code, Title 16, Chapter 92, and that any false information on this document will be used as evidence against me in a court of law and/or administrative proceeding."

(c) A course provider may not publish false or misleading advertisements.

(d) Course providers are responsible for the conduct and administration of their courses, including the verification of participant attendance and course performance. Course providers must ensure that their courses are administered in a manner consistent with the representations contained in the application for course approval.

§92.60Records and Audits.

(a) A course provider must retain participant records, as identified by §92.51(b), for a period of two years after completion of a course.

(b) To determine whether a course provider is complying with the requirements of this chapter, department employees and representatives may conduct an audit of the approved course. Audits may be conducted without prior notice to the course provider and department employees and representatives may enroll in a course without identifying themselves as employees or representative of the department.

(c) Course providers must maintain a means to ensure the security and integrity of participant information which must include a privacy policy statement. The privacy policy statement must be provided to course registrants at the time of registration.

(d) Upon request, a course provider must provide information, including copies of specified records, to the department within ten business days of the date of the request.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on February 22, 2018.

TRD-201800722

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: March 15, 2018

Proposal publication date: January 12, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179