From the Statesman’s online Blotter, DPS Reminder: Update Your Driver’s License Address:

The DPS wants to remind you to make one more New Year’s resolution – update the address on your driver license. Keeping a current address on your license provides DPS with the ability to communicate important information to you regarding your driver license. Plus, updating your driver license address is important because it’s the law.

That’s true; it’s actually a Class C misdemeanor in Texas to drive longer than 30 days without updating your address with DPS. But the article goes on to explain a better reason, perhaps, as well:

Another reason it is important for you to keep your address current is so that DPS can notify you if your license is suspended or revoked. If your address is not current, you may not receive this notification. If you are stopped for any reason and found to be driving on a suspended license, you can be arrested.

Licenses are often suspended or revoked for driving with no insurance, driving while intoxicated, for failing to appear in court for a citation or for failure to comply with the requirements of the Driver Responsibility Program.

The Department of Public Safety sends folks a notice of cancellation and/or suspension to the address they currently have on file – after all, where else could they send it? But very often these notices aren’t received because the person never updated their address with DPS.

I’ve never done a scientific study of the problem, nor have I kept an Excel spreadsheet of all my Austin DWLS clients, and the various reasons they were suspended. But my guess is that at least half of my clients who come to see me for a driving while license suspended arrest didn’t know that their license was suspended.

Of course, that usually means I have a pretty good defense to put forward on behalf of my client, but wouldn’t you rather not be arrested in the first place?

[Update: here’s a printable change of address form to mail in to DPS, and here’s the place to change your address online.]