Legislature approves driver’s license extension, increase

Legislation heading to Gov. Bobby Jindal would extend Louisiana driver’s licenses two years and increase fees to make up the difference.

The Senate on Thursday agreed to House changes in Senate Bill 582, giving final legislative approval to the bill.

If the governor approves, drivers will renew their licenses every six years, rather than four.

The original version of SB582 sought only to change the duration of licenses, not the cost, but the House opted to increase fees on a pro-rated basis for those additional two years.

The legislation would increase the basic license fee from $28.50 to $42.75, with $11.15 of that going to the Louisiana State Police Pension and Retirement Fund and $1.50 to anti-litter efforts. The most expensive of the state’s driver’s licenses — commercial driver’s licenses for residents of New Orleans — would go from $51 to $76.50, with $15 of that going to the city’s police pension fund, $15 to the State Police Pension and Retirement Fund, and $1.50 to anti-litter efforts.

“It’s a six-year fee, so over time it will be the same,” state Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, said during a recent Senate committee discussion on the change.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of the Louisiana Legislature, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .