TRC To Implement New Licensing Policies Beginning March 1

The Texas Racing Commission (TRC) will be implementing new policies regarding the issuance of a license badge.

Due to increased concerns over homeland security, it will now be necessary for all applicants to furnish proof of identity when getting licensed. This new policy goes into effect on March 1, 2003, and will be very similar to the procedures related to obtaining a Texas Driver’s License.

Previously, an individual was allowed to fill out an application for license and sign the form attesting to their identity. This creates a situation whereby someone could make false representations and receive a state issued form of identification. Those credentials could then be used to perpetuate the false identity and give increased validity to that misrepresentation.

There are several documents that the Texas Racing Commission (TRC) will accept as forms of identification, such as a current photo driver’s license or photo ID by any state in the United States, U.S. Territory, the District of Columbia or Canadian Province. Other acceptable documents are as follows:

  • Current United States passport
  • United States citizenship (naturalization) certificate with photo
  • Current United States Immigration and Naturalization Service document with date and photo
  • Current United States military ID card for active duty, reserve or retired personnel with photo.

The Texas Horsemen’s Partnership has been working closely with the TRC to ensure that the new policy will address the concerns of horsemen. One such concern involved getting owners licensed who do not physically come to the track to watch the horse and therefore cannot present the necessary documents.

“We did not want to have a horse scratched because the trainer entered a horse on behalf of an owner that may live outside the state and had no intentions of personally coming to the track,” explained Tommy J. Azopardi, executive director of the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership.

The TRC has made assurances that it will still license individuals by mail, but it will not issue the badge until the person presents the aforementioned documents.

“We are certainly supportive of the Commission’s efforts to protect against terrorism and other related concerns,” stated Azopardi. “This was not something that was ‘dreamed-up’ to create aggravation for our members, but rather based on an actual situation whereby someone came into a TRC licensing office and obtained a badge under false pretense. Then they used the badge to get further documentation in another state.”

The statistics presented to the THP during these discussions relating to the number of illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern countries caught coming into the U.S. were alarming. “We hope that our members understand the gravity of the matter and appreciate that the TRC and the THP have tried to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible in the whole process,” added Azopardi.

The TRC is using the e-mails that they have on file to notify horsemen of the change, and notices will be posted at the race office in addition to notices sent to individuals renewing their licenses. If any horseman has a question or concern they may call the THP office for assistance.

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