MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Several people reached out informing us the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has not implemented a new state law.

In August 2020, a law went into effect providing an autistic designation on a driver’s license or ID. Eight months later and still nothing.

Louisiana State Rep. Francis Thompson (D-Dist. 19) was shocked to hear from KNOE that the law is not being implemented. He immediately called the commissioner of OMV and says she pointed to the pandemic for the delay.

“It’s a very important bill and the urgency is also important, but I called Commissioner St. Germain today. She said once they get the license fixed and the day correct methodology, they will give get the process out as quickly as they can,” said Rep. Francis Thompson.

The goal is to help police identify and engage people with autism during traffic stops. The law also requires training for officers. Thompson says most law enforcement officers in Louisiana will receive this training.

“I think it will be mostly law enforcement agencies but we usually find that being state police and those city police officers. I’m sure those that need the training will receive that training,” said Rep. Thompson.

According to the CDC, nearly two percent of the population in Louisiana are on the autism spectrum. Thompson says the law will help parents feel safe allowing their children to drive.

“I know the families and the association is working very hard with legislative departments to make sure this passes and that’s why this came to light. Now they’re anxious, and I think this will cause them to be moving as quickly as they can,” said Rep. Thompson.

OMV says the designation is scheduled to be in place by the middle to late part of the summer.

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