Since its implementation in September, Attorney General Ken Paxton said a program that ties vehicle registration renewal to child support has collected more than $1 million in back payments.

As of March 31, the attorney general’s office says 3,852 parents have paid $1.17 million in child support payments on 4,634 cases. The average payment was $252 per case, and Paxton’s office said the highest single amount collected was $54,000.

Under the program that started in September 2016, the attorney general’s Child Support Division (CSD) began enforcing a program that prevents parents who have not made court-ordered child support payments in the last six months from renewing vehicle registrations. The program sends those parents 90 days’ written notice before their registrations expire, “providing ample time to call the attorney general’s office and work out a reasonable payment plan,” the attorney general’s office said.

“This program is proving to be an effective tool in convincing delinquent parents to fulfill their most important obligation – providing for their children,” said Paxton in a prepared statement. “As soon as a payment is arranged, the hold on an auto registration renewal is released. The aim of the program is to obtain compliance with court orders to provide support for children, not to punish parents or deny them their livelihood.”

Under the denial of vehicle registration renewal program, parents do not have to get completely caught up on the total of back child support in order to have the denial lifted, but they are required to honor the terms of the payment plan.