Texas Traffic Violation Points

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Texas traffic tickets can be costly and annoying. You may find yourself wondering what the points mean and how they will affect you. And what are surcharges?

The Texas Points System

Texas traffic tickets carry either 2 or 3 points. Unlike other states, Texas keeps it simple. You’ll get 2 points for any conviction in Texas and 3 points for any conviction involving a crash.

The points from a ticket will remain on your driving record for 3 years after the date of your conviction. The good news is, if you’ve committed a minor moving violation you may have the option of dismissing your ticket and keeping the points off your Texas driving record by completing a defensive driving course. This will be extremely valuable in avoiding surcharges, as well as higher insurance rates. Check out www.texasdefensivecourse.com to find out more about ticket and point dismissal courses offered by NDSS.

What Are Surcharges?

You got a traffic ticket. Check. You paid your fine. Check. But what’s this surcharge all about? Texas has established a way to remind drivers annually that they need to improve their driving behavior. The Texas Driver Responsibility Program allows the DPS to charge drivers additional fines if they accumulate too many points or they have committed a particular type of traffic offense.

Drivers are assessed surcharges in 2 ways:

  • Number of Points
  • Type of Conviction

But that’s not all. You can be assessed surcharges for BOTH reasons, resulting in 2 separate fines.

Point Based Surcharges

For every point added to your driving record, you’ll be required to pay a state surcharge. The more points you accumulate, the more you’ll have to pay. Drivers who accumulate 6 or more points will be required to pay the surcharge fine annually as long as those points remain on their record.

  • 2-6 points: $100
  • Each additional point above 6: $25
Conviction Based Surcharges

In addition to the points-based fines, certain violations will automatically require an annual surcharge for 3 years. This fine will be assessed on the date of your conviction, and will be in addition to any other fines or surcharges you are required to pay. These conviction-based surcharges include:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) : $1,000 for first offense, $1,500 for additional offenses
  • DWI with BAC of .16% or higher: $2,000
  • Driving without proper insurance: $250
  • Driving with an invalid or expired license: $250
  • Driving without a license: $100
Notification for Surcharge

You will receive a letter in the mail from the Texas DPS that you have been assessed a surcharge. This letter will be sent to the address on file, so be sure to update the DPS if you move or your address is different from what appears on your driver’s license. Keep in mind that these surcharges do not replace any other penalties related to your ticket. The notice will let you know how much you owe, when it’s due, and how long you will be expected to pay the fee. In addition, drivers with 4 or 5 points on their record will receive a notice letting them know that additional points on their record will result in higher surcharge fees.

Where Does the Surcharge Money Go?

Surcharge fines go to a number of different state services. Trauma centers and emergency services within the county receive 49.5%, and the Texas Mobility fund receives 49.5% to be used toward highway projects. The 1% left over goes to the DPS to operate the Driver Responsibility program.

Review Your Driver Record

Because surcharges are assessed annually, and can go up or down depending on the date of the conviction or the number of active points you have, it’s a very good idea to keep up to date with your driving record. If you think a ticket should have been dismissed from your record, be sure to check your record and contact your court immediately if you see a discrepancy.

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