Texas Traffic Point and Surcharges
The Texas Driver Responsibility Program is basically the point system that you, as a Texas driver, are already familiar with. If you receive a traffic violation while driving in Texas, the program assesses different amounts of points to your driver’s license based upon the severity of that violation. The system also tracks your violations, and if you accumulate a certain amount of points, your driver’s license will be suspended.
As of a few years ago, the point system was also turned into a way for states to increase their revenue. Now, if you get a certain amount of points, you will also be assessed a monetary penalty every year for up to 3 years. If anything, the financial hardship you would endure is enough of an incentive to follow the law and be a responsible driver!
How the Point System Works
In Texas, one moving violation will give you 2 points on your driver’s license. A moving violation which results in an accident is 3 points. While this may not seem like a huge amount, it could end up being a nightmare: the limit for Texans is 6 points over a 3 year period before you incur the 3-year monetary penalty. That means that even if you get one speeding ticket in a year, doing so for 3 years in a row will end up as a 6 year ordeal.
A silver lining to the situation is that neither a seatbelt ticket nor a traffic ticket for less than 10% over the speed limit will result in any points on your license.
Point System and Surcharges
For criminal violations (not your average speeding tickets), you will be assessed extra monetary costs called “conviction based surcharges.” A surcharge, as defined by the Texas DPS, is “an administrative fee charged to a driver based on the convictions reported to a driving record.” It means that even if you’ve paid your ticket, the penalty for reaching a certain type or amount of convictions allows the state to fine you annually for a total of 3 years. These fees are in ADDITION to the initial fine for the violation. They can include:
- First-time DUI or DWI offenses ($1000)
- Second DUI or DWI offenses ($1500)
- Failure to maintain financial responsibility ($250)
- Driving with an invalid license ($250)
- Driving without a license ($100)
The state can continue to fine you for the offense for three consecutive years after the violation occurred. Therefore you should maintain the utmost attention and care while driving, because a single lapse in judgment could end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars.