Traffic Tickets and Points
If you get a traffic ticket, you'll need to decide whether to pay the fine and accept the penalty placed on your driving record or to contest the ticket and plead not guilty. Choosing the first of these options is simpler, although your insurance premium may go up.
Accepting the penalty online
If you would like to accept the penalty and pay the fine online, you should send your payment to the county court noted on your traffic ticket at least two weeks before your court date. All tickets must be paid in full. Check online for more detailed information for your country and be sure to read your ticket for any further information.
Fighting the ticket
You may go to traffic court and plead “not guilty” if you believe you were not in violation of Texas law or if you believe there are extenuating circumstances. You may want to contact a traffic attorney before you go to court.
Lost Your Ticket
If you have lost your ticket, you will need to contact the county traffic court for the county where you received the citation. The county clerk should be able to provide you all the information you need to pay the fine or fight the ticket.
Points for Your Tickets
Texas enacted the Driver Responsibility Program in 2003 with the purpose of a system for managing surcharges for individuals with particular traffic convictions. Each time you are convicted or a moving traffic violation you will have points added to your driving record and the will remain on your record for three years.
Points are assigned as follows:
- Texas moving violation—2 points
- Out-of-state moving violation—2 points
- Texas moving violation resulting in a crash—3 points
- Out-of-state moving violation resulting in a crash—3 points
- There may be additional points that your local town may assess for other violations.
Surcharges Based on Points
When you have accumulated 6 points or more you will need to pay a surcharge on a yearly basis. These surcharges are additional to any specific fines you had to pay at the time you were convicted of the violation. Points will come and go, so your surcharge will likely vary over time.
How much is a surcharge?
- $100 for the first 6 points combined
- $25 for each additional point
So if you have 9 points currently on your record, you will owe a surcharge of $175. To encourage safer driving, the DPS is required by law to notify you when you have accumulated 5 points.
For further details on convictions and points visit Form DL-103.
To pay your surcharges you can visit this site.
Failure to pay your surcharges can result in your license being revoked or suspended.
The court may order a defendant to attend a driver improvement clinic for some points-bearing violation.
The disposition will still post on the driver's record. However, no points will be assessed for the violation.