Texas Traffic Violations & Point System
In the interest of keeping track of driver behavior, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a point system used to record traffic violations. Whenever a driver has committed a traffic offense, a certain number of points are added to his or her driving record. The more severe the violation, the more points are added. When a certain number of points are accumulated, the driver can have their license suspended.
Not all traffic violations lead to points, however. If you receive a ticket for travelling ten miles per hour or less of the posted speed limit or a seatbelt violation you will not receive any points.
Penalties Included in Point System
The points system in Texas is fairly straightforward. Moving violations are two points, and moving violations that result in an accident are three points. According to Texas driver responsibility law, drivers will have to start paying surcharges if they accumulate six or more points in a three-year period. The amount drivers have to pay increases with the number of points accumulated. If a driver is convicted of four moving violations in a 12-month period or seven moving violations in a 24-month period the driver will have his or her license suspended. However, there is a special case of surcharge called “conviction-based surcharges.”
There are some traffic violations that do not lead to points on your driver record, but will require you to pay a surcharge every year for three years. For example, being convicted of driving while intoxicated will require a driver to pay a $1000 surcharge every year for the three- year period. Subsequent convictions will require a $1500 surcharge. People convicted of driving without valid insurance coverage or driving with an invalid license will lead to a 3-year surcharge of $250 per year.
Additionally, the vendor who collects the fees is permitted to charge various fees, including a service fee of 4% of the original surcharge amount, an installment fee of $2.50 for every partial payment, and a credit card/debit card fee of 2.25% of the payment plus $0.25.
For complete information on the Texas DPS point system, you can download a copy of the Texas Driver Responsibility Program, which was used as the source for this article.