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DPS Points Surcharges
How do I know if the violation will result in a conviction on my record?
Any violation filed in the Haltom City Municipal Court will be recorded on your driving record unless you receive and successfully complete deferred disposition or receive and successfully complete defensive driving. In order to receive deferred in the Haltom City Municipal Court, you must set a court date and appear before the Judge or you must pay the fine plus $25 (this is an increase in the fine assessed by the Judge to allow you to receive deferred without going to court). You cannot receive time to pay and you cannot hold a commercial driver’s license. In order to receive deferred on a no insurance violation, you must show proof of current insurance covering you as a driver, not hold a commercial drivers license, and pay the full fine assessed. There is not a $25 increase in the fine for deferred on no insurance violations. You may also appear before the Judge with your current insurance policy and request deferred.
You may also want to consider defensive driving.
Why will I be charged more money if I paid my fine in court but did not get deferred to keep it off of my record?
In 2003, The Texas Legislature enacted the Driver Responsibility Program that creates a system of both points and surcharges for conviction of certain offenses. In general, a person accumulates points when he or she is convicted of a moving violation. Once a person accumulates six points, a surcharge is assessed. Some offenses result in automatic surcharges without regard to the number of points a person has accumulated. The surcharge is NOT assessed by the Municipal Court in which the violation was filed. It is a state law and processed through Texas DPS.
When are points assessed?
Points are added to a driver’s license when a person is convicted of a moving violation that occurred on or after September 1, 2003. Points accumulate on the date that the conviction is recorded by the Texas DPS.
How are points assessed?
Each conviction for a moving violation results in two points being attached to the driver’s license. Each conviction for a moving violation resulting in a accident adds three points to the driver’s license. Points are assessed for convictions in Texas and in any other state.
Under what circumstances are points NOT assessed?
Points are not assessed for speeding when the person was driving less than 10 percent above the posted speed limit. For example, if a person was going 70 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone and was convicted of speeding, points would not be added to that person’s driver’s license. However, points are assessed for any conviction stemming from speeding in a school zone. Points are also not assessed for seatbelt convictions. Also, a moving violation that is dismissed following the successful completion of either a driver safety course or deferred disposition will not result in the accumulation of any points. Finally, points are not assessed for conviction of an offense that has an automatic surcharge.
What is a moving violation?
DPS designates, by rule, the offenses that constitute a moving violation. The Texas Administrative Code defines moving violation as “an act committed in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle on a public street or highway, which constitutes a hazard to traffic and is prohibited by state law or city ordinance.” The Administrative Code also provides a list of 178 offenses that constitute moving violations for which points are assessed. The complete list may be found on the Texas Secretary of State’s website at: http://info.sos.state.tx.us/fids/37_0015_0089-1.html.
How do drivers know if they have any points on their license?
For those drivers who do not keep up with their own points, a notice will be sent to the last known mailing address of the person holding the driver’s license when five points have accumulated against the driver’s license.
What does it mean to have points on a driver’s license?
Each year DPS will determine how any points have accumulated against the driver’s license. Any person who has accumulated six or more points in the past 36 months will be assessed a surcharge. The surcharge will be $100 for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. Points remain on the driver’s license for three years from the date of conviction.
What are differences between an immediate surcharge and a surcharge assessed from points?
Conviction of certain offenses results in an immediate surcharge rather than the assessment of points. These surcharges are paid annually for three years. These traffic offenses and surcharges are:
Driving While License Invalid - $250
Failure to maintain financial resp. (FMFR or No Insurance) - $250
No Drivers License - $100
How do drivers know they owe a surcharge?
DPS notifies a driver that a surcharge has been assessed. The notice is sent via first class mail to the last known address of the driver. The notice must give the deadline for paying the surcharge and explain the consequences of not paying the surcharge.
What happens if a driver doesn’t pay the surcharge?
If a driver fails to pay the surcharge or enter an installment agreement to pay the surcharge before the 30th day after the notice is sent, the driver’s license is automatically suspended. The person’s license remains suspended until the surcharge and any related costs are paid.