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Texas Traffic Surcharges

What is the Texas traffic surcharge system?

The Texas Driver Responsibility law is contained in the Texas Transpiration Code Chapter 708. It creates a system to assess surcharges against Texas drivers based on traffic violations that occurred since September 2003. Surcharges are assessed in addition to any fines or court costs you have already paid or owe on traffic tickets or other criminal offenses. The State uses this DPS surcharge system to collect “administrative fees” that do not have the same due process protections as criminal violations, such as traffic tickets. TX DPS classifies the surcharges into two groups: driver point system surcharges; and conviction based surcharges. The best course of actions is to fight to avoid surcharges by getting a traffic attorney to handle tickets or a criminal defense attorney to fight other convictions. Tarrant Tickets is a Fort Worth law firm with Traffic Tickets Attorneys ready to help with your traffic tickets or get an occupational license.

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Roadblock for working area where work zone tickets are given

Texas Traffic Point System Surcharges

The government assess points against a Texas driver for moving violation convictions. Either the city or county where you receive a traffic citation will add the ticket conviction to a driver’s record. Then the government will add a certain number of points that will remain on your driving for three years.

  • 2 points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation
  • 3 points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation the government believes resulted in a crash
Texas DPS will continue to tally up driver responsibility points until you accumulate a total of 6 or more on your driving record. Then you have to pay the State $100 for the first six points and $25 dollars for each driver’s responsibility point you get after that. The government reviews your traffic driving record every year and as long as you have 6 or more points, you will be charged a surcharge. Your DPS surcharges may go up and down from year to year as the government adds traffic convictions to your record or as moving violation tickets drop off of your record. This is one reason hiring a traffic attorney to fight conviction on traffic tickets is important. You can speak with a ticket lawyer today by calling the law office of Tarrant Tickets.
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Texas Conviction Based Driver Surcharges

If you receive a conviction for certain criminal offenses in Texas you will be charged a surcharge in addition to any fines, costs, or probation fees you might pay. The specific listed convictions require the driver to pay the surcharge for 3 years. You don’t get points added to your record, because these surcharges are automatic and in addition to any traffic point surcharges.
Once the county clerk reports your conviction to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS) you will be assessed the surcharges as follows:

Texas Conviction Texas Surcharge
Driving While Intoxicated
(DWI) First Offense
$1,000.00 (per year for 3 years)
DWI Second or More $1,500.00 (per year for 3 years)
DWI with blood alcohol concentration over 0.15 $2,000.00 (per year for 3 years)
No Insurance Ticket $250.00 (per year for 3 years)
Driving While License Invalid $250 (per year for 3 years)
No Driver’s License $100 (per year for 3 years)
Driving While License Invalid $250 (per year for 3 years)
Fighting a conviction or at least knowing your rights is essential in criminal defense of these cases. Tarrant Tickets has skilled criminal defense attorneys that help fight DWI or other criminal charges.

Additional Fees Charged to Collect Surcharges

The Municipal Services Bureau is the vendor responsible for the mailing of surcharge notices and collection of all fees. The Municipal Services Bureau is allowed to charge service fees in addition to the surcharges. The government authorizes:

  • Service fee of 4% of the original surcharge amount.
  • Installment plan payment fee of $2.50 per partial payment.
  • Credit/Debit Card fee of 2.25% of payment plus $0.25 (except where prohibited by law).
  • Electronic Check fee of $2.00 per payment.
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SURCHARGES FOR CERTAIN CONVICTIONS AND LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

INTOXICATED DRIVER OFFENSES

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 708.102

SURCHARGE FOR CONVICTION OF CERTAIN INTOXICATED DRIVER OFFENSES
(a) In this section, “offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated” has the meaning assigned by Section 49.09, Penal Code.
(b) Each year the department shall assess a surcharge on the license of each person who during the preceding 36-month period has been finally convicted of an offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
(c) The amount of a surcharge under this section is $1,000 per year, except that the amount of the surcharge is:

    1. $1,500 per year for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and
    2. $2,000 for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.16 or more at the time the analysis was performed.

(d) A surcharge under this section for the same conviction may not be assessed in more than three years.

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DRIVING WHILE LICENSE INVALID

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 708.103

SURCHARGE FOR CONVICTION OF DRIVING WHILE LICENSE INVALID OR WITHOUT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
(a) Each year the department shall assess a surcharge on the license of each person who during the preceding 36-month period has been convicted of an offense under Section 521.457, 601.191, or 601.371.
(b) The amount of a surcharge under this section is $250 per year.

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DRIVING WITHOUT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 708.103

SURCHARGE FOR CONVICTION OF DRIVING WHILE LICENSE INVALID OR WITHOUT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
(a) Each year the department shall assess a surcharge on the license of each person who during the preceding 36-month period has been convicted of an offense under Section 521.457, 601.191, or 601.371.
(b) The amount of a surcharge under this section is $250 per year.

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DRIVING WITHOUT VALID LICENSE

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 708.104

SURCHARGE FOR CONVICTION OF DRIVING WITHOUT VALID LICENSE
(a) Each year the department shall assess a surcharge on the license of a person who during the preceding 36-month period has been convicted of an offense under Section 521.021.
(b) The amount of a surcharge under this section is $100 per year.
(c) A surcharge under this section for the same conviction may not be assessed in more than three years.

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FAILURE TO PAY SURCHARGE

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 708.152

FAILURE TO PAY SURCHARGE
(a) If on the 60th day after the date the department sends a second notice under Section 708.151 the person fails to pay the amount of a surcharge on the person’s license or fails to enter into an installment payment agreement with the department, the license of the person is automatically suspended. A person’s license may not be suspended under this section before the 105th day after the date the surcharge was assessed by the department.
(b) A license suspended under this section remains suspended until the person pays the amount of the surcharge and any related costs.

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SURCHARGE INFORMATION LINKS

What is a Moving Violation?

Texas Administrative Code: Title 37; Rule 5.89

(a) Moving violations are defined 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.
(b) A list of traffic offenses that constitute a moving violation is below.
(c) Table 1 also indicates the moving violations that will be assessed points under the Driver Responsibility Program, Texas Transportation Code (TRC), Chapter 708, Subchapter B.

      1. Not all moving violations are assessed points under the Driver Responsibility Program, however, they may be considered for Habitual Violator action under TRC, §521.292(a)(3).
      2. Moving violation convictions that are assessed specific surcharges pursuant to Texas Transportation Code, §§708.102 (intoxicated driver offenses), 708.103 (driving while license invalid or without financial responsibility), and 708.104 (driving without valid license including no commercial driver license, driving without the proper commercial license endorsement and driving without the proper motorcycle endorsement), will not be assessed points under the Driver Responsibility Program.
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Allow passenger to stand/sit improperly on a school busYes Bus driver failed to activate warning signal/equipmentYes Bus failed to stop at RR crossingYes Bus shifting gears while crossing RR tracksYes Carry motorcycle passenger under 5; except in side carYes Changed lane when unsafeYes Child passenger safety seat offenseYes CoastingYes Coasting (truck, truck tractor or bus, specify) with clutch disengagedYes Consume alcohol while drivingYes Criminal negligent homicide with motor vehicle–1st or 2nd degreeYes Crossed RR with heavy equipment without noticeYes Crossed RR with heavy equipment without stop (or safety)Yes Crossing fire hose without permissionYes Crossing physical barrierYes Cut across driveway to make turnYes Cut corner left turnYes Cut in after passingYes Did not use designated lane or directionYes Disregard solid green turn signal arrowYes Disregard warning signs or barricadesYes Disregarded flashing red signal (at stop sign, etc.)Yes Disregarded flashing yellow signalYes Disregarded lane control signalYes Disregarded no lane change signYes Disregarded no passing zoneYes Disregarded police officerYes Disregarded RR crossing gate or flagmanYes Disregarded signal at RR crossingYes Disregarded traffic control deviceYes Disregarded turn marks at intersectionYes Disregarded warning sign at constructionYes Drive into block where fire engine stoppedYes Driving around barricadesYes Driving under influenceNo Driving under influence (DUI)–minorYes Driving under influence of drugsNo Driving while impairedNo Driving while intoxicated > 0.16No Driving while intoxicated with child younger than 15 yoaNo Driving while intoxicated–felonyNo Driving while intoxicated–juvenileNo Driving while intoxicated–misdemeanorNo Driving while intoxicated–on beachNo Driving while intoxicated–probatedNo Driving while intoxicated–under 21No Driving while license disqualified–CMVNo Driving while license suspended under provisions of DL lawsNo Driving while license suspended–SRNo Drove center lane (not passing, not turning left)Yes Drove on (or across) streetcar tracks where prohibitedYes Drove on sidewalkYes Drove on wrong side–RR crossingYes Drove on wrong side of approaching bridgeYes Drove on wrong side of divided highwayYes Drove on wrong side of roadYes Drove on wrong side road approaching intersectionYes Drove on wrong side road approaching RR grade crossingYes Drove on wrong side road awaiting access to ferryYes Drove onto (or from) controlled access highway where prohibitedYes Drove through safety zoneYes Drove to left of rotary traffic islandYes Drove without lights–when requiredYes Drove wrong way in designated laneYes Drove wrong way on one-way roadwayYes Endorsement violation CDLNo Fail stop proper place-flash red signalYes Fail to control speedYes Fail to dim headlights–followingYes Fail to dim headlights–meetingYes Fail to drive in single laneYes Fail to give hand signals when requiredYes Fail to give info/render aidNo Fail to give one-half of roadwayYes Fail to keep to right on mountain roadYes Fail to pass left safelyYes Fail to pass met vehicle to rightYes Fail to pass to right safelyYes Fail to signal for stopYes Fail to signal required distance before turningYes Fail to signal turnYes Fail to signal with turn indicatorYes Fail to sound horn–mountain roadYes Fail to stop–designated point–at stop signYes Fail to stop–designated point–at yield signYes Fail to stop and render aid–felonyNo Fail to stop and render aid–misdemeanorNo Fail to stop at marked RR crossingYes Fail to stop at proper place (at traffic light)Yes Fail to stop at proper place (flashing red signal)Yes Fail to stop at proper place (not at intersection)Yes Fail to stop for approaching trainYes Fail to stop for school bus (or remain stopped, specify)Yes Fail to stop for streetcar–or stop at wrong locationYes Fail to stop–emerging from alley, driveway or bldg.Yes Fail to use due care for pedestrianYes Fail to use proper headlight beamYes Fail to yield at stop intersectionYes Fail to yield at yield intersectionYes Fail to yield for blind or incapacitated personYes Fail to yield right of wayYes Fail to yield right of way from private roadYes Fail to yield row at open intersection (specify type)Yes Fail to yield row leaving (private drive, alley, building)Yes Fail to yield row on green arrow signalYes Fail to yield row on green signalYes Fail to yield row on left at obstructionYes Fail to yield row to emergency vehicleYes Fail to yield row to pedestrian at signal intersectionYes Fail to yield row to pedestrian in crosswalkYes Fail to yield row to pedestrian in crosswalk–no signalYes Fail to yield row to pedestrian on sidewalkYes Fail to yield row to pedestrian turning right or left at intersectionYes Fail to yield row–changing lanesYes Fail to yield row–turning left (at intersection, alley, private road or driveway)Yes Fail to yield row–turning right on red signalYes Fail to yield to vehicle in intersectionYes Fail to yield to vehicle leaving highwayYes Failed to give way when overtakenYes Failed to signal lane changeYes Fleeing from police officerYes Following ambulanceYes Following fire apparatusYes Following too closelyYes Following too closely–caravanYes Following too closely–truckYes Head lamps glaring not adjustedYes Heavy equipment disregarded signal of trainYes Illegal backingYes Illegal pass on rightYes Illegally passed streetcarYes Impeding trafficYes Improper passingYes Improper turnYes Improper turn or stop hand signalYes Improper use of auxiliary driving lampsYes Improper use of auxiliary passing lampsYes Improper use of lighting–hwy. equip.Yes Improper use of spot lampsYes Improper use of turn indicatorYes Increased speed while being overtakenYes Interfere with streetcarYes Intoxication assaultNo Intoxication assault motor vehicleNo Intoxication manslaughterNo Intoxication manslaughter motor vehicleNo Involuntary manslaughter with motor vehicleYes Lack of caution on green arrow signalYes Leaving scene of accidentYes Made U-turn on curve or hillYes Negligent collisionYes No commercial driver license (CDL)No No double trailer endorsement (CDL)No No driver licenseNo No hazmat endorsement (CDL)No No motorcycle endorsementNo No passenger vehicle endorsement (CDL)No No tank vehicle endorsement (CDL)No No school bus endorsement (CDL)No Obstructed view through windshieldYes Obstructing trafficYes Open Container DRIVERYes Operate school bus over passenger design capacityYes Operate school bus with door openYes Operate vehicle more than one passenger-minorYes Operate vehicle where prohibitedYes Operate vehicle with child in open bedYes Passed streetcar on left without reducing speed or without cautionYes Passed vehicle stopped for pedestrianYes Passed–insufficient clearanceYes Passengers/load obstruct driver’s view or controlYes Passing authorized emergency vehicleYes Permitted/operated unsafe vehicleYes Person(s) riding in trailer or semi-trailerYes Prohibited motor vehicle on controlled-access highwayYes Racing–drag racing–acceleration contest, etc.Yes Ran red lightYes Ran stop signYes Reckless drivingYes Restriction violation–CDLYes Slower vehicle failed to keep to rightYes Speed under minimumYes SpeedingNo Speeding > 10% above posted speed limitYes Speeding–15 miles or over (CDL)Yes Speeding–school zoneYes Too many riders on motorcycleYes Turned across dividing sectionYes Turned left from wrong laneYes Turned right from wrong laneYes Turned right too wideYes Turned so as to impede or interfere with streetcarYes Turned when unsafeYes Unauthorized use of siren, bell or whistleYes Unsafe speed (too fast for conditions)Yes Unsafe startYes Unsafe start from parked, stopped or standing positionYes Use of school bus signal for wrong purposeYes Use wireless device while driving busYes Use wireless device while driving–minorYes Use wireless device in school zoneYes Veh. hauling explosives (or flammable materials) failed to stop at RR crossingYes Veh. hauling explosives failed to reduce speed at RR crossingYes Vehicle without required equipment or in unsafe conditionYes Violate DL restrictionYes Violate DL restriction on occupational licenseYes Violate operating hours-minorYes Violated out of service orderYes Violated out-of-service order hazmat and/or passengerYes Wrong side road–not passingYes Wrong side, 4 or more lane, two-way roadwayYes

Traffic Violation Title Driver
Responsibility
Points
Aggravated assault with motor vehicle Yes
*Title 37 of the Texas Administrative Code: Rule 15.89(b)
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Fort Worth DPS Driver’s License Office

Street Address:
6413 Woodway Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76133-5536
Phone: 817-294-1075

Arlington DPS Driver’s License Officer

Street Address:
3901 West Arkansas Lane Ste 111
Arlington, TX 76016-1400
Phone: 817-274-1818

Hurst DPS Driver’s License Office

Street Address:
624 Northeast Loop 820
Hurst, TX 76053-5299
Phone: 817-299-1426

Denton DPS Driver’s License Office

Street Address:
820 North Loop 288
Denton, TX 76209-3699
Phone: 940-484-6666

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