Traffic Violations in Texas 101
Texas is a major hub for commerce and trade, especially from our southern neighbors such as Mexico. There were 17,303,383 licensed drivers in the state of Texas when the previous data was gathered back in 2018. This amount means that Texas had the second-most licensed drivers out of all US states in 2018 behind only California. How you drive your vehicle and how you handle moving violations affects whether or not you keep your driving privileges. Depending on your behavior, these actions could get those privileges suspended or lead to even worse consequences.
The state of Texas uses a point system that penalizes you for accumulating points. These points do not cause you to lose your license in the state of Texas, but the moving violations themselves can. However, if you accumulate and maintain six or more points on your driver record, you are charged an annual point surcharge.
Texas Points System
In the state of Texas, you get two points for a moving violation conviction. This is for both moving violation convictions in Texas and for any moving violation convictions you get on your driver record with a Texas license out-of-state. However, if the conviction resulted in a crash, you get three points on your driver record.
The points surcharge is one kind of surcharge. The other kind is a conviction-based surcharge. You get a conviction-based surcharge if you are convicted of Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While License Invalid, No Driver License, and/or No Insurance. You don’t get points for those offenses. Instead, the state of Texas assesses a conviction-based surcharge for three years from the date of conviction. You have the option to pay all of these surcharges in advance.
How Long Do Points Stay On Your Record?
In Texas, points stay on your record for a period of three years. This applies to moving violation points from standard moving violations. It also applies to moving violation points from violations that led to a crash.
License Suspension and Reinstatement in Texas
Your license can get suspended under the Texas Safety Responsibility Act if you were involved in a crash in Texas. This crash has to meet the following criteria:
- You were part of an automobile crash
- Contributing factors discovered by the investigating officer indicate you were responsible
- You had no auto insurance when the crash took place
- The crash caused injury, death, and/or $1000 in property damage or more
In addition, your license can get suspended if you have four moving violations or more within 12 months or seven moving violations or more within 24 months. Any violations involving drugs or alcohol cause automatic license suspension. Any violations related to underage drinking lead to automatic license suspension, too.
You can get your license reinstated by going to the license eligibility webpage to see what you have to submit for reinstatement. You can pay your reinstatement fees via this website. You can submit your reinstatement documentation via email in PDF format, fax, or mail. If you mail it, you must mail the documentation to:
Enforcement and Compliance Service
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0320
If you get a ticket, you can plead guilty and pay the fine or you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket. You can easily search to see if you have any outstanding tickets in Texas via the Texas Highway Patrol Citation Search website. The traffic ticket fines vary by county in Texas. However, in all cases, you have to either plead guilty and pay the ticket or challenge it in court within 20 business days of receiving the traffic ticket.
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