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The State of Texas enacts laws that serve at once to protect its citizens, protect itself, and generate income for the state. These laws are recorded in the Texas Statutes―the legal code. The portion of the Texas Statutes that apply to vehicles, motorists, and traffic rules is called the Texas Transportation Code.
Vehicle registrations and driver license fees make up a good-size portion of the state's revenue, and you might be surprised to learn just how many fees you will have the opportunity to pay. This is all spelled out in the Transportation Code.
If you're ever facing a traffic ticket or a fine, it might be worth your while to look up the exact official wording of the law in the Transportation Code. In some cases, you can defend yourself against a ticket by arguing that your actions were within the exact terminology used in the legal code (this is what lawyers are good at).
And if you just want to learn about traffic rules―before inadvertently breaking them―then your answers can most likely be found in the Transportation Code.
The full Texas Transportation Code is provided online. Most of the provisions of interest are in Title 7: Vehicles and Traffic. You can read the Transportation Code online, or you can download each chapter as a PDF or Word file.
The Transportation Code covers innumerable topics in great detail. Title 7 alone has more than 60 chapters posted online. Of course, everything relating to vehicle registrations, driver's licenses, and rules of the road is included―as you'd expect. But you'd be surprised what else is in there; a few of the more specialized chapters are listed below to give you a taste:
- Chapter 663. All-terrain Vehicles
- Chapter 681. Privileged Parking
- Chapter 683. Abandoned Motor Vehicles
- Chapter 684. Removal of Unauthorized Vehicles from Parking Facility or Public Roadway
- Chapter 685. Rights of Owners and Operators of Stored Vehicles
- Chapter 686. Valet Parking Services
- Chapter 705. Allowing Dangerous Driver to Borrow Motor Vehicle
- Chapter 706. Denial of Renewal of License for Failure to Appear
- Chapter 722. Automobile Club Services
- Chapter 724. Implied Consent
- Chapter 729. Operation of Motor Vehicle by Minor
Occasionally, the online version of the Texas Transportation Code, however official, will not be the most up-to-date version available. For cases where the details and specifics are crucial, or for areas of the law that often change such as what counties require emissions inspections, you can consult the Legislative Reference Library of Texas to find recently changed provisions of the Transportation Code.Other Topics in This Section