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  • Pay Traffic Ticket in Texas

    SUMMARY: How to Pay a Texas Traffic Ticket

    NOTE: Be sure to pay your traffic ticket within 20 business days of receiving it.

    Depending on where you received your traffic ticket, you may be able to submit payment online, by phone, in person, or by mail. For specific instructions, refer to your TX traffic ticket or contact the appropriate county court.

    Continue reading this page for information about paying Texas traffic tickets.

    Pay Ticket
    (Plead Guilty or No Contest)

    Learn more below.

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Contest traffic ticket via trial.
    • Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
    • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
    • Possible option to take driver safety course and get ticket dismissed/points reduced.

    Learn more about
    Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

    What It Means to Pay Your TX Traffic Ticket

    In Texas, paying a non-criminal traffic ticket is an admission of guilt or "no contest" plea. This means:

    • You might be able to plea bargain for lesser penalties in court; by going before a judge or clerk in traffic court, you could plead your case in person.
    • The state will assess points against your driver's license, depending on the severity of your moving violation; check the TX vehicle code for more on the state's point system.
    • Additional points to your driving record could increase your auto insurance rates or affect your job or employment options (if your work requires you to maintain a clean driving record).
    • An increase in points could lead to suspended or revoked driving privileges. Be sure you know how many points you have on your TX driving record.
    • In some cases, the court will grant you permission to take a state-approved driving safety course. This could dismiss your traffic ticket and reduce points on your driving record. Additionally, your auto insurance company might give you a discount on your car insurance rates.

    If you fail to pay your civil traffic ticket in Texas, the alternative isn't prettier, and might result in a warrant for your arrest or the suspension or revocation of your TX driver's license.

    In many cases you can resolve the ticket in a convenient way: online, by phone or by mail. If either of the following apply to you, it's likely you'll handle your TX traffic ticket in person through the court system:

    Pleading Guilty as a Texas CDL Driver

    If you hold a Texas commercial driver's license (CDL), you must notify your employer within 30 days of a conviction. This only applies to traffic violations; parking tickets don't count. This is the case no matter what type of vehicle you were driving when a law enforcement agent cited you for a TX traffic infraction. For more on this and the affects of serious traffic violations on your TX CDL, check out our FAQ page or consult the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook.

    Pleading Not Guilty

    Keep in mind you also have the option to plead "not guilty" and contest the violation. Making a good case could mean the court dismisses your TX traffic ticket. If you take your case to trial, you could lose the option to plea bargain for lesser penalties. Learn more in our section on contesting a Texas traffic ticket.

    Pay Your Traffic Ticket Online

    You might have the option to pay your TX traffic fines online. Once you take care of this, scroll down and learn more on getting your driving record points reduced.

    Determine Where You Got Your Traffic Ticket

    Your TX traffic ticket should display the steps to paying the fines. If you're unclear on how to resolve your traffic citation, this page will help. If you simply misplaced the citation, check out our section on Lost Traffic Tickets.

    Texas handles traffic citations and speeding tickets at the county level. Therefore, to pay your traffic fines, you'll need to know the name of the county in which you were cited. Look on your traffic ticket for this info if you don't already know it.

    Keep in mind that in Texas, the following law enforcement officers can cite you for violating TX traffic laws:

    • Sheriff.
    • Local police officer.
    • Texas Highway Patrolman.

    Use the TX Highway Patrol's Online Ticket Search

    If you were pulled over by the TX Highway Patrol, you can run an online ticket search through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website. Be prepared to submit your TX driver's license or ID number.

    Visit the Proper Texas County Web Site

    Go to the county website where you were ticketed if the payment instructions on your traffic citation aren't clear. Here you will find details on how and when you should pay the ticket. Keep in mind each TX county handles traffic infractions differently.

    Other TX Traffic Ticket Payment Options

    From the county website, search for info on TX traffic tickets. It's likely you'll need to pay through the county court system. Here you'll find more on possible payment options such as:

    • Online.
    • In person.
    • By mail.
    • By phone.

    In some cases, you might be required to go to traffic court and appear before a county clerk or judge. If the court requests a mandatory appearance AND it's not possible for you to make your court date (due to work, being out of state, etc.), consider consulting a traffic ticket lawyer. You might be able to have them stand in for you in court.

    Surchargeable Violations in Texas

    Texas employs a unique penalty system called the Driver Responsibility Program for those whose moving violations are particularly egregious (or frequent). The basis for this program is a series of fines―also called surcharges―for those guilty of these offenses.

    What Texas calls "surchargeable violations" are typically the kinds of transgressions that constitute crimes, such as DWI, driving without insurance, or driving without a driver's license. If you go through the TX court system, it's probably a surchargeable violation.

    A surchargeable violation will result in you paying a substantial additional fine annually for several years. These extra penalties can be from $100 annually to a whopping $2,000 annually for 3 years. Since the additional penalties can add up to several thousand, you may want to discuss these cases with a lawyer.

    Other traffic violations can also result in you paying these surcharges, if you get enough traffic tickets. If you have 6 points riding against your TX driver's license, you'll pay $100 extra annually for the first 6 points and $25 for each additional point after 6 points.

    Remember, these surcharges are in addition to the fine you had to pay for the traffic ticket in the first place.

    Get Points Removed from Your TX Driving Record

    In some cases, the state will allow you to take a defensive driving course if you decide to plead "guilty" and pay your TX traffic ticket. Learn more on taking a state-approved defensive driving course to reduce points and penalties associated with your non-criminal moving violation.

    Check Your Texas Driving Record

    Whether you have the option to reduce your driving record points through a defensive driving course, we suggest you check your Texas driving record to ensure the state record accurately reflects your points―especially after getting a TX traffic ticket. Learn more on the points associated with specific traffic violations by checking out the TX point system.

    Shop for Lower TX Auto insurance Rates

    Once you pay your traffic ticket and check the resulting driving record points, inquire with your auto insurance company on how the traffic violation will affect your rates. Since points stay on your driving record for a number of years, you could see an increase in your insurance premium the next time you renew your policy. Get ahead of the added expense by shopping online to compare auto insurance rates.

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