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  • DMV Point System in Texas

    Point System Basics

    In Texas, as in much of the country, the point system was originally conceived as a way of tracking bad drivers in a consistent manner. A set number of "points" were pinned to a driver's record for certain traffic infractions, and those who accumulated too many points were sanctioned accordingly (usually a license suspension).

    Then a few years back, it was recognized that this same point system could also be a convenient way to increase income for the states. Some, including Texas, have adopted a system that tracks violations and then applies financial "assessments" on drivers who accumulate a certain number of points.

    Violations that in the past would have merely incurred temporary license suspensions and possibly lead to an increase in insurance rates now also become financial nightmares (and big moneymakers for the states using this method).

    Driver Responsibility Program

    In Texas, this program is called the Driver Responsibility Program, or DRP. The good news is that some violations do not incur points.

    Beware of a Brutal Point System

    But the bad news is that Texas has a relatively low point count before heavy penalties start kicking in―just 6 points in 3 years. And Texas doesn't split hairs when it comes to which offenses result in how many points; it's cut-and-dried:

    • A single moving violation is 2 points.
    • A moving violation resulting in an accident is 3 points.

    In addition to having your license suspended for habitual traffic citations, you risk paying increasingly heavy fines on an annual, repeating basis by accumulating points. So drive safely and save your hard-earned cash!

    What Can It Cost You?

    There is almost no upper limit to what violations can cost you in fines, and if you choose to defend yourself against the charges, you can be hit with substantial legal fees as well.

    But if you rack up 6 points on your license by the end of the year, you then have to also pay a $100 "assessment surcharge." And that amount goes up by $25 for each subsequent point over 6 points. For each year that you have 6 points or more still on your license, you will have to pay the $100 fee again, along with $25 each for each point above 6 points.

    Check Your Driver's License Status

    If you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you might want to order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DPS. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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