Ticket Fines and Penalties in Texas

Texas Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

Traffic ticket fines vary by county in Texas. For example, running a red light in Bexar County won't cost the same as running one in Travis County. Additionally, counties might charge various fees that differ throughout the state. To ensure you pay the proper amount, check the total fines listed on your traffic citation. Any additional questions you might have regarding the full amount owed should be directed to the specific county court named on the traffic ticket.

If you have misplaced your citation, check out our page on tracking down lost traffic tickets.


Texas charges additional administrative fees, or surcharges, to drivers with convictions reported to their driving record. This is part of the state's Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). Texas uses two criteria to determine whether you'll be slapped with a surcharge: the TX point system and conviction-based surcharges.

Point System Surcharges―While traffic fines vary by county, driving record points are standard across the state. If you accumulate more than 6 points on your record, you must pay a $100 surcharge. Each additional 1 point after your initial 6 points will cost you $25. The state reviews your driving record annually, and if you have 6 points or more, you must pay the surcharge. These point surcharges might vary with each annual review if any convictions have been added or removed from your driving record.

It's important to keep a close eye on your driving record to ensure the state has you down for the accurate amount of points. Learn more on how you can check your driving record online.

Conviction-Based Surcharges― Some convictions come with surcharges you must pay annually for 3 years (starting from your conviction date). While these tend to be much more expensive than the points-based surcharges, the state will not add any points to your driving record for these offenses. The following conviction-based surcharges are automatic upon conviction:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), first offense: $1,000
  • DWI, 2 or more offenses: $1,500 per year
  • DWI with blood alcohol content of 0.16% or greater: $2,000 per year
  • No insurance: $250 per year
  • Driving with an invalid license: $250 per year
  • No driver license: $100 per year

In some cases, the state offers the opportunity for reductions and installment agreements. For more on the DRP Amnesty and Incentive Programs, consult the Texas Drivers Handbook.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine
  • Option to plea bargain penalties
  • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
  • Possible option to take driver safety course and get ticket dismissed/points reduced

Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »

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 »

Auto Insurance Rate Increase

Another additional cost you might incur is a rate increase to your existing auto insurance policy. Following a traffic violation conviction that results in additional points on your driving record, shop online to compare auto insurance rates to ensure you get the best deal.

Texas Traffic Ticket Penalties

Traffic ticket penalties don't vary from county to county; you're subject to the same consequences no matter where you get convicted of violating the Texas traffic laws. What does vary are the types of penalties you might face. Most commonly, these include getting points added to your driving record, having your TX driver's license suspended or revoked, or facing restricted driving privileges. Even more variation comes into play depending on the type of driver's license you hold (CDL, learner's permit, etc.).

Texas Point System

If the state convicts you of a moving traffic violation, you'll see points added to your driving record. These points will remain on your record for 3 years. In some cases, you can take a state-approved defensive driving course to have the points reduced or removed.

Texas assigns points in the following way:

  • Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction: 2 points
  • Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction that resulted in a crash: 3 points

For specifics on the surcharges you could face, consult the section on traffic fines located at the top of this page.

TX Driver's License Suspension, Revocation and Cancellation

Of course not all convictions result in a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver's license, but it's worth getting the facts so you know where you and your driving privileges stand. The difference between each, as the state defines them, is:

License Suspension―The temporary withdrawal of a driver license or driving privilege for a definite period of time.
License Revocation―The termination of a driver license or driving privilege for an indefinite period of time. May be restored when all requirements for the revocation have been satisfied.
License Cancellation―The withdrawal of a driver license or driving privilege until the driver is able to requalify.

Too many traffic tickets could lead to an administrative suspension or revocation of your TX driver's license. In regard to citations, if either of the following takes place, you'll temporarily lose your right to drive:

  • 4 moving violations or more that occur separately within any period of 12 months
  • 7 moving violations or more that occur separately within any period of 24 months
  • 2 convictions or more for violating a driver license restriction

For a full list of violations that could land you with a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver's license, consult the Suspensions and Revocations section of the Texas Drivers Handbook. Here are just some of the violations that will cost you your driving privileges:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) by use of alcohol or drugs
  • Failure to stop and render aid
  • Overtaking and passing a school bus (subsequent conviction)
  • Driving while license invalid
  • Displaying or possessing a driver license or identification card that is fictitious or altered
  • Driving while license suspended
  • Causing a serious accident while operating a motor vehicle,
  • Habitual reckless or negligent driving
  • Failure to comply with the terms of a citation issued by another state that is a member of the Nonresident Violator Compact of 1977
  • Committing an offense in another state, which if committed in Texas would be grounds for suspension or revocation
  • Failing to stop for a school bus (second conviction)

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