Traffic Tickets in TexasPage Overview
No one likes to get a traffic ticket. At the least, being pulled over makes you late. And depending on the infraction and how many you've had before, getting a traffic ticket could increase your insurance rates when the court notifies the Driver License Division and the citation appears on your driving record.
Worse yet, if the ticket pushes you over one of Texas' point limits, it could also usher in a long period of annual fines called surcharges.
Whoops, that should be "Public Safety Officer" or "Texas State Trooper." Here's what to do:
- Slow down immediately, put on your blinker, and pull over as soon as it is safe.
- Breathe deeply and calm down from the initial adrenalin surge of realizing you're being pulled over.
- Stay in your car unless instructed otherwise.
- Follow all instructions exactly.
- Move slowly and keep your hands visible. Quick moves can be misinterpreted as a threat.
- Be absurdly polite. If you sound almost normal, you are not being polite enough.
- Sign the ticket. This is not an admission of guilt, just an acknowlegement that you received the ticket (like signing for a package). And besides, if you don't sign, the officer has to arrest you.
Once you have the ticket, you have 10 days to decide how to respond to it―by paying the fine or by appearing in court. The responsibility for telling the court what you are going to do is yours―you must contact them. (They've already contacted you, in a way, by issuing the ticket).
You may then have the option of attending a defensive driving safety class to dismiss the ticket. If you're found guilty of going above 95 MPH, however, you're out of luck―you will not be able to take the class for ticket dismissal.
The basic point system in Texas is simple:
- Any moving violation: 2 points
- Any moving violation resulting in an accident: 3 points
If you accumulate 6 points on your license, be prepared to pay a violation surcharge (see below).
To get information about how to view your complete driving history in Texas, please read our TX Driving Records page.Pay Your Texas Traffic Ticket Online
Many county courts within the State of Texas will allow you to pay your traffic ticket instantly online. Select the court which issued your traffic ticket below and skip a trip to the traffic court.
If the Texas issuing court is not listed above, follow the instructions on below.
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 annual 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 license. If you go through the 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 each year to a whopping $2,000 per year for 3 years. Since the additional penalties can add up to several thousand, you may want to discuss these cases with a lawyer.
Other violations can also result in you paying these surcharges, if you get enough tickets. If you have 6 points riding against your driver's license, you'll pay $100 a year extra 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 ticket in the first place.
Habitual violators are drivers who have accumulated 4 moving violations in a period of 12 months or 7 moving violations in a period of 24 months. You can look forward to your license being suspended if you get this many citations.
Beyond that, since moving violations earn either 2 points or 3 points each, a habitual violator would be way over the limit of 6 points needed to trigger a Driver Responsibility Program surcharge. In other words, you'll be hit with hefty annual surcharges even while you're not allowed to drive.Other Topics in This Section