DMV Point System in Texas
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To encourage safe driving habits, Texas uses a point system to track driver behavior. Points are assessed according to each traffic violation.
To learn more about the point system in Texas, common point violations, and how to remove points from your license, continue reading below.
Point System & Suspensions
In Texas, the point system is called the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). For each violation you receive, points will be added to your driving record. The accumulation of points could result in a suspension or other penalties, such as surcharges and fines.
When you are convicted of a traffic offense in Texas, you will be given:
- 2 points for any moving violation.
- 3 points for violations resulting in a collision.
All tickets and their points are added to your driving record and will stay on your record for 3 years following the conviction date.
License suspensions can occur if you accumulate too many moving violations within a specified period of time.
In Texas, your license may be suspended if:
- You have 4 moving violations or more within 12 months.
- You have 7 moving violations or more within 24 months.
In addition, you may have your license suspended automatically for more serious violations, such as:
- Causing an accident while uninsured.
- Violations involving drugs or alcohol.
- Collisions involving a fatality that are related to reckless driving.
- Underage drinking.
Depending on the number of points placed on your driving record, you may be required to pay a surcharge. A surcharge is a fine that must be paid in addition to court fees or other penalties.
You may be required to pay a surcharge if:
- You have 6 points or more on your driving record.
- You receive an automatic conviction for a serious offense, such as:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI).
- Driving without:
- Auto insurance.
- A driver's license.
Surcharges are assessed annually while your driving record holds points above the legal limit. The amount of the charge can vary each year based on your driving record status.
For moving violations, surcharge rates are as follows:
- Up to 6 points: $100.
- Each additional 1 point: $25.
Automatic surcharges for more serious convictions include:
- DWI (1st conviction): $1,000.
- Driving without insurance: $250.
- Operating a vehicle without a license: $100.
Common Point Violations in TX
Here is a list of common violations that could result in 2 points being added to your driving record:
- Lane changes that are considered unsafe.
- Failure to use turn signals.
- Illegally passing a vehicle on the right.
- Child safety restraint violations.
- Speeding over 10% above the designated limit.
- Traveling under the minimum speed limit.
- Operating a vehicle recklessly.
- Running a red light or stop sign.
- Open alcoholic containers.
- An unsafe following distance.
- Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident.
In addition, all violations resulting in a collision will be assessed at least 3 points.
TX Defensive Driving Courses
If you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation, you may be able to have the charges dismissed by attending a defensive driving course.
To be eligible for a defensive driving course, you must NOT:
- Have taken a defensive driving course within the past 12 months.
- Possess a commercial driver's license (CDL).
You will not be allowed to take a defensive driving course simultaneously with another course for a different violation.
While most violations will qualify, there are some major infractions that cannot be dismissed by taking a defensive driving course. These include:
- Speeding 25 MPH or more above the designated limit.
- Operating a motor vehicle without auto insurance.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Passing or attempting to pass a stopped school bus.
- Violations that occur in a construction zone.
To successfully dismiss a charge by completing a driver improvement course, you'll have to:
- Receive permission from the court.
- Complete a Texas Department of Public Safety-approved course.
- Submit a copy of your driving record and the certificate awarded by the defensive driving course to the court.
For more information on defensive driving courses, visit our guide to Defensive Driving in Texas.