How Do License Points Work in Texas?

Driver license point, demerit point, DMV point - whatever you call them, points aren’t a good thing for drivers. Most states, including Texas, use point systems to denote when a driver is convicted of a traffic violation.

These points are connected to your driver license record. They’ll remain on your record for three years from the date of the conviction. If you get another traffic violation conviction in that timeframe the points will accumulate. No one wants to be familiar with the point system personally, but every Texas driver should understand how it works. Here’s what you need to know.

Traffic Offenses and Their Points

Which driving offenses will cost you the most points in Texas? Any violation that involves “motor vehicle control” are subject to penalty points. And it doesn’t matter where the traffic violation occurs. You can get points on your driving record for in-state and out-of-state violations.

The points are assigned to different traffic violations as follows:

  • Texas moving violation - 2 points
  • Out-of-state moving violation - 2 points
  • Texas moving violation that results in a traffic accident - 3 points
  • Out-of-state moving violation that results in a traffic accident - 3 points

Below are some of the traffic violations that add points to your record :

  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Running a red light/stop sign
  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Making an illegal U-turn
  • DUI
  • Driving without valid insurance
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving with a suspended driver license

Non-Moving Violation

If you got a parking ticket you don’t have to sweat it. Points aren’t given for non-moving violations.

Consequences of Racking Up Points

Sometimes accumulating points is a good thing. This is not one of those times.

The goal of the point system is to promote public safety by giving drivers another reason to drive safe. Points are tracked and if you hit a certain number within a specified period of time there will be fines to pay and possibly other repercussions.

Driver Responsibility Program Penalties

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) manages the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). As a part of the program, the point system is used to determine if a surcharge should be added to a person’s driving record. A conviction can also lead to a DRP surcharge. The surcharges are in addition to other fees and assessments for things like a license suspension. If you hit 6 points on your driving record you’ll have to pay a $100 DRP surcharge. There will be an additional $25 fine for every point over six. The fine will be administered annually until you drop below 6 points. You’ll be happy to know that a surcharge won’t come out of the blue. The Texas DPS will send you an “advisory” notice when you hit 4 or 5 points. It’s essentially a warning that if you get convicted of another traffic violation the next notice will include a surcharge.

License Suspension

Drivers that accumulate a lot of points in a short period could have their license suspended. If you’re convicted of 7 or more moving violations within 24 months a suspension is likely.

Increased Auto Insurance Costs

Points will also drain your wallet when you pay your monthly auto insurance premium. Insurers check the points on a person’s driving record before they set rates. The cleaner your record is the less you’ll have to fork over for auto insurance.

Points and Your Commercial Driver License

If you’re a commercial driver there’s more to worry about than surcharges. A CDL carries with it a lot of responsibility. Employers are very hesitant to hire commercial drivers that have points on their record. Points could also affect your ability to apply for a commercial driver license. Worried about points on your driver record? Completing the Aceable Texas defensive driving course will keep points off your license. Since everything’s online you don’t have to drive anywhere to participate in traffic school. Check it out!

Krista Doyle
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