Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tarrant • Dallas • Denton • Parker • Johnson • Wise 
(817) 877-3355
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How the system works

In 2003, Texas created the The Driver Responsibility Program, which provides for surcharges based on certain traffic related violations. A surcharge is an administrative fee that can be charged under two different circumstances: an accumulation of points or conviction for certain offenses as explained below.  

Notice of a surcharge will be mailed to the address on record with the Texas Department of Public Safety and must be paid within thirty days to prevent a suspension of driving privileges. If your license is suspended, it will remain suspended until all surcharges are paid in full or an installment agreement is established.  

Surcharges are in addition to reinstatement fees and do not replace any administrative suspension, revocation, disqualification or cancellation action that results from these same convictions.

Point based surcharges 

Like many other states, Texas has a point-based system that can lead to surcharges or suspensions for convictions based on moving violations. Upon conviction of a moving violation - which are most traffic violations - points are assigned to your driving record for a period of three years. Points are accessed as follows:
  • Two (2) points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction; or 

  • Three (3) points for a Texas or out-of-state moving conviction that resulted in a crash 

A surcharge will be assessed when you accumulate a total of six (6) points or more on your driving record. A $100 surcharge will be accessed for the first six (6) points and $25 for each additional point. 

A surcharge will be accessed a surcharge for any year in which there are six or more points on the driving record. Depending on the date of conviction, you may have a surcharge for one or more years for point based surcharges and the amount of surcharges may change year to year based on the number of points on your driving record when the surcharge is accessed. 

Conviction based surcharges 

Upon conviction of one of the following violations, a surcharge will be accessed annually (in the amount listed below) for three years from the date of the conviction. No points are assessed for these offenses because the surcharge is automatic upon conviction.


Per year for 3 years

DWI - First Offense
(Texas or out-of state conviction)


DWI - Subsequent Offense
(Texas or out-of state conviction)

DWI - with blood alcohol
concentration of 0.16 or more
(Texas or out-of state conviction)

No Insurance 
Driving While License Invalid
No Driver License

To pay your surcharges

You can pay your surcharge online at or by telephone at 1 (800) 688-6882. You can also mail a check or money order (not cash) to Surcharge Processing, P.O. Box 16733, Austin, Texas 78761-6733. Please note that there is a convenience fee for paying surcharges through the internet or telephone based systems.  

Surcharges can be paid in installments; however, a fee of $2.50 will apply to each payment. If you miss a payment, your license will be suspended. A defaulted installment agreement may be reinstated one time by submitting the minimum monthly payment. If a second default occurs, your driving privileges will be suspended until the surcharge is paid in full.  

How can we help you with surcharges?

There is not much we can do once you are accessed a surcharge; however, we can help you avoid future surcharges by keeping convictions for moving violations or conviction based offenses off of your record. 

Because surcharges are based off of convictions, we can usually avoid surcharges - even on conviction based offenses. Feel free to
contact us so that we can help you avoid paying for traffic tickets twice. 


Copyright 2011 by Hawkins & Walker, PC. All rights reserved.