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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fines, License Suspension and Traffic School in Texas

Obtaining a driver's license in Texas is already a feat in itself, keeping a driver record clean is another thing. One might, even unintentionally, get a ticket. What this entails is fees for the ticket, a court appearance, a hit on a driver's insurance and points to his/her driver record.

Getting a Ticket, Paying Fines and Traffic School

When you hear sirens behind you, you have to slow down and hear what the officer has to say. Once a ticket is issued to a driver in Texas, he/she has 10 days to respond to it. Either pay it, or contact the local court. (Contact information for the court will be given once a ticket has been issued.)

Usually, the officer that issues the ticket may inform the driver of options on paying their fines. Contacting the court and asking questions on how to handle the ticket will help. Courts take personal checks, cash, debit cards or credit cards. It varies from county-to-county and court-to-court.

There will be an option to take a TX defensive driving course online to hopefully dismiss the ticket. This will lower points that a driver receives on his driving record, and may also give a discount for insurance. Although if a driver has been going over 95 mph, this option will not be available.

License Suspension

If a driver has been caught driving irresponsibly several times, the license might get suspended. Usually the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will inform the driver of the suspension. A driver may also order a copy of his/her driving record, to find out a driver's status.

One might contest to obtain a restricted license (for going to work/school/household errands) by contacting the district court that issued the license suspension in the first place.

Driver Responsibility Program

Much like New York, Texas has a driver responsibility program to help enforce their safe driving policies. What this means is, once a driver obtains 6 or more points in his/her driving record, there will be an annual fee, also called a surcharge, to be paid. This could range from $100 a year to a surprising $2000 a year for up to 3 years.

Driving safe, keeping smart, or maybe voluntarily electing to take a defensive driving course will help drivers avoid all the hassles of tickets, fines, suspension and surcharges. Just make sure to be updated on county laws.

Read more about How to Dismiss your Texas Speeding Ticket

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