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In 2019, the state of Texas did away with the driver’s license point system for moving violations, along with their “Driver Responsibility Program.” What does this mean for Texas drivers? How do drivers license suspensions work in the Lone Star State?

The Texas Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) Is Repealed

The Texas point system had been in place since September 1, 2003, as part of the Driver Responsibility Program. Any moving violations or traffic offenses that occurred on or after September 1, 2003 were tracked using a point system and associated surcharges.

Thousands of Texans who could not pay these charges or accumulated too many points had their drivers licenses suspended. Under the Texas CDL point system, many professional drivers lost their commercial driver license. However, this Texas law was repealed in 2019, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reinstated many suspended licenses as a result.

How Did Driving Points Work?

Unless you took a Texas driver safety course (aka: Texas defensive driving course) to keep points off your record, points were assessed for each eligible traffic violation and generally left your driving record in 12 months. If the traffic violation did not cause an accident, 2 points were usually assessed, but if there was an accident, 3 points were added. Under the DRP, if you had 6 or more points it allowed the Department of Public Safety or DPS to assess surcharges, and failure to pay these charges would result in your Texas drivers license being suspended.

The New System for Suspended Drivers Licenses in Texas

Since September 1, 2019, Texas tracks how many moving violations each driver has had in both a 12- and a 24-month period. What is a moving violation? This category includes any violation that happens while a vehicle is in motion, but does not include things like parking tickets.

Your driver’s license in Texas may be suspended if:

  • You have 4 or more moving violations in a 12-month period.
  • You have 7 or more moving violations in a 24-month period.
  • You are convicted of 2 or more offenses that conflict with a license restriction, such as wearing corrective lenses or not driving at night.
  • You are convicted of driving under the influence.
  • You are involved in an accident which causes serious injury or fatality.
  • You were involved in an accident and were driving without insurance.

How to Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated in Texas

If your driver’s license is suspended for one of these reasons, you may be eligible for an occupational license that allows you to drive to work or school only. With court approval, you may be able to have one or more tickets removed from your driving record by completing a state-approved online defensive driving course in Texas. You will be required to pay all necessary reinstatement fees to receive your Texas license renewal or reinstatement.

Can You Take a Texas Defensive Driving Course for Ticket Dismissal?

Especially in the case of minor traffic violations like speeding, you are allowed to make a formal request to the court to have the ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving course in Texas. While it is up to the judge to decide, most will allow you to take an approved Texas defensive driving course online or in the classroom once every 12 months to keep a ticket off your driving record. If approved, you will typically have 90 days to complete your coursework.

Not only will taking a defensive driving course help you prevent having your license suspended, it can help to avoid the car insurance rate increases that are associated with each moving violation. Keeping your driving record clean of even a single violation will help keep your rates low. Many insurance companies also offer a 10% discount to any customer who completes a defensive driving course.
State of Texas overview road map

Keep Your Driving Record Clean in Texas

Ticket School offers state approved Texas defensive driving courses online that you can access 24/7 from any internet connected device, even your smartphone. Work at your own pace and complete your coursework for ticket dismissal, license reinstatement, or insurance discounts the fastest and most affordable way possible when you enroll today with Ticket School!