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Driver Responsibility Program

The Driver Responsibility Program establishes a system that authorizes the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assess surcharges to an individual based on certain traffic offenses that have occurred on or after September 1, 2003. Individuals are notified by mail each time a surcharge is added to their driver record. Surcharges are in addition to other fees and do not replace a suspension, revocation, denial, disqualification or cancellation resulting from the same conviction.

Surcharges are assessed in two ways:

  1. Point System, and
  2. Conviction Based.

Individuals who have both points and convictions reported to their driver record will receive separate surcharges for each offense; a surcharge for the points and a surcharge for the conviction(s).

Download the Driver Responsibility Program (DIC-2) pamphlet.

   Point System

Points are assessed for traffic convictions.  Once the conviction has been added to the driver record, points are assigned and remain on the driver record for three years from the date of conviction.

  1. Two points are assessed for a Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction.
  2. Three points are assessed for a Texas or out-of-state traffic conviction that resulted in a crash.

NOTE: Points are not assessed for individuals who take defensive driving.

Individuals who have six or more points on their driver record are assessed a surcharge every year they maintain six or more points. Surcharges amounts are:

  1. $100 for the first six points on a driver record.
  2. $25 for each additional point after six. 
   Conviction Based

Individuals who receive a conviction for one of the offenses listed in the chart below will pay an annual surcharge for three years from the date of conviction. Points are not assessed for these offenses because the surcharge is automatic upon conviction.

Convictions are added to the driver record once DPS receives notification from the court. As a result, there may be a delay between the date of the actual conviction and when the conviction is added to a driver record.

Type of Conviction Surcharge*
1st Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Texas or out-of state conviction for DWI, Intoxication Assault or Manslaughter
$1,000
Subsequent DWI
Texas or out-of state conviction for DWI, Intoxication Assault or Manslaughter
$1,500
DWI with Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.16 or More
Texas or out-of state conviction
$2,000
No Insurance $250
Driving While License Invalid (DWLI)
Driver license is canceled, suspended, denied or revoked
$250
No Driver License
No driver license or commercial driver license, an expired license or endorsement violation(s)
$100
*The surcharge amount is assessed every year for three years.

No Insurance Conviction

Individuals convicted of No Insurance but who had insurance at the time of the offense can submit proof of insurance to DPS. The suspension for the No Insurance offense will be waived but the individual must still pay the surcharge.

Driver Record Review

DPS reviews surcharge cases annually. A surcharge will be assessed if an individual’s driver record:

  1. Continues to reflect six or more points, or
  2. If the underlying conviction for the surcharge is still within three years. 

The amount of a surcharge can vary with each annual assessment if convictions are added or removed from the driver record.

DPS Contracts with a Vendor

DPS contracts with an outside vendor (Municipal Services Bureau - MSB) to collect surcharges. This vendor is legally authorized to charge individuals the following service fees in addition to the surcharge.

  1. A service fee of 4 percent of the original surcharge amount.
  2. An installment plan fee of $2.50 for each partial payment.
  3. A credit or debit card fee of 2.25 percent of the payment plus $0.25 (except where prohibited by law).
  4. An electronic check fee of $2.00 for each payment.

Individuals are mailed notification of surcharges to the address on record with DPS or to the most recent forwarding address on record with the U.S. Postal Service. The letter will include:

Payment of Surcharges

Surcharges must be paid within 105 days or an individual’s driver license will be suspended for failure to comply with the surcharge requirements. The individual’s driving privileges will remain suspended until an installment agreement is established or all surcharges and related costs are paid in full.

Payments can be made online at Municipal Services Bureau (MSB) or by calling 800-688-6882.

Individuals may also mail a personal check, money order or cashier’s check to the address below. Do not send cash. Individuals must write their name, driver license number and reference number on their payment so their record can be properly identified. Make check or money order payment to MSB and allow three days for processing.

Mailing Address: Surcharge Processing
  P.O. Box 16733
  Austin, Texas 78761-6733

To learn more about additional payment options including ACE Cash Express, Money Gram or Western Union, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions webpage or call 800-688-6882.

Indigency and Incentive Programs

DPS offers an Indigency Program that reduces surcharges owed for some individuals with incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

DPS offers an Incentive Program that reduces surcharges owed for some individuals with incomes above 125 percent and below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Only surcharges assessed on or after September 30, 2004 are eligible for a reduction.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, poverty guidelines, and the application process, visit www.txsurchargeonline.com or call 866-223-3583.

The Trauma Center and Texas General Revenue Fund

Collected surcharges are forwarded to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts on a monthly basis who then distributes 99 percent of the money to The Trauma Center and Texas General Revenue Fund. DPS receives the remaining one percent for administration of the Driver Responsibility Program.

Occupational License

Individuals may be eligible to apply for an occupational license while their driver license is suspended or revoked. To learn more about occupational licenses or to determine if you may be eligible to apply, please visit our Occupational License webpage.

Driver Eligibility Status

For information on reinstating a driver license or to pay fees, please visit the License Eligibility website.