“What you should know about your Texas Driver’s License”
The State of Texas maintains a system by which it charges people with a driver’s license to keep their right to drive. Point and convictions are used to assess surcharges: any moving violation gets you at least two points, and the points stay on your record for three years. The state checks your record annually, and if you have six points on your record, it sends you a bill for $100. For every point you have over six points, you are billed an extra $25. Failure to pay within one month gets your license automatically suspended. MSB is the Municipal Service Bureau, a private company that serves as a collection agency for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize their license is suspended until they get pulled over the next time. An officer might inform you that you were speeding and can be taken to jail for driving with an invalid license. Often he’ll just give you a ticket for each, and you can be on your way. But guess what? You’ve just gotten two more points on your records for speeding and have strayed into surcharges for convictions territory.
If you plead guilty without properly negotiating the charges for driving without a valid license, you will get an automatic surcharge for $250 for the next three years. This $750 charge is on top of the local fine for your ticket. Other charges and their automatic surcharge include:
- 1st Driving while Intoxicated $1,000 a year for three years = $3,000
- Subsequent Driving While Intoxicated $1,500 a year for three years = $4,500
- Driving While Intoxicated with BAC of 0.16 or more $2,000 a year for three years = $6,000
- No Insurance $250 a year for three years = $750
- Driving While License Invalid $250 a year for three years = $750
- No Driver’s License $100 a year for three years = $300
The Texas Department of Public Safety maintains a website that permits you to view any surcharges you may have pending on your record. Go to txdps.state.tx.us and txsurchargeonline.com to see if your license is suspended or if you have surcharges that need to be paid.
Having a valid driver’s license in Texas makes life a lot easier. If you have a suspended license, do yourself a favor and call an attorney or utilize the Texas DPS website to get your situation under control before you get more tickets, more fines, or you might end up in jail.