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Texas Driving Record

Your Texas driving record has a tremendous influence on the price you pay to keep your driver's license in good standing, as well as the price you pay for auto insurance. Therefore, it's important to protect your driving record by driving safely, taking traffic school whenever possible if you do get a ticket, and reviewing it every now and then to make sure the information it contains is accurate.

 

When should You Request a Copy of your Driving Record?

One of the most important documents that the state of Texas has on file about you is your Texas driving record. Your driving record can affect your insurance rates, your ability to get insurance coverage, and even your ability to get certain jobs.  Because of this, you should review it for accuracy periodically, just like you should review your credit report-especially if you plan on changing jobs or looking for new insurance coverage in the near future! Read more...

 

What Information is Contained in your Driving Record? 

Texas, like most other states, has a law on the books that requires it to keep a record of "each accident report and abstract of the court record of a conviction received by the department under a law of this state." (Texas ยง 521.042) Therefore, any time you get in an accident or are convicted of a traffic offense, it goes on your Texas driving record and stays there. If you take a Texas defensive driving course to have a ticket dismissed, the fact that you took a defensive driving course also appears on your driving record, although the ticket itself will not. Read more...

 

Where to Get Your Texas State Driving Record

You can obtain a copy of your driving record in one of three different ways. One way is to order it online from the Texas Department of Public Safety. DPS has a system that verifies your identity using information from your driver's license, as well as a secure online payment system. However, if you order it online you will pay a convenience fee that ranges from 50 cents to $2.00, depending on the type of record you order. Although you can order it online, it will take the state approximately 5 business days to process the request and mail your record to you. Read more...

 

How is Your Driving Record Used? 

Your driving record is used for different purposes by different entities. For example, the state uses your driving record to keep track of how many accidents and violations you've had. The state reviews the record whenever you renew your license, and may choose not to renew your license if your record is bad enough. In addition, Texas has a driver improvement initiative called the Driver Responsibility Program. Each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, points are assigned to your license. Any moving violation is 2 points if it does lead to an accident and 3 points if it does. The only exceptions are for speeding tickets outside of school zones if you are going less than 10% faster than the speed limit, and tickets that are dismissed in exchange for attending a defensive driving course. Read more...

 

How Defensive Driving affects your Driving Record

In Texas, you are allowed to have one traffic ticket dismissed each year by attending a state-approved defensive driving course. Traffic tickets dismissed this way do not show add points to your driving record or raise your insurance rates. If you get a ticket dismissed by going to traffic school, the only thing that will show up on your driving record is the fact that you took defensive driving. Since Texas starts surcharging after only 6 points in 3 years, it's important to get your traffic ticket dismissed if at all possible. In the long run, defensive driving courses can save you a lot of money by keeping driving points off your record. Easy, fun state-approved online defensive driving courses are available through Driving University. Read more...

 

Insurance Rates and Driving Records

Insurance companies also use your driving record to decide whether or not they are willing to insure you, and how much to charge you for insurance if they do decide to offer coverage. From an insurance perspective, drivers who have too many accidents or violations on their driving record are "bad risks." Insurance companies believe that if you have a lot of points on your driving record, you are more likely to get in an accident and they are more likely to have to pay a claim. To make up for the increased risk, they raise your premium based on how many accidents and violations show up on your driving record. If they believe that your driving record represents too much of a risk, they may not insure you at all. Read more...

 

How much does it Cost to get a Copy of my Driving Record?

As you saw earlier, Texas issues 6 different types of driving records. The cost to request a record depends on the type of record you need, and whether you request it through the mail or online. Read more...

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