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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.

If you get 6 driving points on your record in a 3 year period, DPS will charge you a surcharge of $100.00. If you get more than 6 points, you will be surcharged $25.00 for each additional point. The surcharges will continue every year until enough points fall off to put you back under the 6 point limit.

Also, if you have a DWI on your driving record, you will be charged a surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years following your conviction. If you get busted for DWI a second time in 3 years, that surcharge goes up to $1,500. Also, if you're really drunk and have a blood alcohol level above .16, you can expect to pay $2,000/year to renew your license for the next three years.  Other possible surcharges based on violations found in your driving record include driving with an invalid license or without insurance ($250.00), and driving without a valid license ($100.00).

In addition to being used by the state, your driving record may also be used by employers or potential employers. If you are looking for a job, potential employers may check your driving history, especially if the job you are applying for involves a lot of driving on company time or in a company vehicle. Even if you are not looking for a job, your current employer may check your driving record periodically just to make sure it's still clear.

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