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Driver Responsibility Program Ends

Texas Driver Responsibility Program

Here's what that means for you.

More than 600,000 Texans will immediately be eligible to have their driver's licenses reinstated after the program's Sept. 1 repeal. The system was widely criticized for adding additional annual fees on top of the price of tickets, but all pending surcharges will soon be waived.

Who is eligible to have their license reinstated — and how?

Of the nearly 1.5 million Texans who were unable to keep or renew their licenses under the Driver Responsibility Program, there are a few different groups drivers might fall into when attempting to get their licenses reinstated after Sept. 1.


Drivers whose licenses were expired for under two years may be eligible to replace them online. If more time has passed, drivers will have to re-apply and pass written, vision and driving tests before obtaining a new license.

What happens to unpaid surcharges?

All surcharges under the Driver Responsibility Program will be waived after Sept. 1 and no future fees will be assessed, according to the Department of Public Safety. Drivers will still be responsible for any other suspensions, fines or fees on their driving records.  

Where will the state's trauma care center system funding come from now?

General state traffic fines, currently at $30, also are partially directed toward supporting trauma care. Starting Sept. 1, those costs will be hiked up to $50. The bill also tacked on $2 in additional annual costs to automobile insurance fees.

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 •Electronic service fee is $60  (in addition to the $40 class fee)

•You must provide an email address and have a printer to be able to print the certificate to take to the court 

•The court will verify the authenticity of the certificate  

•You can expect your certificate the NEXT BUSINESS day by 5:00 P.M. (mountain time)  

“Flashing Lights”

New Instructional Video Aims to Lessen Tension at Traffic Stops

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is hoping a new  instructional video will help citizens understand how to interact with  law enforcement at traffic stops. 


The Community Safety Education Act (S.B. 30) was signed into law to  mandate specific instruction on traffic stop behavior by motorists and  law enforcement officers. Along with the law, a new instructional video  called “Flashing Lights” was added to driver’s education.

“Flashing Lights” is a 16-minute combined video and PowerPoint  presentation produced and developed in partnership with TDLR, the Texas  Department of Public Safety, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement,  the Texas Education Agency, Austin Community College, the Foundation for  Safe Driving, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Travis County  Constables, Teen and Police Service Academy of Houston, the Houston  Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, and other state and  local law enforcement agencies.


“I believe this video will help lower the tension in a traffic stop –  and, I hope, allow both the driver and the officer to be safe and walk  away from a traffic stop. Anyone who drives should take time to watch  this presentation, no matter how long they’ve been driving,” said TDLR  Executive Director Brian Francis.

Per the new law, all students at public high schools are required to  receive this instruction prior to graduation. The law also requires that  driver education and driving safety curriculum include information  about proper procedures for citizen and law enforcement interaction  during traffic stops. One of the goals of the new law is to lessen  tensions and anxieties that may arise during interactions between  officers and citizens that could lead to undesired outcomes.


New Texas law prohibits texting while driving


What you need to know about Texas' texting and driving ban

  • The law targets people who are on their cellphones reading, writing or sending a text message while driving.
  • Law enforcement will be on the lookout for drivers whose heads are down and who are swerving which is an indicator of texting while driving. 
  • Cellphones can be used for GPS navigation and music, though cellphones should be attached to the dashboard.  
  • Some drivers steer with a knee as they text with one hand putting them at a disadvantage to maneuver out of the way of other vehicles.
  • Using a cellphone to report an emergency, like a car crash, while driving is permissible under the law.
  • Those who are caught texting and driving will face a fine up to $99 for the first offense and those who've previously been convicted could face up to $200.