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.
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.
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.
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.
•Electronic service fee is $30 (in addition to the $45 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 9am Central Time
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.