Texas DPS Surcharges

The financial aspects of DWI can be just as stressful as the criminal case itself. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a system to combat dangerous driving called the Driver Responsibility Program. The program is designed to assess surcharges to people with traffic convictions.

The Driver Responsibility Program functions on a point system or based on your conviction. If you’re charged with DWI, then your surcharges will be conviction based. DPS will impose pricey surcharges to you annually for three years. In addition, you won’t be able use your license until the surcharges are paid.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s vital you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for DWI Surcharges in Harris County, Texas

Driving while intoxicated isn’t only hazardous, but it can also be expensive. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) imposes surcharges for people with DWI convictions. You could be stuck paying DPS in the thousands for years. Thankfully, you can avoid this with quality legal representation. Contact the attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. to start planning your criminal defense.

The attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. have years of knowledge from practicing in Texas. We are passionate about criminal defense with a high focus in DWI law. Our attorneys promise to utilize every resource and legal option available for your case. Call us today at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation.

Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. represents people accused of crimes throughout the Houston area including Bellaire, Pasadena, Tomball and River Oaks.

Overview of DPS Surcharges in Texas

Driver Responsibility Program in Texas

The Driver Responsibility Program was implemented to deter drivers from acting carelessly. The program assigns surcharges to drivers who have points on their license or certain traffic convictions on your record. If you have both points and a conviction on your record, then you’ll receive separate surcharges for each offense.

DPS assesses every traffic conviction added to your driving record into points. These points aren’t added if your traffic conviction was a result of defensive driving. DPS will then add points to your license that will remain for three years. DPS determines points by:

  • 2 points for Texas or out-of-state traffic convictions; or
  • 3 points for Texas or out-of-state traffic convictions that resulted in a crash

If you have six or more points on your driving record, then DPS can impose surcharges. These surcharges include:

  • $100 for having six points or more on your driving record; and
  • $25 for every additional point on your record after six

If you’re convicted for DWI, then DPS will require you to pay an annual surcharge for three years. Your points won’t be assessed because the surcharge is automatic if you’re convicted. Failure to pay these surcharges will result in the revocation or suspension of your license.

Listed below are the annual surcharges for DWI by DPS.

  • First DWI - $1,000
  • Second or Subsequent DWI - $1,500
  • DWI with BAC of .16 or More - $2,000

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Indigency Program in Texas

The surcharges for DWI are startling to say the least. You may have just finished paying for the cost of your DWI, and now you’re drowning again in DPS fines. Thankfully, Texas Legislature has authorized the Indigency Program to assist people who struggle financially.

The program allows you to waive your surcharges and maintain your driving privileges if you are living at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level.  Listed below is a chart to determine if you’re at or below the 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

Persons in
48 Contiguous States & DC
1 $15,175.00
2 $20,575.00
3 $25,975.00
4 $31,375.00
5 $36,775.00
6 $42,175.00
7 $47,575.00
8 $52,975.00
For each additional $5,400.00

Based on the answers of your application, you could be required to submit the following items:

  • Copy of your SSI benefits statement, if needed;
  • Copy of your most Medicaid benefits statement, if needed;
  • Copy of your two most recent and complete bank statements;
  • Your recent 1040 and related 1099, if needed;
  • Any evidence of your dependents;
  • Copies of your two most recent pay stubs or statements;
  • Copies of two recent pay statements by other household members;
  • Copy of an unemployment approval or denial letter;
  • Copy of your Veterans Benefits statement, if needed;
  • Evidence you receive housing assistance; and
  • Other relevant documentation

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Incentive Program in Texas

Another program to assist with DPS surcharges is the Incentive Program. The program allows you to pay the surcharges while maintaining your driving privileges. If you qualify, you’ll have your DPS surcharges reduced and can continue to use your license. You must pay these surcharges by the due date or you’ll have your license suspended.

The Incentive Program only applies to people living above 125 percent, but below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. The following chart can help you determine if you qualify for Texas’s Incentive Program.

Persons in
48 Contiguous
States & DC
1 $36,420.00
2 $49,380.00
3 $62,340.00
4 $75,300.00
5 $88,260.00
6 $101,220.00
7 $114,180.00
8 $127,140.00
For each additional $12,960.00


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Additional Resources

Driver Responsibility Program – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about DPS surcharges. Access the site to learn more about their driver responsibility program, where to make payments and other surcharge reduction programs.

DPS Surcharge Online Services – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and access their online services. Use the site to obtain information on your surcharge payments, may payments or apply for Indigency or Incentive Programs.

Lawyer for DPS Surcharges in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Not only will you face criminal penalties, but DPS could also impose expensive surcharges to your license for three years. Don’t wait another moment to formulate your defense. Call the attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. now for legal representation.

The attorneys at Tyler Flood & Associates, Inc. are experienced in DWI law. We will collect evidence, utilize our resources and do whatever possible to help you obtain the best possible result for your case. Call now at (713) 224-5529 for a case evaluation today. We accept clients throughout the greater Houston area and surrounding communities including Bellaire, Tomball and River Oaks.

This article was last updated on March 7th, 2019.


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