A Texas drivers license suspension may occur in situations when licensed drivers fail to obey state road rules and laws. The Texas Department of Public Safety may revoke or suspend your driving privileges, depending on the offenses you have committed. Drivers may reinstate drivers licenses by fulfilling a list of requirements determined by the DPS. Offenders must wait a designated period of time before reinstating drivers licenses. Find out more information about suspended licenses in Texas by reading the sections below.
Reinstating A Texas Suspended License
Drivers are encouraged to reinstate suspended drivers licenses in Texas in order to maintain their driving privileges. The TX DPS may suspend your driver's license due to various reasons, such as: unpaid traffic tickets, DWI violations, DWLI offenses (Driving While License is Invalid) failure to pay child support, failure to appear and other serious offenses.
Note: The Texas DPS sends notification letters to drivers if they face a suspended or revoked driving license due to any given violation or offense. The notification letter stating an enforcement action will arrive at your mailing address.
How To Reinstate A Texas Suspended Drivers License
In certain cases, drivers may begin the process of suspended drivers license reinstatement in Texas after submitting payment for traffic fines. The TX DPS offers drivers an online service to pay reinstatement fees and check your driving eligibility. Drivers using this online service are required to provide personal information, such as the following:
- Driver's license/ID number.
- Date of birth.
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number.
After logging in the online license eligibility service, drivers may see their compliance requirements and pay reinstatement fees by entering their credit card information. Applicants who do not owe any fees or who are unable to complete the TX drivers license reinstatement process online may submit required documents via mail as an alternate method. If you choose to mail in your documentation, prepare your compliance items and received suspension notice with personal information. Make sure to include details such as your full name, date of birth and driver's license/ID number and send to the following address:
Department of Public Safety
Enforcement and Compliance Service
P.O. Box 2087
Austin, TX 78773-0320
Fees to Reinstate A Texas Drivers License
When reinstating drivers licenses in Texas, drivers may or may not be required to pay certain fees to the state Department of Public Safety. When using the online license eligibility service, drivers may need to pay the following fees:
- Driver Improvement fee.
- Safety Responsibility fee.
- Administrative License Revocation fee.
- Education program fee.
- Other owed fees.
Note: Texas divers license reinstatement fees are subject to vary, depending on the type of offense a driver has committed.
Suspension Periods in Texas
A Texas drivers license suspension period can vary in length, depending on the drivers' age and offenses committed. Drivers may face a suspended drivers license no matter whether they are offenders older than 21 years of age who have failed or refused to take a breath or blood test, or if they are minors caught with alcohol. Individuals older than 21 years of age who refuse or fail a breathalyzer may face a drivers license suspension for a period that ranges from 90 days to two years. Offenders younger than 21 years of age, on the other hand, may get a drivers license suspension period that lasts from 60 days to two years. Both adult and minor drivers who refuse to provide a blood or breath specimen will receive a suspension of 180 days for a first offense, or a period of two years for every subsequent offense.
Drivers can check the status of their current driver's license by ordering a copy of their Texas driving records. Prepare information such as full name, address, date of birth and driver's license number for the online service which will provide you a copy of your driving history.
Note: Holders of suspended drivers licenses in Texas will be given a lengthened suspension period, if they operate motor vehicles with a suspended or revoked credential.
Texas Point System
Suspended or revoked drivers licenses in Texas may be issued due to accumulation of demerit points for traffic convictions. Depending on your traffic conviction, the TX Department of Public Safety may add points to your driving record. Certain convictions will remain on your driving record. Find out which convictions result in the most demerit points:
- In-state and out-of-state traffic convictions - 2 points.
- In-state and out-of-state traffic convictions which resulted in a crash - 3 points.
Note: Accumulating six or more demerit points on your TX driving record makes it mandatory for offenders to submit payment for a surcharge of $100 for the first six demerit points, and $25 for every subsequent point.
Traffic School in Texas
Holders of suspended drivers licenses in Texas may enroll in an accredited traffic school in order to reduce the number of demerit points from their driving records. The Driver Responsibility Program allows drivers with unpaid surcharges to qualify for a waiver or reduction of the amount they owe in order to maintain their driving privileges.
Note: Drivers who complete a defensive driving course in Texas may be eligible to receive a point deduction on their driving records.
Types of Texas Drivers License Suspensions
A Texas drivers license suspension may happen as a consequence of various situations. The state Department of Public Safety suspends or revokes driving privileges due to driving a motor vehicle under alcohol or drug influence or participating in a traffic accident. Texas DPS has two types of suspensions: mandatory and administrative suspension. Drivers may get a mandatory suspended drivers license in TX are as a result of the following offenses:
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
- Causing deaths, manslaughters or injuries while driving under the influence.
- Committing felonies.
- Driving with an invalid license.
- Providing false documents and/or information.
- Racing a motor vehicle on public roads.
The DPS has the authority to conduct administrative driving license suspensions for driving with invalid license, participating in a crash, violating traffic laws, failing to provide medical information, failing to complete a drug education program, failing to take and/or pass a test when needed, violating probation order and other offenses.
Texas DUI Suspensions
A revoked or suspended driving license in Texas is issued to motorists who are pulled over or arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol and/or drugs. When it comes to DUI/DWI violations, Texas laws strictly prohibit driving a motor vehicle with a high level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Drivers who are convicted of DWI may be ordered by the court to install interlock ignition devices on their vehicles. The IID will check your level of BAC before starting the vehicle.
Note: Drivers who commit a DWI conviction may be also required to pay certain annual surcharges for three years. Check your DWI convictions by ordering a copy of your TX driving record.
Drivers Older Than 21
Motorists older than 21 years of age will get a driving licenses suspension period of less than two years for a first offense. Adult drivers who submit to a breathalyzer test showing a BAC level of .08 percent or more may receive a suspension period of 90 days for a first DUI offense. A subsequent offense will bring them suspension of one year. To reinstate drivers licenses in Texas, adults will have to enroll in an Alcohol Education Program. Drivers may also be granted a probation, which requires a completion of a 12-hour alcohol education course. Certificate of completion of this program must be submitted to the Texas DPS within 180 days from the conviction date in order to prevent getting a revoked drivers license.
Drivers Younger Than 21
Drivers younger than 21 years of age will get suspended drivers licenses in Texas for a period of one year and will be required to complete a 12-hour Alcohol Education Program. Minors who fail to complete this program will receive a suspension period of 180 days. A subsequent offense may result in a drivers license suspension period of one year. Young motorists may also receive suspensions of 30 days for a first offense, 60 days for a second offense and 180 days for a subsequent offense. These driving license suspensions will be received if minor drivers commit the following offenses:
- Alcohol purchase.
- Attempt for alcohol purchase.
- Alcohol consumption or possession.
- Public Intoxication.
- Falsification of age.
Car Insurance Suspensions
Failure to provide auto insurance will bring a Texas suspended drivers license to operators of motor vehicles. Drivers with suspended or revoked drivers licenses must submit proof of a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) at the TX Department of Public Safety. In addition, drivers must maintain the insurance coverage for at least two years from the conviction date. Note that providing an insurance card or policy will not substitute an SR-22 form.
Note: Drivers, who have car insurance but are unable to provide proof at the moment of conviction, may submit the proof to the TX DPS. The driving license suspension can then be waived but the driver will still have to pay a surcharge.
Traffic Summons or Failure To Pay
Drivers can get a Texas suspended driving license due to a failure to appear in court or a failure to pay a traffic ticket or a fine. When facing a ticket or a fine, motorists are required to handle them at a Texas court. By doing so, drivers can establish the amount of fines and costs owned, and request a trial in order to answer those charges. Ignoring a payment will notify the state DPS and will show on your TX driving record. Note that a failure to pay a ticket or a fine will not only be written on your record, but it will also prevent you from operating a motor vehicle, or renewing your credentials.
Note: Violations may be reported to the TX DPS by more than one court. Drivers must contact each court where their appearance is required.
Texas Hardship Drivers License
Prior to reinstating drivers licenses in Texas, drivers may be eligible to acquire hardship (occupational) licenses. The occupational license is also known as an essential need license which can be obtained by drivers whose credentials have been suspended, revoked or denied. Motorists can request an occupational license for work purposes, school-related activities, or for performance of essential household needs.
Drivers with suspended drivers licenses in Texas are considered ineligible to get occupational licenses if they operate commercial vehicles or if their credentials were suspended due to medical reasons or failure to pay child support. The Justice of the Peace, county or district court determines whether a driver is eligible to be issued an occupational license. If a driver's hardship is deemed valid, then a court order is granted to allow the issuance of an occupational license.
Note: Drivers requesting an occupational license may have to fulfill a portion of their suspension period before they can submit their request. For instance, motorists who have committed a drug or alcohol-related offense must serve 90 days of their suspension period, while applicants with an intoxication-related conviction must wait 180 days. In addition, drivers are required to wait one year if two or more administration license revocations are listed on their driving records.
Applying For A Texas Hardship License
Drivers with suspended, denied or revoked drivers licenses in Texas may apply for an occupational license at a local Department of Public Safety office. To begin the process, applicants must submit the following:
- Certified copy of the court order.
- Certified copy of the petition (if the individual does not participate in a special drug court program).
- Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22).
- Payment of $10 fee per year for the occupational license.
- Payment for reinstatement fees.
Apart from applying in person at a regional DMV branch, drivers can mail, fax or email any necessary payment and documents to the Texas DPS.
Note: Drivers who are granted a court order for the issuance of an occupational license may use this official document for 45 days as a driving credential, while awaiting their occupational license.