A traffic violation in Texas amounts to a traffic ticket. You need to pay for the ticket promptly before the 20 days allowance expires.
Paying online is always the quickest and most convenient. Join me on this journey as I take through how to pay a traffic ticket online in Texas.
But first, who is eligible to pay for a Texas traffic ticket online.
Eligibility Requirements for Paying Texas Traffic Ticket Online
Some requirements need to be attained for you to pay for a Texas traffic ticket online, as follows:
- Know your ticket number.
- Ticket not disposed—maybe you served time, the ticket got dismissed, or ticket was paid, took a driving safety class, or a deferred adjudication).
- Possess a valid credit card, which could be American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and Visa.
- Not a juvenile at the time of ticket issuance.
- Cash bond not posted on your case.
- Not yet incarcerated.
- No application for a driving safety course was made.
- The offense and the court date haven’t surpassed two years.
Note: Now that you know the requirements for paying off a Texas traffic ticket online, especially in Houston, it is now time to pay for your ticket.
How to Pay a Traffic Ticket Online in Texas
The process of clearing off your Texas traffic ticket online is straightforward. Different county courthouses in Texas have a separate site through which you can make traffic ticket payments. An example of a county courthouse you may have indicated on your ticket is the City of Houston Municipal Courts. So how would you pay for traffic tickets online in Houston, Texas?
- Foremost, go to the City of Houston Municipal Courts’ official website. Click here to go directly to the site.
- Secondly, navigate to the “Popular City Pages” section and click “Pay a Ticket.”
- Thirdly, click “Continue to Pay Fine” under the “Pay Your Fine Online” section.
You will be redirected to a different page, “Chase City of Houston, Ticket Payment System,” to pay your fine.
- Here, proceed to enter details required under the Search Ticket form.
- Lastly, click “Continue” and proceed with the process to conclude payment.
All online traffic payments online through this system attract a $5 fee. An update of the payment to your account reflects in about 24 to 72 hours.
Note: There are more ways through which you can make traffic ticket payments in Texas.
Other Options for Paying Traffic Tickets in Texas
Apart from paying online, you can also pay for traffic ticket in Texas through the following options:
Remember, we decided to use the major city of Texas for our demonstrations.
Via phone payment: You can issue personal details such as your name, date of birth, your Driver’s License number, and ticket number by dialing 3-1-1 or call 713.837.0311. The best part of the phone payment is that the fine payment reflects on the account immediately.
Through the mail: For municipal courts, payment options accepted include checks, money orders, and credit cards. You can then forward your payment to the courthouse in this case;
City of Houston
Municipal Courts Department
P.O. Box 4996
Houston, Texas 77210-4996
In-person payments: There about six locations in Houston, Texas, where you can make your payment. On the Municipal Courts of Houston Texas official website, there are about six places in Houston where you can make traffic ticket payments in person;
- The Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse
- Acres Homes/North Command Station
- Southeast Command Station
- Clear Lake Sub-Station
- Westside Command Station
- Kingwood Annex Court
Payment by Western Union: Using the Quick Collect” service by Western Union, you can pay for your traffic ticket. At any of the Western Unions around you (you can call 1-800-325-6000 to find one), show up with the ticket notice and a filled Blue Quick collection form.
- Address to: City of Houston Municipal Courts
- Code City: Ticket, State: TX, Citation # (Number)
Western Union delivers the payment to the court in 24 hours.
Note: The payment option is not the only method of solving your traffic ticket. You can also protest the traffic ticket.
Protesting a Traffic Ticket in Texas
If you feel that you were wrongly issued a traffic ticket, you can contest the decision in court in Texas. So, how do you do it?
- When the ticket is issued, take it and move away, considering you have enough time to fight it in court.
- Sign the ticket as well if you have been asked. Note that signing doesn’t make you guilty.
- Then, if you know or think you’re not guilty, mention it so that it is captured in the dashboard camera or body cam on the traffic officer’s uniform.
Note: The above is preparation for how to go about everything when the police officer flags you off and issues you a ticket.
Remember: Do not engage the police officer in an argument that could result in an escalated encounter.
Fast forward to the actual defense; you need a traffic defense lawyer.
If you cannot afford one, seek the assistance of the Texas Legal Members. These individuals are covered by a Texas legal protection plan, and chip in if you don’t wish to part with a dime.
There are particular benefits to having a lawyer help with your traffic ticket. Those benefits include:
- A lawyer can detect defects in a ticket and use it to fight off the issue.
- Just by checking the officer’s notes, a lawyer could find something unusual to battle the ticket.
- Your lawyer can get the body cam video clip and make a case of it. This is a privilege you may not have access to.
Important to note: As you prepare to sort out your ticket in court, even without a lawyer, seek counsel to understand the repercussions that come with you getting your form of a traffic ticket.
Warning: Some traffic violations not only attract a fine, but also some points are added to your Texas driving record.
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Texas Traffic Violations Points System
Most of the traffic violations you commit in Texas attract some points. The more these points accumulate, the higher the chances your driving license will be suspended for a particular period.
Below, I will take you through the Texas traffic violations points systems so that you can know firsthand what each means to your driving record.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has a straightforward points system. So here’s how the points are awarded:
- Foremost, moving violations attract 2 points.
- Secondly, moving violations that cause an accident result in 3 points.
Accumulating a total of six points over three years results in you getting paying surcharges. As you accumulate more points, the surcharges increase.
For instance, 4 moving violations over 12 months or 7 moving violations over 24 months attract license suspension.
There is another form of surcharge known as the conviction-based surcharge. Here, you are not issued with points, but you will pay a surcharge every year for three years consecutively. Examples of conviction based surcharges include:
- Driving under the influence, which attracts a $1000 fine every year for three years. If caught afterward, the amount rises to a whopping $1500 every year.
- Driving with invalid license results in a $250 a year charge for three years. The same applies to using an invalid insurance cover.
Bottom line: All the above charges show that you must be aware of what is represented on your traffic ticket. But what if you lose a traffic ticket?
What to Do If You Lose Your Traffic Ticket in Texas?
The answer is that you have to check your ticket online and get your facts and details about the ticket issued right. To check your traffic ticket in Texas, here’s what to do:
- Foremost, go to the Texas Department of Public Safety ticket search official site. Click here to go directly to the site.
- Secondly, enter details required; DL or ID number, Date of Birth, and your three as required.
- Lastly, click “Search” and navigate to your pending ticket.
Once you have this information, what follows is making your payments with the Citation # (Number) in mind. One is by having it personally delivered and mailed money orders and checks.
Paying off your Texas traffic tickets on time protects you from any further penalties by the county court indicated on your traffic citation. Above, you have learned how to pay a traffic ticket online in Texas.
Moreover, other issues such as eligibility for making traffic ticket payments online and other options for making payments.
Furthermore, how to protest a Texas traffic ticket, the Texas traffic points system, and how to check your ticket online if you lose it.
All you need to do now is make your Texas traffic ticket payment online and start easing the burden off your driving record.