In the state of Texas, a person’s driver's license may be suspended when they are convicted of four or more moving traffic violations within a 12-month period or seven or more moving traffic violations within a 24-month period.
Speeding, speeding 15 miles or more over the posted limit, speeding equal to or greater than 10 percent above the posted limit, and speeding in a school zone are all considered moving violations. Speeding at less than 10 percent below the posted limit may incur a fine, but is not considered a moving violation.
No Texas Speeding Ticket Points on a Driving Record
On September 1, 2019, Texas repealed the Driver Responsibility Program, which created sets of surcharges applicable to driver’s license points. This means that the Texas point system is abolished, and the state no longer assigns points to a person’s moving violations to add up to a total number of points that will result in a license suspension.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has reinstated all driver privileges that were previously suspended for only unpaid surcharges. A person can check the status of their driving privilege or pay nonsurcharge-related reinstatement fees online. They will need their Texas driver's license number, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number.
Payments made on surcharge accounts before September 1, 2019 will not be refunded, including advance payments on surcharge accounts.
State Speed Limits
State law sets the maximum speed limit at 70 mph for a numbered highway outside an urban district, but allows the Texas Transportation Commission to establish a maximum speed limit of 75 mph.
The Commission can also set a maximum speed limit of 80 mph or 85 mph if the highway is designed to accommodate that speed and it is determined to be safe and reasonable after a traffic or engineering study.
A maximum speed limit of 80 mph within 10 counties on Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 is also permitted. Speed limits on state highways may be set by the Commission or by a city if the highway is within city limits.
Additional Texas Speed Limits
State law provides other speed limits:
- 30 mph on city streets.
- 15 mph on alleys in urban areas.
- 60 mph for an unnumbered highway outside an urban district with special rules for school buses.
- 15 mph for beaches.
- 15 mph for county roads near a public beach.
City Speed Limits
A Texas driver can check a city’s web pages and code of ordinances to determine local speed limits. For example, San Antonio has speed limits set on the 85 percentile speed of a roadway. This means the speed limit is the speed at which 85 percent of drivers feel comfortable driving.
The state-established speed limits of 30 mph on streets and 15 mph on alleys in urban areas do not need to be posted to be enforced, but streets with higher speed limits will have signs that inform drivers that they are in a different speed zone. Streets without such signs are assumed to be 30 mph zones. A 30 mph speed limit sign is generally installed on a street:
- With documented speeding problems.
- That appears to motorists to have a faster speed limit, like a very wide street.
- That is the primary entrance into a residential subdivision where interior streets are all 30 mph zones.
Getting a Speeding Ticket
The fine for a speeding ticket varies depending on the city. Cities usually post their schedule of fines on their website. For example, San Antonio charges:
- $203 for speeding over the posted limit. For the first 10 miles over the speed limit, each additional mile incurs fee of $5.00.
- $203 for speeding when there is no posted limit. For the first 10 miles over the speed limit, each additional mile incurs fee of $5.00.
- $263 for traveling at an unsafe speed.
- $232 for failure to control speed.
- $243 for speeding in a school zone. For the first 10 miles over the speed limit, each additional mile incurs fee of $5.00.
The amount of a speeding ticket in San Antonio depends on the type of speeding violation committed. Outside of city limits, the county sets the fines for speeding tickets. For example, Bell County charges:
- $177 for driving 1 to 5 mph above the speed limit.
- $187 for driving 6 to 10 mph above the speed limit.
- $212 for driving 11 to 15 mph above the speed limit.
- $237 for driving 16 to 20 mph above the speed limit.
- $286 for driving 21 to 24 mph above the speed limit.
- $336 for driving 25 or more miles per hour above the speed limit.
Differing Fines for Driving Above the Speed Limit
There is no clear answer to the amount of the fine for driving 25 mph above the posted speed limit in Texas. The fine depends on the county; how much the driver was traveling over the speed limit; and the time and conditions related to the speeding, such as whether the speeding took place in a school zone.
Paying a Speeding Ticket
Whether a driver can pay their fine without having to go to court depends on the level of severity of the offense. The ticket explains whether the driver must appear in court. If the ticket requires the driver to go to court, they and/or their attorney must physically appear in court.
A person is not guaranteed a right to an attorney for a speeding ticket. If the driver pays their fine by mail rather than going to court, the envelope must be postmarked no later than their scheduled appearance date.
Commercial Driver's License and Speeding
A person can have their Commercial Driver License (CDL) disqualified for speeding convictions. A person can see a CDL disqualified for 60 days for committing two serious traffic offenses, such as excessive speeding within three years. A person can see a CDL disqualified for 120 days for committing three serious traffic offenses within three years.
- City of San Antonio: Complete Fine Schedule
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Traffic Offenses
- Texas Administrative Code: Section 37 Rule 15.89 Traffic Offenses That Constitute a Moving Violation
- Texas Department of Transportation: Setting Speed Limits
- City of San Antonio: Speed Limit Signs
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Driver Responsibility Program
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Commercial Driver license (CDL) Qualifications
- Bell County, Texas: Court Costs/Fines for Traffic Offenses
- Texas Transportation Code: Section 545.35 Prima Facie Speed Limits
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Driver Responsibility Program Surcharge Repeal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.