DRP Repeal Allows More Than 1.6 Million People to Drive Again

November 01, 2019

Legislative News

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Since the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) was repealed under House Bill 2048 by Rep. Zerwas (R-Richmond) during the 86th Legislative Session and the program ended on Sept. 1, 2019, more than 1.6 million people have become eligible to apply for their driver's license. The bill waives all DRP surcharge assessments and suspensions and no additional ones will be assessed.

DRP was initially created on Sept. 1, 2003, to establish a system to assess a surcharge based on a driver's traffic offenses. Surcharges were assessed on an individual's driving record by points or convictions. As noted by counties, numerous media outlets, and countless advocacy groups, the regressive nature of the DRP fees ranging from $100 to $2,000, depending on the offense, sent Texans spiraling into debt and even jail.

This legislation has eliminated that debt and, according to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), "Earlier this summer, all individuals in the DRP program were sent letters notifying them of the status of the program and what steps they may need to take regarding their additional, non-DRP related fines or suspensions."

DPS wanted to stress that "drivers with non-DRP suspensions, fines or fees are still responsible to pay them, and can check the status of their driving privilege or pay reinstatement fees by visiting Texas.gov and searching "Driver License Eligibility" in the search bar.

To check their status, drivers will need their driver license or ID number, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security number. Records are updated daily. If counties want to provide their constituents with contact info on their specific circumstance, please email DRPRepeal@dps.texas.gov. You must include your full name, date of birth, driver license or identification card number, and phone number.

This document, provided by DPS, shows the number of eligible citizens by county as well as the number relieved of DRP surcharges but still retaining non-DRP suspensions, fines or fees.

For more information about the surcharge repeal, see this Frequently Asked Questions page from DPS.

For questions about this article, contact TAC Senior Legislative Manager Rick Thompson at 800-456-5974.