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Tick tock for DPS amnesty


Of the 713,444 people eligible to participate in the Driver Responsibility Program amnesty, only 54,035 - about 7.5 percent of the total - have signed up so far. The amnesty program allows delinquent drivers to pay just 10 percent of the original amount owed on all surcharges combined, or a maximum of $250.
Drivers are not required to make a payment when they sign up, however they must pay off all money owed by Sunday, April 17, to retain their driving privileges. Eligible drivers have until Thursday, April 7, to sign up for this program and must pay all surcharge amounts by April 17.
This one-time amnesty applies to drivers who had a surcharge assessed between Sept. 30, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2008, and are delinquent on those payments.
Once the online or telephone application is approved, the surcharge suspensions will be cleared on the applicant's driving record within three business days. After three business days, the applicant can review the reduced amount on line and begin making the necessary payments.
To apply for the amnesty program, visit the surcharge website at www.txsurchargeonline.com or call 1-877-207-3170. No requests will be accepted by mail, e-mail or fax.
The Driver Responsibility Program, which assesses fees for a variety of driving-related offenses, was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2003 and directed personnel with the Department of Public Safety to administer the program.
Traffic offenses that carry an automatic surcharge for three years include DWI-related offenses, no insurance, driving while license suspended, driving without a license and point accumulation. For example, the fee for a first-time DWI offender is $1,000 per year for three years.
Revenue generated by DRP goes to trauma centers, emergency medical services and the General Revenue Fund.