Municipal Courts

Fines and Fees Information

Paying your fine
In the City of Houston Municipal Courts, punishment can be assessed only by fines. That simply means that the Judge cannot sentence you to jail for a ticket; the Judge can only assess a fine against you. 

How much will the fine be?
If you agree with the violation on the ticket and enter a plea of guilty or no contest, the Judge will find you guilty. The exact amount of the fine will depend on the violation and other circumstances reviewed by the Judge. You should be prepared to pay the fine at the time you are found guilty. STATE LAW REQUIRES THE COURT TO COLLECT A FEE OF $25 PER CASE FROM A PERSON WHO REQUESTS TO PAY A FINE OR COURT COSTS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME RATHER THAN IMMEDIATELY. If the offense was committed September 1, 1999, or after, the $25 fee is collectable only if the entire amount of the fine is not paid by the 30th day after the fine is assessed.

Fines / Bond Schedule
Fine Schedules for the most common offenses can be viewed using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Effective 12/3/07 - Bond amount will equal current amount due.

Effective January 2014 the following Municipal Courts Window Fines will increase:

Description
New Window Fine
with Court Costs
Failure to Appear
$234.00
No Dog/Cat License
$114.00
Failure to have Dog/Cat Vaccinated
$114.00
Changing Lanes Not in Safety
$199.00
Driving At Night Without Lights
$189.00
HOV Lane Violation
$179.00
Seat Belt - Child/Safety Seat 1st Violation
$204.00
No Driver's License
$209.00
Failure To Eastablish Financial Responsibility
$279.00
All Moving Violations with Accidents
$279.00

A CONVICTION OF AN OFFENSE UNDER A TRAFFIC LAW OF THIS STATE OR A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY RESULT IN THE ASSESSMENT ON YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE OF A SURCHARGE UNDER THE DRIVER RESPONSIBLITY PROGRAM.

The Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) establishes a system that authorizes the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assess surcharges to an individual based on certain traffic offenses that have occurred on or after September 1, 2003. Individuals are notified by mail each time a surcharge is added to their driver record. Surcharges are in addition to other fees and do not replace a suspension, revocation, denial, disqualification or cancellation resulting from the same conviction.

This program was developed to encourage safe driving habits. It requires DPS to assess surcharges to individuals based on certain traffic offenses.  These surcharges are assessed in two ways, a point system, and conviction based. 

  • Points are assessed for Texas or out-of-state moving violation convictions: two (2) points for a conviction, and three (3) points for a conviction that resulted in a crash.   Individuals are assessed a point surcharge annually if they have six (6) or more points on their driver record. For each consecutive 12 month period that an individual does not receive any points for a moving violation, one (1) point will be deducted from the individual’s total points.
  • A Conviction based surcharge is a result of being convicted of any of the following; Driving While Intoxicated, No Driver License, Driving While License Invalid, and No Insurance. Points are not assessed for these offenses. A conviction based surcharge will be assessed annually for three (3) years from the date of conviction. An individual also has the option to pay all three (3) years at once.  

DPS offers programs that may reduce or waive surcharges. For more information about DRP, along with details on available surcharge discounts and other surcharge assistance programs, please visit, http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/drp.htm.

Notice:
Effective November 2, 2004, courts instituted a 30 percent collection fee on delinquent cases that are referred to a collection agency.

Charge of additional 30% Collection Fee on Delinquent Cases:
The State Legislature passed a bill authorizing the assessment of a 30% collection fee to any case in which a defendant had either failed to pay or failed to appear on or before their court date on all violations processed by the court; traffic, non-traffic and parking cases. All cases are referred to a delinquent collections agency when they have been delinquent for more than 60 days.

Payment of fines:

There are several options available for the payment of tickets/fines. Appearance in court on the date shown on your ticket will be waived if fines are paid prior to that date. Other options are: 

  • PAYMENT BY MAIL: Full payment of amount due by check or money order should be made prior to scheduled court date. Mail payment with ticket number written on check to: Municipal Courts, P.O. Box 4996, Houston, TX 77210-4996
  • PAYMENT ONLINE: You can pay your fine online
  • PAYMENT IN PERSON: You may pay your fine in person at the following seven convenient locations: (1) the Municipal Courts Building, 1400 Lubbock, 7:00 am - 10:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and (2) other Satellite locations.
  • PAYMENT BY WESTERN UNION: As shown on the instructions on your ticket, you may wire your payment by Western Union and avoid long lines. Your payment will be applied immediately.
  • PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD: All fines can now be paid using your MasterCard, Visa, or Discover credit cards. Simply fill out the form attached to your ticket, sign it and return it to the Courts. Or, you can fill out the Credit Card By Mail Form and mail it to the address on the form.
  • NEW KIOSKS IN KINGWOOD AND CLEAR LAKE: The MCD payment KIOSK's at Lubbock, Kingwood and Clear Lake are available 24/7. Payments can be made by credit card only for traffic and non-traffic citations including delinquent cases. Transactions for ticket payment via the KIOSK are posted immediately, to include those made on holidays and weekends. Kiosks are located inside the HPD substations located at 2855 Bay Area Blvd in Clear Lake and at 3915 Rustic Woods in Kingwood, and downtown, inside the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse, 1400 Lubbock. Users will be assessed a $2 convenience fee per session.

Other payment options:

If the payment is not made in full by the Court date, you MUST appear on your scheduled date. The worst thing you can do is not show up. Failure to appear or failure to pay may result in
(1) A warrant issued for your arrest and
(2) Denial of the renewal of your driver's license and additional costs of $30 per case, or
(3) Denial of the registration or re-registration of any motor vehicle. The Judge will review your ability to pay the fine and the amount of the total fines. Generally, the Judge will order one of the following: 

  • DEFERRED PAYMENT - a reset of the whole amount due on another date.
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE - work in a City department or non-profit agency in lieu of paying the fine. 

The Judge will determine which plan is best suited for you. You are the only one that can request this option.
No one else can apply for you; not your attorney, spouse, parent, or friend. A processing fee of $25.00 per case could be added to your fine as required by State Law if you request payment of your fine/cost over a period of time. If the offense was committed September 1, 1999, or after, the $25 fee is collectable only if the entire amount of the fine is not paid by the 30th day after the fine is assessed.  Your failure/refusal to pay your fine could result in
(1) A warrant issued for your arrest and
(2) Denial of the renewal of your driver's license and additional costs of $30 per case, or
(3) Denial of the registration or re-registration of any motor vehicle.

Payment of your fine is YOUR legal responsibility.