Surcharges and the Indigency/Incentive Program
You may be struggling with surcharges on your license assessed by the Department of Public Safety under the Driver Responsibility Program. If you cannot pay these surcharges, you should consider applying for the Indigency or Incentive programs under which surcharges can be waived.
The Indigency Program is a program created by the Texas Legislature that allows surcharges to be reduced to as low as zero based on a person’s income. It is available for people who earn up to 125% of the federal poverty standard as defined annually by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Your family size and number of dependents will be taken into consideration when determining if you meet the standards.
The Incentive Program is also a program based on income. It is available for people who earn more than 125% of the federal poverty standard and up to 300% of the federal poverty standard. Under this program your surcharges will be reduced. You will be obligated to pay the lower balance in six months and during this time you will be put in forebearance and your surcharge suspension will be lifted.
To apply for these programs, you should go to the following website:https://www.txsurchargeonline.com/indigence.aspx. You can print out the applicaton. You should fill it out and sign it and have it notorized by a Notary Public. You will have to provide proof of the income you are claiming you have, such as an income tax return, pay stubs, or a social security award letter. If you do not provide proof of income, your application will not be processed and the surcharge suspensions will not be lifted.
You should make sure your address is current with Municipal Services Bureau, the private company who administers collections of surcharges, before or concurrent to filling out your surcharge waiver programs. Otherwise, mail asking for additional information or even letting you know that you have been approved for the program will be sent to the wrong address. You can fax a change of address to MSB at 1-800-232-6409. If you are not receiving your surcharge notices in the mail, that is a good sign your address with MSB is not current and you should do something to change it.
I as always am happy to answer any questions about surcharges, the waiver programs, and the application process.