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What to know before the Driver Responsibility Program ends

On Sept. 1, the Driver Responsibility Program will end, allowing more than 1 million Texans to have their licenses reinstated.

TYLER, Texas — The dreaded Driver Responsibility Program is ending Sept. 1 after 16 years.

It was repealed under House Bill 2048 during the 86th Legislature. DPR was created in 2003 to establish a system to assess a surchage based on a driver's traffic offenses.

RELATED: Ending of Driver Responsibility Program clears way for 1.5M licenses to be restored in Texas

According to the Department of Public Safety, when DRP is repealed, all existing DRP surcharge assessments and suspensions will be waived, and no additional surcharges or suspensions related to DRP will be assessed after that date.

"It just takes that takes that burden off my shoulders," Blake Dunbar, a Tyler resident, said. "I was a young college student, when I got these tickets, I was more worried about paying for my school."

Dunbar's license has been suspended for the last three years after he was unable to pay the surcharges on top of a traffic ticket for driving without insurance.

"I was working, you know, part time jobs, not anything paying enough to pay my bills plus 700 extra dollars a year to the state of Texas," Dunbar explained.

Dunbar is one of more than 1.4 million drivers who will be eligible to have their licenses reinstated.

According to 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.

 "I reached out to some people that knew more about the program and how it was ending," Dunbar said. "Just was wondering if, I still had to pay off the amount. And I was told no, that the charges would be completely cleared,"

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 the 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.