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Public Safety

Fort Bend County
City of Sugar Land
News Release
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DMV Agreement Authorizes Registration Holds for Scofflaws

Sugar Land, Texas - Sugar Land City Council approved an agreement on Oct. 21 with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to withhold vehicle registrations on outstanding municipal court traffic warrants and red light camera violations.

Section 702.003 of the Texas Transportation Code states that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may refuse to register a motor vehicle if it receives, under a contract, information from a city that the owner of a motor vehicle has an outstanding warrant from the city for failure to appear or for failure to pay a fine involving a traffic violation. Titled, the Scofflaw Program, this is the first time the City of Sugar Land has implemented this process for collecting unpaid traffic violations.

Section 707.017 of the Texas Transportation Code states that if the owner of a motor vehicle is delinquent in the payment of a civil penalty imposed under Chapter 707, the Texas DMV may refuse to register a motor vehicle. This separate provision of the law allows the City to use a similar process for collection of unpaid red light camera violations.

The City has undertaken this agreement with the DMV as a first step to improve collections of unpaid fines and fees. As part of an overall program to reduce the amount of unpaid violations, the City will accept proposals for collection services and implement an extensive communication effort to collect unpaid fines and fees before implementing registration holds. 

Part of that program will include mailed notices and a public "amnesty" program allowing citizens with unpaid violations to prevent holds placed on their vehicle registrations by paying outstanding fines or warrant penalties.

The City of Sugar Land has an aggressive traffic enforcement program that includes a dedicated traffic unit and the use of red light camera equipment. These programs are designed to improve the safety of motorists through enforcement of traffic laws. 

The City of Sugar Land believes that financial consequences in the form of fines or fees improve the safety of motorists through improved driver behavior. Citizens who do not pay the financial disincentives associated with violation of traffic laws have little reason to correct their driving behaviors. 

Citizens with unpaid traffic warrants may contact the City of Sugar Land Municipal Court at (281) 275-2390 to resolve the amounts due. Citizens with unpaid red light camera fees may contact Red Light Camera Coordinator Peggy Heinemeyer at (281) 275-2055.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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