Have you ever looked at the back of your driver’s license? Most people just check their name, to see how bad their photo is this time, and if they wrote their fake weight correctly. Well if you take a closer look on the back of your Texas driver’s license then you’ll notice a phone number. That number is the Texas Motorist Hotline and the people on the other end are here to help.
The Texas Motorist Hotline was created in 1989 so motorists could get help. Back then payphones were still abundant and car phones were becoming more popular. With the hotline motorists could report challenges without taking up emergency lines.
Some of the reasons a driver might call the hotline are:
- Car problems causing them to be stranded
- Reporting poor road conditions
- Suspicious rest area activity
- Reporting of intoxicated drivers
- Debris block the road
When someone calls they will asked to give their name, phone number, vehicle description, location with mile marker, and county or city location. The hotline is actually based in Austin so calls are then referred to the proper local authorities.
False information has been spread about the hotline such as motorist may receive a free yearly towing or a fuel voucher. These claims are not true. The type of assistance needed is determined by the local entity and their main job is to keep the roads of Texas safe and clear. Tow trucks are not provided by DPS, but a referral may be given to one. Drivers are ultimately responsible for all costs. TXDOT does have non-towing roadside trucks that may be of assistance in some cities and are called when appropriate.
Most cellular phone companies in Texas allow drivers to call *DPS (*377) instead of the hotline number, 800-525-5555.
The Texas Motorist Hotline is in no way meant as a replacement for 9-1-1 and if there is an emergency that is the number that should be called immediately.