Even the best drivers make mistakes sometimes. If your mistakes caused your driver’s license to get suspended or revoked, you may be required to obtain an SR-22. An SR-22 form in Texas isn’t difficult to get, but it may require some preparation. If you find yourself receiving more than one suspension or revocation over a certain period of time, then you may be required to file an SR-22a form, which has more stringent requirements for showing proof of financial responsibility.
SR-22 insurance in Texas
In Texas, an SR-22, also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, serves as an affirmation to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the state itself, attesting that the individual possesses a car insurance policy that meets or exceeds the state’s mandated minimum coverage levels. These minimum requirements are $30,000 for bodily injury liability per individual, $60,000 for bodily injury liability per incident and $25,000 for property damage liability per occurrence.
It’s important to differentiate between an SR-22 and car insurance. While securing car insurance is a prerequisite for obtaining an SR-22 certification, they remain distinct. Notably, drivers may be mandated to acquire an SR-22 if they have been apprehended operating a vehicle without the necessary insurance coverage.
Who might need SR-22 insurance in Texas?
In Texas, certain driving violations and scenarios can lead to the state mandating an SR-22 certification. This ensures that high-risk drivers maintain the required level of insurance coverage, thereby protecting other drivers on the road. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, you may be required to obtain an SR-22:
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Convictions for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Uninsured accidents: Being involved in an accident while not carrying the state-required insurance coverage.
- Multiple traffic violations: Accumulating a significant number of traffic tickets in a short time frame.
- License suspension or revocation: If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, an SR-22 might be a requisite for reinstatement.
- Serious driving offenses: Committing severe infractions, such as reckless driving or fleeing the scene of an accident.
Other insurance forms required in Texas
For Texas motorists, understanding the nuances of required insurance documentation is crucial, especially when faced with particular driving infractions or legal complications.
While the term SR-22 is more commonly known, there are specific variants of this form, each addressing a distinct set of circumstances. Both types serve as demonstrations of financial responsibility, ensuring that drivers meet the state’s insurance mandates.
However, the exact nature of one’s driving record or violation will determine which of these forms is appropriate to submit.
|This form is the Proof of Financial Responsibility, primarily required when one’s license is suspended. Such suspensions can arise from various scenarios, including vehicular accidents, repeated violations of driving without insurance or facing a civil judgment.
|A variant of the SR-22, this form is particularly for habitual offenders. Generally, to acquire this form from an insurance provider, it’s customary to pay at least six months of premiums upfront.
How much does an SR-22 cost in Texas?
In Texas, obtaining an SR-22 certificate generally ranges between $15 to $25. While this fee is relatively modest, the larger financial impact comes in the form of increased auto insurance rates. An SR-22 is often needed due to severe driving infractions, such as DUIs, significant accidents or multiple traffic violations, which lead to the suspension or revocation of one’s driving license.
Such incidents get documented on a driver’s record, where, in Texas, they typically linger for about two years. Insurance providers, always diligent about assessing risks, will scrutinize your driving history prior to granting an auto insurance policy. As a result, any blemishes to your driving record invariably mean that you’ll face heftier car insurance premiums — further adding to the cost of having to obtain an SR-22.
Beyond the direct expenses associated with the SR-22 certification and potential insurance rate hikes, Texas drivers might also have to contend with a $100 license reinstatement fee payable to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
It’s also important to note that after acquiring an SR-22 in Texas, maintaining timely car insurance payments over the ensuing two years is imperative. Any lapse in these payments, leading to a cancellation of car insurance, will be reported. Such negligence could potentially lead to another suspension or revocation of your driving license.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance for Texas drivers
If you’d like to reinstate your driver’s license but you don’t have a car to insure to even receive an SR-22, there is a workaround. You’ll still be required to have insurance, but you can buy a non-owner car insurance policy. The policy will insure you, regardless of what car you drive. Once you have a non-owner auto insurance policy in your name, some insurance companies will issue an SR-22 Texas declaration and you can get the process started to have your driver’s license reinstated.
Frequently asked questions
To get an SR-22 form in Texas, you’ll need to contact an insurance carrier that issues them. Geico, Progressive, USAA, American Family and Safeco are some of the companies that sell car insurance and issue SR-22s. If you already have an active insurance policy that satisfies state minimum requirements, you may even be able to obtain an SR-22 from a different insurer. If not, you’ll need to obtain car insurance before the SR-22 can be issued. SR-22 insurance does not exist, instead you need to have the SR-22 Texas form issued on your behalf as proof of an existing policy.
Texas requires you to maintain an SR-22 for two years, and in order to drive legally, you must always have at least minimum liability coverage.
To reinstate your driver’s license, having an SR-22 is essential. Once you secure this certificate, it must be submitted along with any state reinstatement fees to the Department of Public Safety. However, depending on the gravity of the violation leading to your license’s suspension or revocation, there might be additional prerequisites. For a comprehensive understanding of the specific requirements, it’s advisable to get in touch with your local DMV.
In Texas, an SR-22 certificate won’t typically auto-renew in the same way traditional insurance policies might. Given its specialized nature, many insurance providers might require manual renewal to ensure that individuals are still meeting the requirements set forth by the state. As the expiration date approaches, it’s common for your insurer to notify you, but relying solely on this is not recommended.
It’s vital for drivers to be proactive in monitoring the expiration and renewal dates of their SR-22 certificates. Failing to renew on time can result in a lapse, which may be reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety, potentially leading to further complications, including another suspension or revocation of your license.