What is an SR-22 in Texas?
A Texas Proof of Insurance Certificate SR-22 is a form required by the Texas DMV that confirms that you are covered with the mandatory minimum car insurance. The form, a “certificate of financial responsibility,” is generally required after DUIs, a suspended license, violations for driving uninsured, or any activity that categorizes a driver as high-risk.
An SR-22 is not insurance, nor is it an insurance replacement. It is a serious penalty against DUI drivers and means that authorities are paying particular attention to them.
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Know the Law About Texas SR-22
- You need to file an SR-22 to prove you have insurance after a DUI and other high-risk violations.
- Minimum mandatory insurance in Texas is liability-only with limits of 30/60/25.
- An SR-22 will stay with you for two years while you maintain a good record with no lapse of coverage.
- Filing an SR-22 will cost $15-$25, plus penalties and fees, depending on the carrier.
Reasons an SR-22 May Be Required
The following are some of the reasons you may need to file an SR-22. If your license is suspended or restricted, chances are you’ll need to file.
- Driving without a license
- Driving without mandatory insurance
- Multiple traffic offenses in short periods
- DUIs, DWIs, or other serious moving violations
- License suspended or revoked
- Violations in maintaining the mandatory insurance coverage required in your state
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support
How Long Will You Need an SR-22 in Texas?
Because many reasons for filing an SR-22 are serious, like DUI offenses, drivers will typically be required to have an SR-22 on file for two years. In that time, you will be required to renew your SR-22 periodically (inquire with your state DMV for renewal periods). Failure to do so could result in legal action, difficulty renewing insurance, fees, and penalties.
What Does it Mean to Have an SR-22?
If you are required to file an SR-22, then you’ve been flagged as a high-risk driver. The common violation for SR-22 filers is DUI conviction. This will have several negative impacts on your driving lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Here is a list of what this could mean for you.
- The initial violation will involve fees and penalties. A first offense could start at $450.
- Your current insurance provider may increase your premiums or drop your policy altogether.
- You will be required to file an SR-22 and pay the recurring annual fees for two years.
- Your future insurance premiums will increase by an average of 80-100%.
- In Texas, your DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for life.
- If the DUI conviction was egregious enough, it might be included on your criminal record.
How Do You Get an SR-22?
You will need to contact your insurance provider and have them submit an SR-22.
Not all insurance providers will cover drivers with SR-22. They may believe that they are too high-risk, your current provider may not. However, many companies specialize in this particular circumstance. Once you’ve found an insurance provider that will cover you, the provider will need to file an SR-22 on your behalf. If they do not offer this service, you’ll need to find another insurer because the state will require the provider to assure them that you are covered.
Often, these providers will require you to pay the policy premiums in full. If you fail to pay your premiums, the provider will be required to drop your policy and notify the DMV. At that point, your license will be suspended for lack of coverage.
How Do You Get Your SR-22 Removed?
Unfortunately, DMVs are too busy to monitor when your SR-22 is no longer needed, so it won’t automatically disappear after two years. Contact your insurance provider to have your SR-22 removed when you’ve reached the end date. After removing your SR-22, try shopping around for cheaper insurance quotes. Your premium may not immediately go down, but if it does, then that is the best time to start saving.