If you’ve had your driver’s license suspended in Texas, you might be required to file an SR-22 to get back behind the wheel.
An SR-22, sometimes called a financial responsibility insurance certificate, verifies you have the minimum liability insurance required by Texas law.
Here’s what you need to know about getting and maintaining an SR-22 in the Lone Star State.
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Why do I have to file an SR-22 in Texas?
Your state DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. Texas law might require you to file an SR-22 if:
- You’re convicted of a DUI or reckless driving.
- You’ve had multiple accidents or speeding tickets.
What if I don’t have a car or license?
If you don’t own a car, you’re still required to file a Texas non-owner SR-22 and car insurance before you can get your license back.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, you must maintain it while driving in Texas. Your SR-22 is likely to be sufficient in Texas, but it’s best to verify coverage with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and your insurer.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
Once you’ve purchased or renewed an insurance policy, most providers will charge a fee for filing the SR-22 — usually $20 to $50. It’s not the filing fee that’s most expensive when you’re required to file an SR-22 — you’ll typically see higher premiums than you’re used to. Talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
The impact of an SR-22 on future car insurance ratesSR-22s are often required after a driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or a DUI. After such a conviction, you’re considered a “high-risk” driver by the state and most providers — which typically results in higher insurance rates. Still, you’ll find providers out there that specialize in high-risk drivers.
Talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
How do I file an SR-22 in Texas?
- Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if it’s authorized to issue SR-22s in the state of Texas. If not, find a provider that is.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Your insurer will charge you a processing fee for filing the SR-22.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. The minimum coverage amounts required by Texas law are:
- $30,000 for injury or death of one person.
- $60,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $25,000 damage to property.
- Submit your SR-22. In Texas, your insurance provider will file the SR-22 on your behalf.
- Wait for confirmation. You’ll receive a letter from your insurer and the State of Texas that your SR-22 is accepted.
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How long will I need an SR-22 for in Texas?
In Texas you’re usually required to carry SR-22 for at least two years, depending on your offense.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Your insurer is obligated to notify the state as soon as your coverage ends for any reason. Cancellation due to missed payments, failure to renew or simply canceling on your own terms will be reported. If you don’t hold your SR-22 certification for the entire length of the filing period may result in fees, your license being suspended again and your mandate “resetting.”
For example, if you’re one year into your two-year filing period and have a lapse in insurance, you’ll be required to hold your SR-22 certification for another two years instead of just one. Make sure you understand your role in maintaining your insurance and SR-22.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Due to the consequences of a lapse in coverage, it’s important to be sure you’re clear of your SR-22 filing period before cancelling or changing your policy. You can contact the DPS to confirm your mandate is finished.
A call to your insurance agent can help move you in the right direction once you’ve established you no longer need SR-22 coverage.
You can limit the cost of your SR-22 filing period by staying on top of your certification. Renew your policy early, pay your premiums on time and drive well within the limits of the law to make the process as smooth as possible.
A hike in your premiums doesn’t necessarily have to spell the end for your wallet, either. Compare your options and shop around to find a deal that works for your budget and gives you the coverage you need.