What Texans Should Know About SR-22 Insurance?
In Texas, if your driver’s license is revoked, you must prove to the state that you have the appropriate amount of insurance in order to get it reinstated. Here are some reasons why your license may be revoked:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Refusing a blood alcohol test
- Driving without insurance
- Driving with insurance that does not meet minimum state requirements
- Multiple traffic violations in a short period of time
You may also need to file an SR-22 if you are caught:
- Driving without a license
- Driving with a suspended license
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support
Why is an SR-22 form required?
The actions listed above are considered to be high-risk driving behaviors. Because of this, the state needs to be assured that you have sufficient coverage and that you are making regular payments to your insurer.
SR-22 vs Insurance Coverage
An SR-22 form is not the same as insurance coverage. An SR-22 form proves to the state that you have insurance. Sometimes the coverage that an SR-22 form proves is referred to as SR-22 insurance, but this does not mean that they are one and the same.
How to File an SR-22 Form
An SR-22 form is filed with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Here are the four steps involved in the process:
- Find an insurer who offers SR-22 insurance. Not all insurers do. If your current insurer does not, you can find a new one.
- Pay the fee. Your insurer will charge a fee for filing the SR-22 form. The fee is typically between $15 and $50.
- File the form. Your insurer can file the form for you electronically, or you can mail it in yourself.
- Receive confirmation. Once DPS has the form on file, your status will be updated to “eligible.” This means you can reinstate your license.
Keep in mind that reinstating your license will cost $100.
There are some exceptions to the process. For example, repeat DWI offenders must also show proof that they have completed a repeat-offender DWI program.
Talking to your insurer openly is the best way to make sure you have all your bases covered.
How long is an SR-22 form required?
In Texas, you must keep an SR-22 form on file for two years. After that, you must contact your insurer to let them know that you no longer need the form. They will then remove it from your record.
Texas law requires that your policy provide:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Cost of SR-22 Insurance
Drivers who file SR-22 forms are considered high-risk, so their insurance rates will increase significantly. You can expect to pay between 75% and 100% more for basic coverage. Depending on your insurance provider, your annual rate could be anywhere from $800 to $3,000.
The best ways to save money on car insurance are to drive safely, compare quotes from multiple companies, ask about discounts for specific groups (like alumni or veterans), and make all payments on time.