Texas SR22 Insurance FAQ

Life After Getting Your License Reinstated

For most of us, auto insurance is something that we have to purchase, but hope we never need to use. But in the state of Texas, SR22 insurance is a policy that you hope you never have to purchase in the first place. Here are commonly asked questions about how Texas SR22 insurance works.

Why would I need SR22 insurance?

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There are certain occurrences which may force you to obtain SR22 insurance.

  • You may fail to supply proof of standard liability insurance when it is requested (by a police officer, for instance).
  • You may incur four qualifying moving violations over a 12-month period (or seven within a 24-month period).
  • You may become involved in an auto accident in which you are uninsured.
  • You may be convicted of driving while intoxicated.

All of these scenarios have one thing in common: they generally result in the suspension of your driver's license for a certain period of time. After that time has expired, you can apply to have your license reinstated -- but as part of the process, you will have to acquire SR22 insurance. Also, you must continue buying SR22 insurance for two years after your license has been reinstated.

How is SR22 insurance different from standard auto insurance?

SR22 insurance is similar to standard auto insurance in many ways. But the main difference is that unlike regular auto insurance, the company that provides you with SR22 insurance is mandated by law to notify the Texas Department of Public Safety if your policy expires. In other words, with SR22 insurance, the state will be made aware of the fact that you are an uninsured driver.

In addition, the state requires a special certificate by an insurance company when you are applying for reinstatement of your driver's license. This means that you cannot simply present an insurance card or binder as proof of financial responsibility in the event of an accident. An insurer must send you a different notification which must be given to the Texas DPS in order to lift a driver's license suspension.

How much coverage will I need?

The minimum amount of coverage you must obtain with SR22 insurance is the same as it is for drivers with standard auto insurance policies. In Texas, this works out to $30,000 for each person who is injured in an accident which is your fault, with a maximum of $60,000 per incident. Of course, you may buy more coverage with SR22 insurance if you want to do so. More

Is SR22 insurance more expensive than standard auto insurance?

However, the fact that you are obtaining SR22 insurance in the first place (because you have done something to necessitate the suspension of your driver's license) means that you will be placed in a higher risk category -- and will therefore have to pay more than you otherwise would to remain insured.

How can I get SR22 insurance?

Not all auto insurance companies offer SR22 insurance. Those who do can notify the Texas DPS that you have obtained the necessary policy in order to get your driver's license back. If you'd rather do that yourself, you can ask for the appropriate form from your insurer and mail it to the Texas DPS's Safety Responsibility Division, P.O. Box 15999, Austin, TX, 78761. (There are also four offices across the state where you can file the SR22 form in person -- one each in Houston, Austin, the Dallas area, and near San Antonio.) There is usually a small filing fee which must be paid.

When do I have to renew my SR22 insurance policy

Finally, if you buy SR22 insurance, you will have a smaller margin of error when it comes time to renew your policy. With standard insurance, you can renew your policy right up until the day it expires (or even after that, if you do not drive in the interim). However, companies that provide SR22 insurance are obligated to inform the Texas DPS if the policy is not renewed within 15 days of its expiration date. A non-renewal can result in a resuspension of the policyholder's driver's license.

It can sometimes be a hassle to acquire Texas SR22 insurance. But if you know all the requirements, you can obtain the proper coverage, get your driver's license back, and become a lawfully insured driver once again.