SR-22 Requirements in Texas
In Texas, SR-22 insurance is required for two years for drivers operating under a restricted license. In most cases, an SR-22 is mandatory for two years after the conviction date. Without an SR-22 added to their insurance plan, the motorist cannot get insured.
Driving under the influence is more common than you think. In 2019, there were 24,617 DUI crashes. Texas ranks 36th in the country for its number of DUI arrests, with an average of 259.6 arrests per 100,000 people. Many people convicted of this crime didn’t expect to lose control, but even just one drink too many can be enough to distract even the best of drivers.
If you need to get an SR-22 certificate attached to your auto insurance plan, you’re sure to have many questions about the process. How do you obtain an affordable plan, and what should your next steps be to get back to a standard license? Start by finding the best SR-22 plan for you with an independent insurance agent at SR-22 Adviser.
What Is a Texas SR-22?
An SR-22 isn’t officially insurance. Instead, it’s a certificate that proves you have insurance. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) must have this document on record by law by the date your judge has ordered. It’s not obligatory to own a vehicle to get SR-22 insurance in Texas since there are both owner and non-owner plans.
To get SR-22 insurance in Texas, you must contact your insurance provider and request that an SR-22 certificate be added to your vehicle liability policy. If you’ve never had an SR-22 before, you will have to switch from standard to non-standard “high risk” insurance plans. Your insurance company must also inform the Texas DPS of your coverage change. Hereafter, your agent is also obligated to inform the DPS of any lapses, cancellations, or terminations of the policy.
SR-22 insurance is also known as high-risk insurance or non-standard insurance. It costs more than regular policies, and not all insurance companies provide it. To ensure you get a fair picture of what you should pay, work with an independent insurance agent from SR-22 Adviser who can provide you with quotes from the most trusted SR-22 insurance providers in Texas.
An SR-22 Can Happen to Anyone
An SR-22 can happen to anyone who makes one life-changing decision that seemed harmless at the time. Common occurrences like driving while a little buzzed or after you think you had enough time to become sober can result in DUI convictions.
Depending on your body composition and alcohol tolerance, even just a drink or two can be enough to trigger a BAC test of over 0.08%. There is no “one size fits all” for a drinking limit, so anyone can misjudge their tolerance. This is why it’s important to arrange a safe and sober ride home after every party.
Many people who received a DUI conviction didn’t expect to ever get in trouble with the law. The whirlwind of being arrested and going to court can be daunting, making it difficult to know what next steps to take to return to normalcy. Fortunately, with consistent good behavior and by sticking to court orders, you’re likely to regain your full driving privileges.
SR-22 insurance also helps you get there by allowing you to drive and prove that you can get to your essential locations safely. This is an opportunity to drive prudently on the road without incident. Your restricted license and insurance also provide you the freedom to get to work, school, and child care without depending on other people for rides.
Who Gets an SR-22 in Texas?
When your driver’s license is suspended, but you are allowed to obtain a restricted license, it’s not possible to use standard insurance. Instead, you need an insurance company to attach a Form SR-22 addendum to a new non-standard insurance policy. This is a high-risk insurance plan that is temporary and goes in conjunction with a suspended or restricted license.
The SR-22 certificate is mostly associated with drivers who get a DWI/DUI, but you can also be issued a restricted license after committing too many traffic violations within a set period or if you refused a blood-alcohol test. In Texas, license reinstatement is often required after a period of suspension. You may also get an SR-22A, depending on your insurance payment history.
The Difference Between SR-22 and an SR-22A
The SR-22A is a document your judge can issue instead of an SR-22. SR-22A insurance is specific to Texas, Missouri, and Georgia and is used for drivers who repeatedly violate financial responsibility laws. If you are ordered to get an SR-22A, you have a history of not paying insurance premiums, so the initial financial responsibilities are more stringent.
In Texas, an SR-22A requires all policies with an SR-22A addendum to be paid for in advance for at least six months. The driver cannot split their payments into monthly installments because of a history of not paying premiums on time.
Ultimately, the SR-22 can be known as an insurance certificate, while the SR-22A is a certification of a prepaid insurance liability policy. For more information, consult the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Part 1, Chapter 25, Rule 25.6.
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What Kind of SR-22 Is Necessary?
For your SR-22 insurance to be legal, you need to meet the minimum liability requirements. Typically, Texas requires at least 30/60/25 coverage for all insurance plans, and an SR-22 plan isn’t exempt from this rule. The plan can exceed these numbers but not go below for the car to be legally insured. To drive legally in Texas, your SR-22 insurance plan must meet the state’s minimum liability limits.
- $30,000 for bodily injury/death liability for one person in the accident.
- $60,000 for bodily injury/death per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage liability per accident.
Work directly with your agent so they can make sure your new insurance policy complies with Texas’ minimum liability insurance requirements. Since SR-22 insurance in Texas does cost more than standard insurance, the minimum is often a default for drivers. But those seeking more coverage can get competitive rates if they shop around with different insurance providers.
Sometimes meeting just the minimum requirement is all you can afford since high-risk insurance costs more than standard insurance. But if you shop around, you can find more beneficial limits that can protect you in case of an incident. Be sure to find a variety of quotes before you decide which plan to use.
After the new policy has been made, you will get a copy of the plan with the SR-22 addendum attached. Keep both your SR-22 form and insurance card in your vehicle and have multiple copies in print and digital form. The state doesn’t just accept an insurance card alone as proof of an SR-22.
How to Obtain SR-22 Insurance in Texas
When the judge tells you that you need an SR-22, the court should instruct you how to change your insurance and comply. Here are the general steps a Texan takes to obtain this document to get non-standard car insurance.
- Call an insurance provider: If you have insurance already, contact your provider and tell them you need an SR-22 attached to your insurance plan. There is a chance that your current provider can’t offer an SR-22 or may give you a high quote. In either case, it’s important to shop around and find the best quotes with an insurance agent. This method can offer you several quotes from competitive and stable insurance providers at once.
- Pay any fees: Your insurer may have a mandatory fee of up to $50 to file the SR-22 insurance form on your behalf. There is also a reinstatement fee to obtain a restricted license that you must pay before submitting the SR-22 form to the Texas DPS.
- Confirm your SR-22 submission: It’s your insurer’s responsibility to file proof of insurance to the Texas DPS. There are several methods, such as fax, in-person delivery, traditional mail, or email. It’s also possible to file the form yourself after getting the certificate from your insurer, but most agents can easily send an SR-22 electronically. For more information, email email@example.com.
- Wait: It can take up to 21 business days to process the SR-22. To determine if your driver’s license is eligible, go to the license eligibility page and enter your information. Have rides set up to keep your routine active until you can drive independently again.
- Get the all-clear: After you get confirmation that your restricted license is reinstated, all fees are paid, and your SR-22 insurance is active, then you should be in the clear to drive. To be 100% sure, check your driver eligibility status on the Texas DPS website. It will be easy to tell because your status will change from “ineligible” to “eligible” on your profile.
Note: Your judge may also require you to show proof of completing a repeat-offender DWI program. It’s also your responsibility to keep track of any changes to your license status so you can always be in compliance. By driving safely and sticking to the rules for your suspension period, you will prove you can be a safe driver who is ready for a regular license in the future.
What Happens If You Don’t File at the Right Time?
If the driver fails to get SR-22 insurance in time, they can face another suspended license and registration. This means you have to buy a new auto insurance policy and pay the reinstatement fees again. Avoid this gap in coverage so you don’t have to pay double. As soon as you get the orders to obtain an SR-22, call your insurance company to start the process. The sooner you decide on a plan, the sooner your agent can file the SR-22 plan to the necessary parties.
Informing your insurer about when you need to file and when you don’t is your responsibility. For instance, if you only need an SR-22 for two years, you should inform them of the ending date. If you don’t tell your insurance when to stop filing, they will continue to file the SR-22 to the DPS even when it isn’t necessary.
Average Costs of an SR-22 in Texas
High-risk Texas SR-22 insurance will cost more than standard insurance plans. The price will be affected by your age, driving history, location, and types of driving charges received. All these factors determine your level of risk on the road. Every insurance provider has its algorithms and methods for determining a price, so it’s smart to shop around for the best deals.
Overall, drivers see a 70 to 90% increase from their standard insurance price. However, this figure can be lower or higher depending on the person’s unique risk factors. All that you can be sure of is there will be an increase from your former rate—generally, SR-22 plans in Texas range between $824 to $3,100 per year.
What If You Don’t Own the Vehicle You Need to Drive?
If you need an SR-22 filing for license reinstatement but the vehicle you plan to drive isn’t in your name, then you need to obtain non-owners SR-22 insurance in Texas. This plan allows you to drive a car that belongs to someone else while still having it covered under a high-risk policy.
If you plan to drive this car infrequently, you may also get a better rate compared to owner SR-22 plans. Overall, non-owner plans have lower rates. Ask your SR-22 Adviser agent about non-owner insurance, and they will be glad to assist you.
SR-22 Insurance in Texas
If you need to file an SR-22 with the DPS to get your license reinstated and get from A to B on your own, we’re here to help. Our insurance partner can help you get a list of competitive SR-22 insurance rates that meet your needs. You can also give us a call at 877-822-2049. We look forward to helping you get back on the road.