Even the best drivers make mistakes sometimes. If your mistakes caused your driver’s license to get suspended or revoked, you may be required to obtain an SR-22, also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. For Texas drivers, an SR-22 form isn’t difficult to get, but it may require some preparation. If you find yourself receiving more than one suspension or revocation over a certain period of time, then you may be required to file an SR-22a form, which has more stringent requirements for showing proof of financial responsibility.
SR-22 insurance in Texas
An SR-22 essentially tells the DMV, or the State of Texas, that the insurance company who issued the form certifies that you have at least the minimum amount of car insurance required, and that you’re financially prepared in case of an accident or claim.
It can be easy to confuse an SR-22 with car insurance. Although you need car insurance before you can get an SR-22 declaration, they are separate entities. In fact, one reason drivers need an SR-22 is if they were caught driving without insurance.
Other insurance forms required in Texas
Drivers in Texas should also be aware there are two different types of SR-22 forms which may be required. Both are Proof of Financial Responsibility forms, but the circumstances will ultimately determine which exact one meets is required.
|SR-22||The SR-22 form is the Proof of Financial Responsibility form you must present if your license has been suspended due to conviction of a car accident, a second or subsequent conviction for getting caught without insurance or a civil judgment has been filed against you.|
|SR-22a||This is a similar form to the SR-22 but is for repeat offenders. To obtain this form from an insurer, typically a minimum of six months of premiums must be paid in advance.|
Cost of SR-22 insurance in Texas
SR-22 is a certificate, which incurs a nominal fee, but is only necessary if a severe infraction on your driving record resulted in a suspension or revocation of your license. Because of this “SR-22 insurance” is better understood as rates that reflect the infraction.
Consider the numerous traffic violations, the DUI or accident caused that lead to a license being suspended. These incidents are added to the driver record and typically remain there for two years in Texas.
Insurance companies will check your driving record before they issue you an auto insurance policy. Speeding tickets, traffic violations and accidents will mean your car insurance will be more expensive than someone with a clean history. Until the violations fall off your record, you’ll be considered a high-risk driver and will generally pay much higher rates on your car insurance.
In addition to the cost of the SR-22 insurance coverage, and a probable insurance rate increase, you’ll also likely need to pay a $100 license reinstatement fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Once you order an SR-22, you need to stay on top of your car insurance payments for the next two years. If you fail to make your payments and your car insurance gets cancelled, the car insurance company will report you and your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked again.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance for Texas drivers
If you’d like to reinstate your driver’s license but you don’t have a car to insure to even receive an SR-22, there is a workaround. You’ll still be required to have insurance, but you can buy a non-owner car insurance policy. The policy will insure you, regardless of what car you drive. Once you have a non-owner auto insurance policy in your name, some insurance companies will issue an SR-22 Texas declaration and you can get the process started to have your driver’s license reinstated.
Frequently asked questions
How much does an SR-22 form cost?
An SR-22 certificate typically costs between $15-$25. As the need for an SR-22 form reflects a major infraction resulting in the suspension or revocation of your license, your auto insurance rate will likely be higher.
How do I get an SR-22 form in Texas?
To get an SR-22 form in Texas, you’ll need to contact an insurance carrier that issues them. Geico, Progressive, USAA, American Family and Safeco are some of the companies that sell car insurance and issue SR-22s. If you already have an active insurance policy that satisfies state minimum requirements, you may even be able to obtain an SR-22 from a different insurer. If not, you’ll need to obtain car insurance before the SR-22 can be issued. SR-22 insurance does not exist, instead you need to have the SR-22 Texas form issued on your behalf as proof of an existing policy.
Can I cancel insurance after I get my license back?
Texas requires you to maintain an SR-22 for two years, and in order to drive legally, you must always have at least minimum liability coverage.
How can I get my Texas driver’s license reinstated?
Once you have an SR-22, you can submit it and pay a $100 reinstatement fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Depending on the severity of the infraction that resulted in the suspension or revocation of your license, other requirements may also apply. Contact your local DMV for more information.