You might know the statutory penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI), but do you know what it can do to your insurance? A DWI conviction can have lasting effects including to your insurance policy. Texas requires people with a DWI conviction to file a Form SR-22 Insurance Certificate with the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
An SR-22 is a certificate which verifies you have maintained your motor liability insurance. It’s issued by most insurance providers but has expensive minimum liability amounts. You’ll be required to submit an SR-22 if you want to have your license reinstated by DPS.
Filing an SR-22 can be stressful on you and your wallet. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney Explains SR-22 Insurance in Houston, TX
A DWI could lead to a slew of collateral consequences such as an expensive insurance policy. If you are convicted of DWI, you’ll be required to file an SR-22 Insurance Certificate with DPS to retain your license. Failure to do so could result in the revocation of your license.
You can avoid this entirely with having a formidable defense for your DWI. Contact the attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. to start that defense today. We have years of experience in criminal defense with a primary focus in DWI law. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. can help you fight these charges to protect not only your future, but your insurance policy.
Call us now at (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. represents people with DWI allegations throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, Houston, West University Place and Pasadena.
Overview of SR-22 Vehicle Insurance in Texas
- What is an SR-22 Form in Texas?
- Minimum Liability Amounts for SR-22
- Types of SR-22 Insurance in Texas
- What Happens if I Don’t File an SR-22?
- Additional Resources
What is an SR-22 Form in Texas?
A Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) verifies you have maintained your motor vehicle liability insurance. It’s an endorsement to your current insurance policy which certifies you have minimum liability insurance required by law. In Texas, it’s required you file an SR-22 if you have been convicted for any of the following:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI);
- Driving on a suspended or invalid license;
- Having no insurance and multiple unpaid tickets;
- Failing to pay the full amount in a liability claim; or
- Having been issued excessive traffic violations
You’ll be obligated to file and maintain your SR-22 for two years starting from the date of the conviction. The SR-22 must be filed to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) if you want to have your license reinstated. DPS will also require you to pay a reinstatement fee of $125 for your license. If the suspension was because you were DWI, then an additional $100 will be added.
It’s recommended you contact your local insurance agent or provider to obtain an SR-22. Most insurance companies offer a type of SR-22. If you don’t own a vehicle, you can ask about the Non-Owner SR-22 Certificate. The Non-Owner SR-22 will still maintain the minimum liability amounts while allowing you to drive another person’s car.
Carrying your insurance card isn’t enough to prove you have filed an SR-22. If you’ve been required to file an SR-22 by law, you must have a copy of the certificate on you while you drive. An insurance card will not be accepted in place of an SR-22.
Minimum Liability Amounts for an SR-22
The purpose of an SR-22 is to prove you have maintained minimum liability amounts. The minimum liability coverage amounts required by law are:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of a person in an accident;
- $60,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in an accident; and
- $25,000 for damage or destruction of property of others in an accident
Types of SR-22 Insurance in Texas
Figuring out an SR-22 can be a hassle, but Texas offers you options to streamline the process. If you’ve been notified by DPS to file an SR-22, there are three types to choose from in Texas including:
- SR-22 Owner’s Certificate – Covers you while driving any vehicle you own;
- Non-Owner SR-22 Certificate – Insurance for you to drive vehicles you don’t own yourself, but have permission to drive from the owner of the vehicle.
- SR-22 Owner-Operator Certificate – Covers you for operating vehicles you own and any vehicles you don’t own but were given permission to drive.
What Happens if I Don’t File a SR-22?
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) doesn’t make it easy for you to avoid filing an SR-22. Insurance providers are required to inform DPS if you have terminated, lapse or cancelled your insurance policy. If this happens, then DPS will likely automatically suspend your license whether it’s valid or occupational.
Choosing to drive with a suspended or invalid license is also risky. You could face additional charges if you’re pulled over by law enforcement. Driving with a suspended license is a class C misdemeanor and can be enhanced if you have a history of this type of offense. If you drive without valid insurance, you could be charged with a class C misdemeanor which can result in a fine of up to $500.
SR-22 Certificate – Visit the official website of Texas Department of Public Safety to learn more about SR-22 insurance certificates. Access the site to learn about license reinstatement requirements, the DPS contact information and how to check your driver eligibility status.
Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act – Visit the official website of the Texas Transportation Code to learn more about the laws outlining auto insurance in Texas. Access the statute to learn more about requirements to maintain insurance, proof of financial responsibility and penalties for failing to keep up with your insurance.
Lawyer for SR-22 Insurance in Harris County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI, it’s crucial you gain trusted legal representation. A DWI conviction can have a lasting impact to not just your freedom, but your insurance. Don’t wait another moment to fight these charges and call Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. have years of experience with DWI law. We can assess your charges to formulate a strong defense for you. Call us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area including River Oaks, Magnolia Park and Uptown.
This article was last updated on March 11th, 2019.