TexasSure: Vehicle Insurance Verification in Texas
Texas insurance companies submit policy information for all of their customers to TexasSure
, allowing law enforcement officers to check the status of your insurance policy when you are pulled over. If you do not have auto insurance, or if you have forgotten your insurance card and your policy information has not been updated in TexasSure, you could face a $1,000 fine, a $250 annual surcharge for three years, vehicle impoundment, and a two-year suspension of your driving privileges.
Texas Vehicle Insurance Policy
Texas requires all drivers to have proof of liability insurance with at least 30/60/25 coverage
or alternate proof of financial responsibility in a deposit or cashier's check for at least $50,000. According to the Texas Department of Insurance
, approximately 20% of all Texas vehicles, or 4 million automobiles, are uninsured.
If you are uninsured because you were unable to find auto insurance in the voluntary market, the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association may be able to help. Because Texas has such a high rate of uninsured drivers, the penalties for driving without auto insurance are particularly harsh. TexasSure, a state-funded program, was established in June 2008 to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles.
Overview Of TexasSure
is an insurance verification system implemented in October 2008 by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
. This enables local law enforcement and county tax officials to quickly and easily verify a vehicle's liability coverage. This initiative aims to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on the road by utilizing a database linked to various state departments and insurance companies. This initiative will greatly benefit the general public by reducing the use of counterfeit insurance identification cards and drivers canceling coverage after renewing their vehicle registration.
TexasSure began contacting insureds directly via mail-in November 2009 if they could not match the insured's policy information with their vehicle registration records. Although less than 1% of insurance policies do not match the Texas records, your Insurance Agent and Insurance Company should be prepared to answer any questions you may have about the letter. If you receive one of these notices, don't hesitate to contact your insurance agent or company. It usually indicates an error in the policy and that the Vehicle Identification Number
needs to be corrected.
Vehicle Insurance in Texas
Texas is known for being a large state, and with that comes a large number of roads and highways that Texas drivers use daily. Ensure that you and your vehicle are adequately protected with the appropriate Texas auto insurance policy. You'll need proof of auto insurance in Texas if/when you:
- Obtain a vehicle inspection
- Register a vehicle
- Complete certain transactions concerning your driver's license.
- Are apprehended by law enforcement
Driving without insurance in Texas can result in a fine of up to $1,000, plus surcharges to the annual driver's license fee. Avoid the headache and hassle by carrying at least the bare minimum of auto insurance coverage.
Car Insurance Coverage
Texas requires drivers to have the following auto insurance coverages at a minimum:
- Liability for bodily injury is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Liability for property damage: $25,000
- Personal injury protection (PIP): $2,500 unless you decline it.
- Unless you decline this coverage, uninsured motorist bodily injury is limited to $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.
- Uninsured motorist property damage is $25,000 with a $250 deductible unless you decline this coverage.
While Texas's minimum coverages are required, everyone's insurance needs vary.
Penalties For Uninsured Driving
When driving in Texas, you must have proof of insurance with you. When a police officer pulls you over for a traffic violation in Texas, you must present the following forms of identification: your driver's license, a TX vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance. If you just got a new insurance ID card and forgot to put it in your glove compartment, the police officer could check your policy with TexasSure.
Even if the officer can verify that you have an active insurance policy, you could still be fined for not having insurance. Uninsured drivers who cannot show proof of financial responsibility may face fines ranging from $925 to $1,750.
Fines range from $175 to $350 for a first offense. That may not seem like a big deal, but wait until you hear this: you'll have to pay a $250 annual surcharge for three years in a row. You'll pay between $925 and $1,100 for your first offense, a significant sum.
If you get a ticket for driving without insurance, the cost of your auto insurance policy will go up because insurers consider you a higher-risk driver. In addition, you may be required to file an SR22
with your insurer to demonstrate that you have the state-required liability coverage. It is recommended to work with an insurance company that specializes in policies for drivers with a history of mishaps.
The penalties will be harsher if you are caught driving without insurance for the second or subsequent time. You'll have to pay fines ranging from $350 to $1,000 and a $250 annual surcharge for three years, just like the first time. You'll spend between $1,100 and $1,750. To put those penalties into context, the average cost of car insurance in Texas for our benchmark drivers is $885.
Drivers could pay $215-$865 more for a single ticket than some Texans pay for their annual auto insurance premium. In addition, the court may order that your vehicle be impounded for 180 days. If your vehicle has been impounded, you can apply for its release by demonstrating financial responsibility. If your vehicle remains impounded, you will be charged a $15 per day impoundment fee — if your vehicle is impounded for 180 days, you will be charged $2,700 in impoundment fees. For second and subsequent driving convictions without auto insurance, you could pay $4,450.
If you are involved in a car accident in Texas and do not have auto insurance, you may face fines, vehicle impoundment, and suspension of your driving privileges. If you are at fault for a collision that resulted in serious injuries or death, you could face a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail, depending on the severity. After the accident, you will be required to file an SR-22 form for three years, and your vehicle registration and license will be automatically suspended for up to two years. Furthermore, you will be fully liable for any physical injuries and property damage caused by the accident that you caused.
You might be eligible for the Indigency Program
if you were fined for driving without auto insurance and cannot pay the annual surcharges. Individuals with incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty line could have their annual surcharge reduced to 10% of the total charge. If you are below the poverty line, you will only have to pay a $25 annual surcharge. While the Indigency program significantly reduces the annual surcharge, it does not exempt you from paying the actual fine.