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General Texas Insurance Guidelines
Texas requires that all drivers be covered under liability auto insurance. Proof of insurance must be accessible at all times in your vehicle. Texas motorists are required to present their insurance info when requested by a police officer. Drivers are also required to show proof of auto insurance when registering a vehicle, renewing a registration, obtaining or renewing a driver’s license, involved in an accident or at an annual car inspection.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Texas
Texas minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $30,000 bodily injury per person.
- $60,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $25,000 total property damage per accident.
30/60/25 are only the minimum requirements set by Texas. Experts strongly advise protecting your assets by getting securing more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits generally do not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical expenses. Most drivers also elect to add collision and comprehensive insurance coverage to their policies to cover damage, which may not be covered, to their own cars.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
The penalties for driving without car insurance in Texas are:
- First conviction: fine of $175–$350
- More convictions: fines of $350–$1,000, license suspension, and vehicle impoundment
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Texas does not require motorists to carry UM/UIM coverage.
Is Texas a No-Fault State?
No. While some states have a no-fault insurance system when it comes to auto insurance, Texas is not one of those states. The majority of states have moved to the tort auto insurance system. Tort, unlike no-fault, is a system where the motorist who is at fault for causing an accident is liable for compensating the victim’s medical expenses, loss of wages and “pain and suffering.”
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Texas does not require motorists to carry PIP insurance.
SR-22 Requirements for Texas
An SR-22 insurance form (certificate of insurance document) must be filed with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles as proof that a motorist has the minimum required liability insurance (30/60/25) coverage.
Texas DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver's licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Texas are:
- 72 hours to 180 days imprisonment
- 180 days to 2 years imprisonment if minor under 15 in vehicle
- 90 days to 1 year license suspension
- Up to $2,000 fine
- Up to $10,000 fine if minor under 15 in vehicle
- $1,000 DUI surcharge per year for 3 years
- $2,000 DUI surcharge per year for 3 years if BAC is 0.16% +
Additional Information on Insurance for Texas
For more information, please contact Texas Department of Insurance: 1-800-252-3439 or visit their website at texas.gov.