A person who has been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas will have to deal with some serious penalties, and most people will focus on the immediate consequences like jail or fines. Another possible consequence could be a requirement to submit a Form SR-22 Insurance Certificate for several years.
SR-22 insurance is supposed to demonstrate financial responsibility, but it is important to understand that DWI is not the only type of offense that can result in a requirement to file an SR-22 form. Some of the other common reasons can include convictions related to driving safety responsibility, unsatisfied judgments, licenses being suspended or revoked, offenses for driving without valid insurance, and/or administrative license suspensions.
SR-22 / Vehicle Insurance Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Have you been required to file for an SR-22 in McKinney, Carrollton, Plano, or another community in Collin County? You can get help from The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy with all matters concerning your driver’s license.
Our firm understands how stressful and confusing these requirements can be for most people and we will be happy to guide you through the entire process so you can finally feel some relief. Let us discuss everything you are dealing with during a free consultation when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online today.
Form SR-22 Insurance Certificate in Collin County, TX
People convicted of DWI offenses in Collin County may be required to file and maintain an SR-22 insurance certificate with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). A person whose driving privileges were suspended or revoked must file this certificate for two years from the date of their conviction in Texas.
The most common reason a driver is required to file an SR-22 in Texas is usually a DWI conviction. A person may have also received an administrative driver’s license suspension for refusing to take a blood or breath alcohol test or failing to pass an intoxication test.
The SR-22 form is a certificate of motor vehicle liability insurance that shows the TxDPS the driver has sufficient insurance coverage for the state’s minimum required liability insurance. The driver’s insurance company is required to send this form to the TxDPS certifying the driver has coverage and must notify the TxDPS any time the policy is canceled, terminated, or lapses.
As a high-risk auto insurance policy, the SR-22 is separate from an insurance card and is required to be on a driver who has been convicted of a DWI offense in Collin County. If an individual has been convicted of a DWI, they do not have to own a motor vehicle to have the insurance coverage required for an SR-22 form.
There are three types of SR-22 insurance certificates in Texas:
- SR-22 Operator’s Certificate — This type of SR-22 covers a driver for operating any vehicle they do not own, but have permission to drive.
- SR-22 Owner’s Certificate — This type of SR-22 covers the insured for driving any vehicle they own.
- SR-22 Owner-Operator’s Certificate — This type of SR-22 covers the insured to operate any vehicles they own and any vehicles they do not own, but have been given permission to drive.
A person is required to file the SR-22 Form if they had their license suspended as a result of a DWI or administrative license suspension and want to reinstate their license or apply for an occupational driver’s license before their license can be reinstated. Other kinds of traffic crimes could lead to an SR-22 requirement.
Safety Responsibility Laws in Texas
Texas Transportation Code § 601.339 establishes evidence of financial responsibility following conviction, plea, or forfeiture. Under this law, TxDPS cannot issue a driver’s license to a person who does not hold a driver’s license and who enters a plea of guilty to an offense or is convicted by a final order or a judgment that:
- requires the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license;
- is imposed for operating a motor vehicle on a highway without a driver’s license; or
- is imposed for operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a highway; or
- forfeits bail or collateral deposited to secure an appearance for trial for an offense described above.
Notwithstanding Texas Transportation Code § 601.339(a) and (b), a driver’s license may be issued or a motor vehicle may be registered if the person files and maintains evidence of financial responsibility with the department. The SR-22 is that necessary evidence of financial responsibility.
Failure to Keep Form SR-22 Insurance in Texas
If a driver’s SR-22 insurance policy lapses or is terminated or canceled, the insurance carrier is required to report the lapse to the TxDPS. This leads to immediate suspension of the driver’s occupational license or reinstated driver’s license, in addition to possible suspension of their vehicle registration.
In addition to license suspension and vehicle registration revocation, a driver can face additional criminal penalties. Some of the most common criminal offenses they may face are:
Driving While License Invalid, Texas Transportation Code § 521.457 — A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway after the person’s driver’s license has been canceled under this chapter if the person does not have a license that was subsequently issued under this chapter; during a period that the person’s driver’s license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any law of this state; while the person’s driver’s license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension; or after the renewal of the person’s driver’s license has been denied under any law of this state if the person does not have a driver’s license subsequently issued under this chapter. A person also commits an offense if the person is the subject of an order issued under any law of this state that prohibits the person from obtaining a driver’s license and the person operates a motor vehicle on a highway.
This is generally a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500, but it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000 if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section or an offense under Section 601.371(a), as that law existed before September 1, 2003; or at the time of the offense, was operating the motor vehicle in violation of Section 601.191. If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the license of the person has previously been suspended as the result of an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, the offense is also a Class B misdemeanor. An offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000 if it is shown on the trial of the offense that at the time of the offense the person was operating the motor vehicle in violation of Section 601.191 and caused or was at fault in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to or the death of another person.
Requirement of Financial Responsibility, Texas Transportation Code § 601.051 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a motor vehicle in Texas without motor vehicle liability insurance or some other proof of financial responsibility. This offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or a jail sentence of up to 90 days.
SR-22 / Vehicle Insurance Resources
What is a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22) — Visit this Texas DPS webpage to learn more about insurance limits in Texas. As this website notes, minimum liability coverage amounts required by law are $30,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in one crash, $60,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one crash, and $25,000 for damage to or destruction of property of others in one crash. Also learn more about financial responsibility, conviction or judgment, authorized insurance providers, canceled, terminated, or lapsed sr-22, and driver license reinstatement requirements.
Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act — Chapter 601 of the Texas Transportation Code goes by this name, and you can read about all of the state laws relating to insurance requirements. You will note that Texas Transportation Code § 601.002(3) defines financial responsibility as “the ability to respond in damages for liability for an accident that occurs after the effective date of the document evidencing the establishment of the financial responsibility; and arises out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle.” Additional financial responsibility requirements can be found under Subchapter C.
Find a Collin County SR-22 / Vehicle Insurance Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you need help obtaining SR-22 insurance in Collin County, you do not have to deal with everything on your own. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is ready and able to help you navigate all of the different concerns that arise when dealing with a DWI case.
Our firm defends people accused of drunk driving all over North Texas and we are very familiar with the process of obtaining the insurance needed to get back on the road. Let us help you when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.