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Q

Is a no insurance ticket considered a misdemeanor or is it just a regular traffic violation in Texas?


A

Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor offense in the state of Texas.

Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to be able to pay for any automobile accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance. Section 601 of the Texas Transportation code is titled the Motor Vehicle Responsibility Act and it discusses the financial responsibility drivers in TX should have and penalties for not doing so.

The requirement of financial responsibility is listed in chapter subsection 601.051. Here it states that a person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state unless financial responsibility is established for that vehicle through:

  • a motor vehicle liability insurance policy
  • a surety bond filed under Section 601.121;
  • a deposit under Section 601.122;
  • a deposit under Section 601.123; or
  • self-insurance under Section 601.124.

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Most people choose to obtain financial responsibility for their vehicle with the first choice, an auto insurance liability policy. If you chose this method then Texas law requires minimum coverage amount required by the state's financial responsibility law increased to $25,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This basic coverage is called 25/50/25 coverage.

Section 601.191 of the Texas Transportation Code is what states that a no insurance ticket is a misdemeanor. This section of law is titled Operation of motor vehicle in violation of motor vehicle liability insurance requirement; Offense and states:

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle in violation of Section 601.051.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $175 or more than $350.

(c) If a person has been previously convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $350 or more than $1,000.

Other penalties that may be handed to you by the court or Texas Department of Safety (DPS) for being caught driving without insurance on a vehicle include suspension of your driver's license, registration and impoundment of your automobile.

In Texas driving without insurance is a misdemeanor, and thus a criminal offense, however is considered less serious in nature compare to felony offenses such as vehicular homicide or felony DWI. It can however result in harsh penalties such as a fine and the suspensions we mentioned above. Also in Texas Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility results in a $250 driver responsibility surcharge that is charged to you for 3 years from the date of your conviction.

Don't be caught driving uninsured in Texas! You can get instant car insurance quotes here and start a policy right away so that you are properly insured in TX and will not face the misdemeanor charge of driving without insurance and all the penalties that come alone with that offense.


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