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In Texas what are the penalties for no auto insurance? 1st offense, 2nd offense, etc...


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. The state's financial responsibility law requires one to have $25,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage (referred to as 25/50/25).

There are severe legal penalties for violating the state's financial responsibility laws. A first conviction will result in a fine between $175 and $350. Subsequent convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of your driver's license, and impoundment of your automobile.

TX Transportation Code (chapter 601) contains the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act where you can look for more information about the penalties for driving without insurance. In Texas if a person is convicted of a second or subsequent ticket for no liability insurance, the person is subject to license suspension according to TX Transportation Code 601.231.37, TX Administrative Code 25.19.

The Texas Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assess surcharges based on certain traffic offenses. This program does not replace other administrative suspension, or revocation actions that result from these same convictions. The surcharges assessed for this program are in addition to other reinstatement fees required for other administrative actions.

The annual surcharge is $250.00 per year and is assessed on the license of each person who during the preceding 36-month period was convicted of driving while license invalid, failing to maintain financial responsibility, or operating a vehicle that has had its registration suspended. Failure to pay the surcharge results in the suspension of your driver's license.

If you received a citation for failing to maintain financial responsibility (FTMFR), commonly referred to as "no insurance" and did not pay the fines or failed to appear in court to take care of the citations then likely you were convicted of the offenses and at the very least have fines to pay. Normally with a second or subsequent conviction for driving without insurance in TX your license is suspended by the DPS and to be reinstated you must file a SR-22.

To reinstate your driver's license after a suspension due to driving without insurance a reinstatement fee will be due prior to the renewal/issuance of a driver's license and you will need to obtain proof of insurance (form SR-22) from your insurance company and submit it to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The SR22 will be required for 2 years from the date of conviction.

If the Texas DPS receives notice that a person has cancelled their insurance while the requirement to maintain proof of insurance with DPS is still in effect, the driver is subject to suspension. Proof of insurance (form SR-22) must be maintained for two years from date of conviction. Texas Transportation Code 601.056 , 601.057, 37 Texas Administrative Code 25.6.


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