Texas drivers who have be en convicted of certain traffic violations or had their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked can be required to obtain a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22). The SR-22 is a form issued by an insurance company that certifies a driver has the legally required minimum liability insurance.
One of the most common reasons people need to obtain an SR-22 is because they were previously convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Because a motorist who is seeking an SR-22 may be viewed as “high-risk,” some insurance companies may refuse to issue the certificate and decline coverage for the driver.
SR-22 Insurance for Denton DWI Convictions Lawyer
If you were convicted of DWI and are being required to file an SR-22, you could benefit from the help of an experienced Denton County attorney. Richard C. McConathy fights SR-22 filing requirements and helps clients get approved for occupational licenses or have their driver’s licenses reinstated.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represent people in and around the greater Lewisville area, including such areas as Flower Mound, Grapevine, and Little Elm. Call (940) 222-8004 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our firm review your case to see how we can help.
How SR-22 Insurance Works in Denton County
In addition to people convicted of DWI, individuals may also be required to obtain an SR-22 for the following reasons:
- The driver was uninsured when involved in an automobile accident
- Driver applying for an occupational license (essential need license)
- The driver received four or more moving traffic violations within a 12-month period or seven or more moving traffic violations within a 24-month period
- The driver has an unpaid judgment for a liability claim
- The driver has been previously convicted of driving without insurance
- The driver has been previously convicted of driving while their license is invalid
When a motorist receives an SR-22, the insurance company notifies the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) that the driver has the minimum liability coverage. Similarly, the insurance provider will also immediately notify DPS if there is a cancelation, termination, or lapse of that SR-22 policy.
An SR-22 is separate from a traditional insurance card, and a driver must carry his or her SR-22 at all times. There are three types of SR-22 insurance certificates:
- Owner —SR-22 for a motorist driving any vehicle he or she owns
- Operator — SR-22 for a motorist driving any vehicle he does not own but has permission to operate, such as a rental car or borrowed automobile
- Owner/Operator — SR-22 for a motorist who drives a combination of any vehicle he or she owns and vehicles that he or she does not own
Texas SR-22 Insurance Requirements
Any driver who is required to obtain an SR-22 must maintain that coverage for two years from the date of the conviction. The SR-22 needs to satisfy the following minimum liability coverage requirements:
- $30,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in one accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident
- $25,000 for damage to or destruction of property of others in one accident
It is important for drivers to understand that there are also very strict renewal requirements when it comes to SR-22 insurance. Whereas people can often renew traditional insurance policies on the day they expire or even later, insurance providers are required to notify DPS if drivers fail to renew an SR-22 policy within 15 days of the expiration date. This notification can trigger another suspension of driving privileges.
Denton County Penalties for Driving Without Valid SR-22
Motorists who are required to have an SR-22 can face significant penalties if they drive without a valid Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate. Some of the possible charges a driver can face may include:
- Driving While License Invalid, Texas Transportation Code § 521.457 — This is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, but if the alleged offender caused or was at fault in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to or the death of another person, this offense can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. A person can be charged with this offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle on a highway either:
- after his or her license has been canceled
- during a period that his or her license or privilege is suspended or revoked under any Texas law
- while his or her license is expired if the license expired during a period of suspension
- after the renewal of his or her license has been denied under any Texas law
Operation of Motor Vehicle in Violation of Requirement to Establish Financial Responsibility, Texas Transportation Code § 601.195 — This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine up to $500. A person can be charged with this offense if he or she:
- is required to establish financial responsibility
- does not maintain evidence of financial responsibility
- operates on a highway a motor vehicle owned by the person or knowingly permits another person, who is not otherwise permitted to operate a vehicle under this chapter, to operate on a highway a motor vehicle owned by the person during the period evidence of financial responsibility must be maintained
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for SR-22 Requirements | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Have you been required to obtain an SR-22 as a condition of receiving an occupational license or getting your driver’s license reinstated? Richard C. McConathy helps clients all over North Texas with these kinds of issues in DWI cases.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (940) 222-8004 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas of Denton County, Texas.