The penalty for driving without insurance in Texas can be severe, starting with a first-offense fine of $175 to $350. Your car might also be towed if you cannot show proof of insurance. Plus, once you’ve received a ticket for driving without insurance, purchasing an auto insurance policy will cost you more because insurers will consider you a high-risk driver. You may even have to file an SR-22 through your insurer to verify that you carry the state-required liability coverage.
If you’re caught driving without insurance in Texas more than once, the penalties are more severe. You’ll have to pay fines between $350 and $1,000. Your car might be impounded, too. In that case, you will have to pay impound fees of up to $20 per day for up to 180 days, or until you can obtain insurance and your car’s release. The maximum impound cost could add up to $3,600.
However, the worst penalties apply if you drive without insurance and are responsible for an accident that results in serious injuries or death. You will be required to file an SR-22 form for two years after the accident, and your vehicle registration and license will automatically be suspended for up to two years. Additionally, you could be held personally liable for all physical injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. If you don’t have insurance, and you are successfully sued, you may be required to pay for the victims’ medical expenses and car repair or replacement with your own assets.
If you get stopped by a police officer in Texas, be aware that your insurance status will be checked. The state funds a program called TexasSure that enables police officers to perform electronic verification of insurance. All insurance companies in the state submit customer policy information to this program.
If you’ve let your insurance lapse for any period of time, you may have to pay around 30% more than drivers who maintain continuous coverage. However, some companies that do business in Texas—like State Farm, GEICO and Allstate—are more likely to offer reasonable rates, so shop around.
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