Under Texas law, you must maintain special proof of auto liability insurance for at least two years following a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction and pay additional fees to the Texas Department of Public Safety for three years. Even once this period passes, you could continue to pay more for your car insurance because of your history of drunk driving.
Even a first offense DWI can cause your auto insurance premiums to skyrocket. In some cases, you may also have to find a different provider. If you want to drive following your administrative and criminal license suspensions, you will need to maintain liability coverage on your car and provide specific proof from your insurer.
Getting Insurance Following a Texas DWI Conviction
There is no doubt that getting a DWI will negatively affect your auto insurance. In most cases, car insurance companies do one of two things to a Texas driver after a DWI conviction:
- They label them a high-risk motorist and their premiums skyrocket; or
- They drop their coverage entirely
Unfortunately, though, Texas requires you to maintain minimum coverage to drive. If your provider hikes up your premiums or if you must find a new insurance company, you may have to pay out significantly to obtain coverage. Thisis especially true since this coverage must include an SR-22 form as proof of your policy. Sometimes you may hear this type of insurance called an “SR-22 policy” or a “high-risk policy.”
Like other drivers in Texas, those who have a history of certain moving violations or DWI must carry at least:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury or death multiple people in an accident
- $25,000 for damage to other people’s property in an accident
Understanding the SR-22 Process
For the first two years following the date of your DWI conviction in Texas, you will need to work with your insurer to file an SR-22 form. You must turn in this form to reinstate your driver’s license after an Administrative License Revocation (ALR)and/or a criminal suspension. Your SR-22 serves as proof you have the required liability insurance policy on your vehicle.
Your SR-22 will include general information about you and specific information about your auto insurance coverage. The form asks you to complete:
- Your name, address, and birth date
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company name
- NAIC code
- Policy number
- Case number
- Date of the policy
A representative from the insurance company must sign your SR-22 form, and they could charge you extra for this service. You will then need to submit the original SR-22 to the Texas Department of Public Safety, either by mailing it in or taking it to a local field office.
Only once the Department of Public Safety receives and processes this form will you be eligible to reinstate your driver’s license. You will need to go through the same process again the following year.
Other Costs Following a Texas DWI Conviction Add Up Quickly
Getting a Texas DWI is not cheap, and a dramatic increase in your auto insurance coverage is just one place you can expect to spend a lot of money. An SR-22 policy is a high-risk policy, and you could be paying thousands of dollars more a year for it than you used to pay for your auto coverage. Also, Texas charges an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for the first three years following a DWI conviction if you want to retain your driver’s license.
These costs are on top of any fines included in your sentence, court fees you have to pay, and the legal costs of fighting for a more favorable outcome in your Texas DWI case.
Talk to a Texas DWI Defense Attorney About Your Arrest Today
The best way to avoid paying exorbitant insurance premiums and additional fees and keep your driving privileges is to avoid a Texas DWI conviction which can ruin your life. If you face charges, or the police recently arrested you on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving, the team from Eddington Worley is standing by to take your call.
Let us review the circumstances of your arrest and the facts of your case. We can identify any mistakes made by the police or prosecutors and build a solid defense on your behalf. We believe no one should have to fight DWI charges alone. We will stand by you, helping you navigate the criminal justice process and pursuing a more favorable outcome on your behalf.
Call us today at 855-508-9785 to get started.