Understanding the Basics of SR-22 Insurance
If you live or work in Collin County, Texas, you understand the importance of being able to drive. But driving is a state-regulated privilege, not a right, and therefore there are many legal requirements that a driver has to comply with. These requirements include maintaining a certain level of automobile insurance. For certain drivers deemed a higher risk by the state, a driver may also need to obtain a special insurance endorsement.
What Is an SR-22 Endorsement?
This endorsement is referred to as an SR-22 form. Basically, it requires the issuer of the endorsement to monitor in the status of the underlying policy and inform the Texas Department of Public Safety of any changes. If a driver required to have an SR-22 endorsement allows his or her insurance policy to lapse, the insurer must inform state authorities the driver is not currently insured.
Why Do I Need an SR-22 Endorsement?
Texas generally requires an SR-22 when a driver has had his or her license suspended following an accident or a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or for a suspension as a result of the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process. For example, a Collin County resident convicted of DWI may have his or her driving privileges suspended but still be able to receive an occupational license that allows him or her to drive to work and school. An SR-22 is necessary, however, to obtain an occupational driver’s license. An occupational driver’s license will allow someone to continue to drive during the period of time in which their license is suspended.
What Does an SR-22 Actually Do?
The SR-22 is formally called a “Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate.” It certifies to the State of Texas that you are currently carrying a minimum amount of automobile liability coverage. Currently, those minimums are $30,000 in coverage for bodily injury or death caused to one person in an accident or $60,000 for multiple people injured or killed in the same accident, and $25,000 for the destruction of any property in a single accident.
Does My Insurer Have to Issue Me an SR-22?
An insurer may refuse to issue, or delay issuing, an SR-22. In many cases even if your insurer does issue an SR-22 it will decide not to renew your policy because you are deemed too high of a risk. Therefore, if your insurer refuses to issue an SR-22, you may have to obtain a new policy from a different insurer.
Do You Need Help From a Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney?
While there are many circumstances where you may be required to obtain an SR-22 endorsement, the most common reason is that you have had your license suspended following an ALR hearing, or following a conviction for Driving While Intoxicated. This is just one example of how a DWI can have a significant long-term impact on your life. If you have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and need assistance from an experienced Collin County DWI lawyer, contact us today.