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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

  1. What insurance is required by Texas Law to drive a car?
  2. When will I have to show proof of insurance?
  3. What does Liablity Insurance pay for?
  4. What is Medical Payments coverage?
  5. What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?
  6. What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage?
  7. What is Collision (Damage to Your Car) Coverage?
  8. What is Comprehensive (Physical Damage Other than Collision) Coverage?
  9. What is Towing and Labor Coverage?
  10. What is Rental Reimbursement Coverage?
  11. Do I need to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver if I rent a car?
  12. Do I need to purchase additional insurance if I drive to another state, Canada or Mexico?
  13. Can I add my child to my policy?
  14. When can I remove my child from my policy?
  15. What information is used to determine my insurance rate?
  16. What should I do after an accident?
  17. If I'm in an accident and it's the other person's fault, what should I do?
  18. What are the rules regarding Low-Speed and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles?
  19. What are the rules regarding golf carts?
  20. What are the rules regarding All-Terrain Vehicles?
  21. What are the rules regarding Utility Type Vehicles or Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles?
  22. What is the Motorcycle helmet law in Texas?
  23. What is Progressive Insurance Pet Injury Coverage?
  24. Is boat insurance required in Texas?
  25. When is boat insurance required by Texas law?
  26. What is an SR22?
  27. Why do I need an SR22?
  28. How do I get an SR22?
  29. How long will I need to keep my SR22?
  30. What happens when I no longer need my SR22?
  31. If I do not own a car, how can I get an SR22?
  32. How long is proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) required in crash, conviction or judgment cases?
  33. What happens if my SR-22 is cancelled?
What insurance is required by Texas Law to drive a car?

Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to be able to pay for the accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses. It does not pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries.

You must have at least the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state’s financial responsibility law. The current minimum liability limits are $25,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called “25/50/25” coverage. The limits will increase on January 1, 2011, to $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.

Because of car prices and the high cost of medical care, the minimum amounts might not be enough if you cause an accident. If your liability limits are too low to pay for all of the other driver’s costs, the driver may sue you to collect the difference. To protect yourself financially, consider buying more than the basic limits.



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When will I have to show proof of insurance?

When you buy an auto policy, your insurance company will send you a proof-of-insurance card. You will need to show proof of insurance when you

  • are asked for it by a law enforcement officer
  • have an accident
  • register your car or renew its registration
  • obtain or renew your driver’s license
  • get your car inspected.

There are 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.

The penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility laws increase if you don’t have a valid driver’s license to a fine not to exceed $2,000, 180 days in jail, or both. The penalty increases to a fine not to exceed $4,000, one year in jail, or both if you case a car accident that results in serious injury or death.



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What does Liablity Insurance pay for?
Other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers covered by your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. These may include the other people’s
  • medical and funeral costs, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering
  • car repair or replacement costs
  • auto rental while the other driver’s car is being repaired
  • punitive damages awarded by a court.

Liability insurance also pays your attorney fees if someone sues you because of the accident and  bail up to $250 if you are arrested.

Note: Some policies won’t cover other people, including family members, unless they’re  specifically named in the policy. Your policy’s dec page should list the names of all of the people covered by the policy.



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What is Medical Payments coverage?
Pays: Medical and funeral bills resulting from accidents, including those in which the other person  is a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Covers:
You, your family members, and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the  accident.

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What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?
Pays: Same as medical payments coverage, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a  caregiver for an injured person.

Covers:
You, your family members, and passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the  accident.
An insurance company must offer you $2,500 in PIP, but you can buy more. If you don’t want  PIP, you must reject it in writing.

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What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage?

Pays: Your expenses from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or a motorist who did not  have enough insurance to cover your bills, up to your policy’s dollar limits. Also pays for  accidents caused by a hit-and-run driver if you reported the accident promptly to police.

  • Bodily injury UM/UIM pays without deductibles for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability.
  • Property damage UM/UIM pays for auto repairs, a rental car, and damage to items in your car. There is an automatic $250 deductible, which means you must pay the first $250 of the repairs yourself.

Covers: You, your family members, passengers in your car, and others driving your car with your  permission.

Insurers must offer UM/UIM coverage. If you don’t want it, you must reject it in writing.



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What is Collision (Damage to Your Car) Coverage?

Pays: The cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident. Payment is limited to your  car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car  like yours without damages.

Covers: You, your family members, passengers in your car, and others driving your car with your  permission.



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What is Comprehensive (Physical Damage Other than Collision) Coverage?

Pays: The cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, hail,  or a cause other than a collision. Comprehensive coverage also pays for a rental car or other  temporary transportation if your car is stolen. Your policy won’t pay for an auto theft unless you  report it to police. Payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible.

If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require you to have collision and  comprehensive coverage.



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What is Towing and Labor Coverage?
Pays: Towing charges when your car can’t be driven. Also pays labor charges, such as changing a  tire, at the location where your car became immobile.

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What is Rental Reimbursement Coverage?
Pays: A set daily amount for a rental car if your car is stolen or is being repaired because of  damage covered by your policy


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Do I need to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver if I rent a car?
Auto rental agencies offer collision damage waivers and liability policies. The collision damage waiver is not insurance. It is an agreement that the rental company will waive its right, with certain exceptions, to recover the cost of the car’s damage from the renter.

If you have auto insurance, your policy may already cover damage to a rental car. Your coverage limit, however, might be less than the value of a rental car. Read your policy to know what’s covered and the coverage limits. If your coverage limit is too low, consider increasing it. You will pay more in premium, but it might be cheaper than buying additional coverage through the rental agency, especially if you rent cars often.

If you don’t own a car, but borrow or rent cars often, you can buy a non-owner liability policy. A non-owner policy pays for damages and injuries you cause when driving a borrowed or rented car, but it does not pay for your injuries or damage to the car you were driving.



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Do I need to purchase additional insurance if I drive to another state, Canada or Mexico?

A Texas automobile insurance policy usually meets the financial responsibility requirements of other U.S. states and Canada. Mexico, however, does not recognize U.S. auto liability policies.

Mexican authorities can hold drivers criminally and financially responsible for any auto accidents they cause. If you’re in an accident that results in an injury, police may detain you until they determine who is at fault. You will have to show that you either have insurance recognized by the Mexican government or the financial ability to pay any judgment against you.

Some U.S. companies provide a free endorsement extending your policy’s coverage to infrequent trips of up to 10 days and as far as 25 miles into Mexico. You can buy coverage for longer stays, but it is usually valid only within 25 miles of the border. In addition, these endorsements might not meet Mexican legal requirements.

You can buy Mexican liability insurance from Texas agents who specialize in it. Call Insurance Plus Agencies at 866-466-1699 to get a quote today.

You may be able to buy a Mexico “tourist” endorsement for your U.S. policy. This endorsement extends your liability coverage to pay costs exceeding a Mexican liability policy’s limits. It covers trips of any distance and any length of time.



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Can I add my child to my policy?

Parents can usually add their young drivers  to their auto policy to satisfy the state’s financial responsibility requirements. Adding a young driver to a parents’ policy can be expensive, but it’s cheaper than buying a separate auto policy.

Some policies require all drivers to be named on the policy for coverage to apply. Therefore, it’s important that you list all family members on the policy as soon as they reach driving age. If you don’t have all of the drivers in your family listed on your policy and the company learns about them later – because of an accident claim, for instance – the company will bill you for the extra premium you should have paid and could deny your claim and coverage.

If you have children attending school away from home, tell your insurance company. Companies base rates on where a car is usually located, and it might need to adjust your premium. If the school is in another state, check on the financial responsibility laws in that state to make sure you have the appropriate coverages.

Generally, if a teenager is the principal driver of a particular automobile, the company will base the teen’s rate on that car. Otherwise, the company will assign the teenage driver to the car (usually the most expensive) in your household that produces the highest rate.



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When can I remove my child from my policy?

You may want to remove your children from your policy when they move out. You’ll probably have to prove to the insurance company that your child has moved. You can use documents like a driver’s license, lease agreement, or utility receipts to show that your child has a separate address.

It’s probably not a good idea to remove children from your policy if they are attending school away from home. It’s risky to drop coverage if your teenager might occasionally drive at school or when home on visits. Many insurance companies will require you to keep students on your policy, even if you would like to remove them.



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What information is used to determine my insurance rate?

Before writing or renewing a policy, insurance companies determine your risk for an accident by checking motor vehicle records for your driving history.  Some companies might also review your credit history.

Many companies use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) to learn an applicant’s insurance claims history. If the company used a CLUE report to deny, cancel, or nonrenew your policy, you can get a free copy by calling the ChoicePoint Consumer Center or by visiting the ChoicePoint website

 1-800-456-6004
 www.choicetrust.com/index2.htm

Before calling, get the CLUE reference number from the insurance company. Using the reference number will speed the process and ensure that you request the right report.



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What should I do after an accident?
  • If possible, move your car to avoid blocking traffic and to protect it from further damage.
  • Call the police if somebody is injured or killed, if you can’t move your car, or if the accident involved a hit-and-run driver. Your uninsured motorist coverage pays for a hit-and-run accident only if you report it to police.
  • Get the following information from the other driver:
    • name
    • address
    • telephone number
    • license plate number
    • license number
    • insurance company name (get the exact and full name)*
    • insurance policy number
  • Give the other driver the same information about you.
  • Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
  • Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Your company probably has a 1-800 number to report claims. If not, call your agent. The agent or company will explain the claims process, including how to schedule an adjuster and get repair estimates. Also, give your agent or company the names and addresses of any witnesses and anyone injured.
  • If you reported your claim by phone, follow up in writing as soon as possible to protect your rights under Texas’ prompt payment of claims laws.
  • Send the company copies of the accident report and any legal papers you receive about the accident.
  • Cooperate with the company’s investigation. You might have to submit a proof-of-loss form or have a medical examination.

* If the other driver refuses to tell you the name of his or her insurance company, get a copy of the police accident report. The accident report should list the other driver’s name and insurance company. If the police did not investigate the accident, you can report the driver’s refusal to police. This could result in a report identifying the driver’s insurance company. In addition, the Texas Department of Public Safety keeps files of forms – called SR-22s – that show the insurance companies of people convicted of DWI or driving without insurance. Call the DPS Customer Service Bureau

512-424-2600



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If I'm in an accident and it's the other person's fault, what should I do?

If you were in an accident caused by another driver, the other driver’s insurance company should pay the following costs, up to the policy’s limits:

  • repair or replacement of your car
  • car rental while your automobile is being repaired
  • your medical and hospital bills
  • wages lost because of an injury
  • compensation for pain and suffering if anyone is hurt.

If the other driver’s insurance won’t cover all your medical bills, file a claim for the difference against your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, if you have it. For amounts greater than that, you can claim against your uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage or your health insurance policy.

If the other driver’s policy won’t cover all of your auto repairs, file a claim against your collision or UM/UIM coverage for the difference (minus your deductible) between the damage to your car and what the other driver’s policy will pay.



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What are the rules regarding Low-Speed and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles?

A vehicle is classified as an LSV or NEV if it has:

  • Neighborhood Electric Vehiclea normal maximum speed of 20-25 mph (LSV) or 20-35 mph (NEV),
  • seat belts,
  • head and tail lights,
  • a windshield,
  • a parking brake,
  • turn signals,
  • rear-view mirrors
  • brake lights,
  • reflectors, and
  • a valid 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

To title and register your LSV or NEV, take the following to your county tax office:

  • evidence of ownership, such as a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin or title,
  • a completed Form VTR 130-U, and
  • proof of insurance.


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What are the rules regarding golf carts?

A vehicle is classified as a golf cart if it:Golf Cart

  • has no less than three wheels,
  • has a normal maximum speed of between 15-25 mph, and
  • is manufactured primarily for operation on golf courses.

TxDMV does not register or title golf carts.

Registration is not needed to operate your golf cart on a public road. State law allows for use of golf carts with a slow-moving vehicle emblem in the following situations:

  • in master planned communities with a uniform set of restrictive covenants in place,
  • on public or private beaches,
  • during the daytime and no more than two miles from where the owner usually parks the golf cart and for transportation to or from a golf course, or
  • to cross intersections, including a road or street that has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.

A city can pass a local ordinance allowing for use of golf carts on additional roads. The road must be within the boundaries of the city and with a speed limit of 35 mph or lower.

In these cases, the golf cart must be insured and have the following minimum equipment:

  • headlamps,
  • tail lamps,
  • reflectors,
  • parking brake,
  • mirrors, and
  • a slow-moving vehicle emblem.

The state, a county, or a city may prohibit golf cart operation on all or part of a public road in the interest of safety.

Note: An exception for Grayson County allows for the issuance of Golf Cart License Plates. Grayson County golf cart owners must take the following to their county tax office to purchase golf cart license plates:

  • Evidence of ownership, such as a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO), title, bill of sale or invoice.
  • If your golf cart does not have a valid VIN, one may be assigned from the Dallas regional VTR office.
  • Completed Form VTR 130-U.


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What are the rules regarding All-Terrain Vehicles?

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are regulated by state and federal laws.

A vehicle is classified as an ATV if it:All-Terrain Vehicle

  • has a saddle seat,
  • has three or more wheels,
  • is designed for off-highway use, and
  • is not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn care.

ATVs may not be driven on public roads unless the driver is:

  • a farmer or a rancher traveling no more than 25 miles,
  • a public utility worker, or
  • a law enforcement officer.

ATVs driven on a public road must have a triangular orange flag on top of an eight-foot pole attached to the back of it.

To be operated on public property, ATVs must have:

  • a brake system,
  • a muffler system,
  • a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester,
  • head and tail light, and
  • an Off Highway Vehicle decal issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

For further details on ATV operation on public land in Texas, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Off Highway Vehicle Program or call (512) 389-8917.



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What are the rules regarding Utility Type Vehicles or Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles?

Effective September 1, 2009, utility-type vehicles (UTVs) are defined as Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), which are generally used for maintenance, hunting or recreation. They are required to be titled but may not be driven on public roads.

A ROV is a motor vehicle that is equipped with:Utility Type Vehicles/Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles

  • a non-straddle seat for the use of the rider (and passenger),
  • is designed to propel itself with four or more tires in contact with the ground,
  • is designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use and
  • is not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn care.

ROVs may not be driven on public roads unless the:

  • vehicle is owned by a state, county or municipality and operated on a public beach or highway to maintain public safety and welfare,
  • driver is a farmer or a rancher traveling no more than 25 miles,
  • driver is a public utility worker, or
  • driver is a law enforcement officer.

To be operated on public property, ROVs must have:

  • a brake system,
  • a muffler system,
  • a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester,
  • head and tail light, and
  • an Off Highway Vehicle decal issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

For further details on ATV operation on public land in Texas, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Off Highway Vehicle Program or call (512) 389-8917.



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What is the Motorcycle helmet law in Texas?

Motorcycle Helmet Exemptions

On June 19, 2009, Governor Rick Perry signed into law
Senate Bill 1967 of the 81st Regular Legislative Session.
This law became effective September 1, 2009 and
repealed the helmet exemption sticker program.

  • Former law required a person be covered with a minimum of $10,000 in health insurance for injuries incurred in a motorcycle accident to be eligible for an exception for the offense of operating or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. The law removes that minimum amount. The law requires the Texas Department of Insurance to prescribe a standard proof of health insurance for issuance to persons who are at least 21 years of age and covered by an applicable health insurance plan. "Health insurance plan" means an individual, group, blanket, or franchise insurance policy, insurance agreement, evidence of coverage, group hospital services contract, health maintenance organization membership, or employee benefit plan that provides benefits for health care services or for medical or surgical expenses incurred as a result of an accident.
  • The law prohibits a peace officer from stopping or detaining a person who is the operator of or a passenger on a motorcycle for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a motorcycle health insurance plan and repeals provisions relating to a DPS-issued sticker required to be displayed on a motorcycle by a motorcycle owner.


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What is Progressive Insurance Pet Injury Coverage?
Pets Are People Too!

You take them to the park, to the groomer’s, or just for a joyride…they’re your pets and your passengers. So shouldn’t they be covered by your auto insurance policy? We think so.

 

That’s why Progressive was the first to offer Pet Injury coverage and is now happy to offer up to $1000 worth of coverage for your dog or cat if they’re injured when you’re in a car accident, or during an auto fire or theft.

And, it’s free! That’s right. Progressive’s Pet Injury coverage is automatically included with your comprehensive and collision coverage.*

How Does It Work?

It couldn’t be easier because you don’t have to do or pay anything. It’s absolutely free. You just need to have Progressive’s Comprehensive and Collision coverage for at least one vehicle on the policy.

This coverage pays up to $1000 toward veterinary bills if your dog or cat is injured when you’re in a car accident. We also cover them for Comprehensive claims, such as vehicle theft or a fire. In the unfortunate event that your pet dies as a result of injuries sustained in your Collision or Comprehensive claim, we provide a $1000 death benefit.

Coverage also extends to a cat or dog owned by a relative who lives with you.

And now, this same level of Pet Injury coverage is also available for your RV!

Auto insurance for your pet? Now that’s Progressive!



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Is boat insurance required in Texas?
Boat insurance is not required by Texas law to operate a privately owned boat on public waters but we do highly recommend that you protect yourself and your boat with a boat insurance policy since you are open to the same risk and liability driving a boat as you are a car.

This information was obtained from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. For more information on the boating requirements in Texas please see the document below:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_l2000_0014.pdf

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When is boat insurance required by Texas law?
When operating commercial vessels that carry passengers on public waters in Texas you must maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance.

Operating Vessel Livery - A vessel livery must purchase liability insurance from an insurer licensed to do business in this state.

Party Boats - The owner of a party boat must maintain at least a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance from an insurer licensed to do business in this state.

This information was obtained from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. For more information on the boating requirements in Texas please see the document below:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_l2000_0014.pdf

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What is an SR22?
An SR22 is a form filed by an insurance company to prove that the insured has the amount of Liability coverage required by the state.

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Why do I need an SR22?
You may need an SR-22 because of a DUI or DWI, driving without insurance, or driving with a suspended license.

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How do I get an SR22?
Since SR22's are only issued by insurance companies, you must purchase a liability insurance policy from a company that also issues SR22's.

Insurance Plus represents many companies that file SR22's. Give us a call today for a free quote!

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How long will I need to keep my SR22?
Your SR-22 remains active until your state determines it can be removed. Depending on your state, you may need to keep your SR-22 active for 36 months, or it could be a different time period — check with your state to determine the specifics.

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What happens when I no longer need my SR22?
Once you're no longer required to have an SR-22, you notify your insurance company to file the paperwork — generally an SR-26 form — to cancel it.

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If I do not own a car, how can I get an SR22?
If you don't own a car you can get an SR22 by purchasing a non-owner liability insurance policy.

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How long is proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) required in crash, conviction or judgment cases?
In Texas an SR-22 is required for 2 years from the date of crash, date of conviction or date the judgment was rendered. Texas Transportation Code 601.056.

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What happens if my SR-22 is cancelled?
Once the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) receives notification from the insurance company that the policy is cancelled, terminated, or lapses appropriate enforcement action may be taken. If the SR-22 is still required and there is not a valid SR-22 on file, the driving privilege and vehicle registration is suspended.

Call Today to get a free SR22 Insurance Quote!

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