Filing an SR-22 in Texas: What You Ought to Know After Getting a DUI
Nobody wants to get pulled over by the police and receive a DUIbut if you do, you better start familiarizing yourself with SR-22 paperwork. SR-22s, also known as Certificates of Financial Responsibility, prove to the State of Texas that you have sufficient insurance coverage to drive legally. After a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, an SR-22 is mandatory to keep your license from being suspended. Understanding how to file the form the correct way can help you avoid any unnecessary headaches.
What is an SR-22 and When Should It be Filed?
An SR-22 is a form that your insurance company sends to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). It certifies that you have the minimum liability insurance required by the state. Its important that this form is filled out correctly, because any error can result in your driver’s license being suspended.
When you’re filing an SR-22 in Texas, you must do so within 30 days of being charged with a DUI. Failing to do so could mean additional fines and charges. So act fastask your insurance provider for one, because they’re the only ones who can send it for you.
What Will Happen If You Do Not File an SR-22?
If you fail to file an SR-22 within the 30-day window, the DPS may suspend your license. This means that you wont be able to legally drive, even if your car has insurance. You would have to pay a fee to reinstate your license. Plus, if you’re caught driving without a valid license, you could face more fines, possible jail time, or an additional suspension.
How Will You Know the SR-22 Has Been Processed?
Your insurance provider will confirm with you when the SR-22 has been sent. When the DPS receives it, they will issue an approval. This approval is usually sent directly to you or your insurance company. From then on, your license will be valid.
How Long Will The SR-22 Be on Your Record?
The SR-22 must remain on your record for three years after the start date and must stay continuous during that time. This means you must have a valid policy in place that day without any lapse.
What Are the Penalties for Not Keeping the SR-22 Active?
If you fail to follow the terms of the SR-22 form and do not maintain for the three year period, your license can be suspended again. You will then have to reinstate your license by paying the same suspension fee as the first time, plus an additional administrative fee to the DPS.
What Other Things Do You Need to Know About Filing an SR-22?
The DPS may require you to get an FR-44 instead of an SR-22. This is required if you have caused a serious accident or gotten multiple DUIs. An FR-44 shows the state that you have more coverage than the required minimum for an SR-22.
What Are the Steps to Reinstate Your License?
If your license has been suspended because you did not file an SR-22 within the 30-day window, you’ll have to do the following to reinstate it:
Pay a $100 reinstatement fee to the DPS
Get an SR-22 from your insurance provider and have it on file with the DPS
Take a driver’s safety law course, if required
Take a driving skills test, if required
How Can You Reinstate Your License After an FR-44 Is Filed?
Just like with an SR-22, you need to pay a reinstatement fee and file the FR-44 with DPS. You may also have to repeat the steps mentioned above if any were required.
What Are the Consequences of Repeated DUIs?
If you get multiple DUIs, you may have to deal with more severe consequences, such as having your license revoked permanently. In some cases, a judge may also order an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. This device prevents you from driving if you have been drinking.
Can You Get Your License Suspended Even if You Are Not Caught Driving With a DUI?
Yes, your license can still be suspended if you fail to file an SR-22 even if you are not caught driving with a DUI. This is because the DPS routinely checks to make sure everyone is following the requirements of their SR-22.
Getting a DUI can be a terrible and costly experience, but it’s important to understand how to file the necessary 13R paperwork. Filing an SR-22 or FR-44 on time can help you avoid even more fines and charges. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to make sure you understand all of the requirements. It’s a good idea to set a reminder on your phone or calendar that will let you know when it’s time to file. Doing this can help you avoid undergoing an even more complicated process to reinstate your license down the line.