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Traffic tickets

driving without proof of insurance

Almost every state (except New Hampshire and Virginia) requires its licensed drivers to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage. The required insurance generally includes bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage in certain minimum amounts.

You are required to show proof of the minimum insurance coverage to a police officer when you are stopped for a moving traffic violation or involved in a traffic accident—and you may receive a citation if you are not able to show proof of insurance—also known as failure to maintain financial responsibility (FMFR) or no proof of insurance. And in some states, you are required to show proof of insurance to register your car. In those states, the failure to register your car may result in an additional citation.

But a ticket or citation for no proof of insurance may be correctable—a fix-it ticket of sorts—if the driver did have the required insurance but was unable to provide proof of it when requested by the law enforcement officer. Laws vary from state to state but in that situation the driver may be able to have the ticket dismissed upon showing proof of insurance and possible payment of a smaller fine.

If you have been convicted of DUI/DWI (or a similar offense) or of driving without insurance (failure to maintain financial responsibility) or of reckless or negligent driving, you may be required to get a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22). An SR-22 is proof or verification the holder is maintaining vehicle liability insurance in the required amounts. It is not a type of insurance—it is a form filed with the state’s department of public safety (DPS), department of transportation (DOT), or department of motor vehicles (DMV) and may also be referred to as an SR-22 Bond or SR-22 Form.

An SR-22 can be issued by most insurance providers, who will notify the state’s department of public safety or department of motor vehicles when an SR-22 is cancelled, terminated, or lapses. There are usually significant additional costs for an insured (driver) to get an SR-22.

The state will often require a driver whose license has been suspended following an arrest for DUI/DWI to provide an SR-22 to get their occupational or restricted license or to have their driver’s license reinstated.

In Texas, drivers are mandated to have a minimum amount of auto insurance, which includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. The exact minimum amounts are set by state law. When stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation or after an accident, drivers must show proof of this insurance. Failure to do so can result in a citation for failure to maintain financial responsibility (FMFR). However, if a driver had valid insurance at the time but couldn't provide proof, they may be able to have the citation dismissed by later showing evidence of insurance, sometimes accompanied by a reduced fine. Drivers with certain convictions, such as DUI/DWI, driving without insurance, or reckless driving, may be required to obtain an SR-22 form. This form is not insurance itself but a certification filed with the state's DMV or similar agency, proving that the driver has the necessary insurance coverage. An SR-22 is typically associated with higher insurance costs and is required for license reinstatement or to obtain a restricted license after certain types of suspensions.

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