Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Texas
The state of Texas requires all drivers to prove financial responsibility for any accidents they may cause. For many, that means purchasing liability insurance.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
Although most drivers in the state prove their financial responsibility by purchasing a motorcycle insurance policy, it's not your only option. The following is a list of what the state will accept as proof of financial responsibility:
- Vehicle liability insurance policy through a state-licensed insurance provider.
- A surety bond filed with the county clerk. The bond must include two people, both of whom own real property in Texas.
- A deposit of $55,000 in cash or securities, made to the county comptroller.
- A deposit of $55,000 in cash or cashier's check, made to the county judge.
- Certification of self-insurance through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This option is typically for dealers, as you must own more than 25 cars to be eligible for self-insurance.
Texas statutes are very specific about the definition of a motorcycle and other similar vehicles:
- Motorcycle―A motorized vehicle with a saddle for the rider and operating on a maximum of 3 wheels. This does not include tractors or mopeds. Motorcycles are considered the same as passenger vehicles when it comes to registration, titling, and insurance requirements.
- Moped―A motorized cycle that does not operate faster than 30 MPH and has less than 5 HP and less than 50 CCs displacement.
If you need further information about these definitions or regarding your specific vehicle, contact your local TxDOT office. You can also call Customer Service at (888) 368-4689.
Texas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
In an effort to decrease the number of uninsured Texas drivers, state lawmakers have set required minimum amounts of liability insurance. So, if you want to drive in this state, you must have a motorcycle insurance policy that includes liability coverage in at least the following amounts:
- $60,000 bodily injury coverage total per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage per accident
- $30,000 bodily injury coverage for each injured person in an accident
As you are getting your motorcycle insurance quotes, consider that the coverage amounts listed above are only minimums; there is no maximum. It's often a good idea to get more coverage or protect yourself with different types of insurance. Check out all the various types of insurance coverage to make sure you get the policy that will work best for you.
How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements
Texas helmet requirements are not affected by how much automobile insurance you have. They are, however, somewhat affected by your health insurance policy. In short, if you ride a motorcycle (as driver or passenger) you must wear a helmet, unless:
- You are at least 21 years old,
- You are covered by a health insurance plan that covers medical/surgical expenses incurred from a motorcycle accident.
For more information, visit the Texas Department of Safety Website.
Proof of insurance and Financial Responsibility
In coalition with state lawmakers and other agencies, TxDOT to created TexasSure, a program to verify insurance electronically.
TexasSure: Insurance Verification Program
This verification program requires state insurance agencies to electronically submit insurance information directly to TxDOT. Once in the system, the information is accessible by all TxDOT departments, as well as law enforcement.
No action is required on your part, as long as you maintain the required minimum of coverage on your motorcycle. But if your insurance lapses or is canceled for some reason, or if there's a discrepancy in your records, you'll be hearing from TxDOT.
Respond to the notice from TxDOT by sending proof that you do have the required insurance, or resolve the discrepancy.
Penalties for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility
If you fail to maintain minimum insurance coverage, you can face penalties including:
- Driver's license suspensions.
- Car impoundment.
Within 20 days of receiving a suspension notice, you must decide whether you're going to appeal. If you do appeal, it could stop suspension procedures until the matter is resolved. Notify the TxDOT about your decision to appeal by contacting them at the address or phone number on your suspension notice.
Reinstating Registration and Driver's License
You can lift your suspension by doing the following:
- Pay reinstatement fees from $175 to $350
- Provide proof of current liability coverage
For more information related to penalties for no proof of insurance, contact your local TxDOT office.
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