TexasSure: What It Is and What You Need To Know

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TexasSure: Welcome to Texas road signage

“I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ meeeee — and I have no privacy…” When it comes to your Texas auto insurance, that’s totally true. Texas uses a car insurance verification system called TexasSure to monitor drivers and determine who’s driving uninsured

While no system is entirely perfect, the TexasSure program is credited with decreasing the number of people driving without insurance by up to 38% annually. For insured drivers who follow the rules and purchase state-required insurance, this is a godsend. 

Learn more about how TexasSure works and what it means for you as a driver in the Lone Star State.

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How Does TexasSure Work?

Houston, Texas skyline

Back in 2005, Texas had a Texas-sized public safety problem. Around 20% of drivers were zooming around uninsured. In response, legislators in Austin came up with a solution: A vehicle insurance verification program called TexasSure.

Filed by State Representative Bill Callegari and passed into Texas law in 2005, House Bill 2573 established a motor vehicle financial responsibility program in Texas, which became known as TexasSure, or the Texas Financial Responsibility Verification Program (FRVP). By 2008, the program had finally rolled out to the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The way it works is pretty simple. The state maintains a database of every vehicle registered in the state. Maintained by the Texas Department of Insurance, or TDI, the database provides criminal justice agencies and law enforcement with information on whether a driver has motor vehicle liability insurance.

In that database are listed all the personal and insurance details about each car:

  • Names of the policyholder, drivers, and registered vehicle owner(s)
  • Registration address
  • Year, make, and model
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Insurance policy number
  • Policy effective date
  • Policy expiration date

To keep an up-to-date database, the state levies a $1 fee when you renew your registration to get stickers for your license plate. That doesn’t seem like much, considering Texans pay about $900 million annually to protect themselves against uninsured or underinsured drivers.

How Texas Uses TexasSure

Updated weekly, the state requires insurance companies to send their reports to TexasSure, showing newly purchased car insurance policy information and insurance information on lapsed policies.

Police, local tax assessors, and other government officials can check the list to find out who’s been fulfilling their rightful duty of getting at least state minimum car insurance. If a vehicle registration doesn’t match up with a current insurance policy, the registered owner receives a notice in the mail that gives them 10 days to provide proof of insurance.

In addition, law enforcement has instant access to the TexasSure system. If a cop pulls over a driver, the police officer can use TexasSure to determine whether the driver has an auto insurance policy and issue a ticket for uninsured driving.

What Should I Do If I Get a TexasSure Notice?

A lot of Texans are confused when they get a notice in the mail that says, “We need you to verify your personal auto liability insurance coverage.” It sounds like a scam, right? So they ask, “Is TexasSure real?” and “Do I have to respond to TexasSure?”

The answers: Yes and yes. You have 10 days to respond to the letter online at www.TexasSure.com or by calling 1-888-613-5296. Sometimes it’s just an error — computers make mistakes, too — and you can get it sorted out.

You may have sold the car in question, and the state just needs to update its records. If you don’t have insurance for a registered vehicle, you’ll have to buy a Texas car insurance policy.

Is TexasSure Effective?

Pennybacker Jr. Bridge in Austin, Texas

That’s a good question! The state says it works. After TexasSure was rolled out in 2008, the number of uninsured drivers in the state fell. Still, the results speak for themselves.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 8.3% of Texas drivers remain uninsured, ranking it 11th nationally. However, this is less than the 12.6% national average and far less than the 20% uninsured rate from only about 15 years ago. Nevertheless, this still equates to a hefty number of uninsured motorists — right around 1.5 million driving around the state.

However, another issue is that a lot of drivers are buying temporary car insurance to get around state requirements. That means people buy short-term, week-to-week policies from insurance agents and then drop them.

Insurance, especially in larger, urban areas, is just too expensive for many people. People with low incomes or bad credit find it especially difficult to get an affordable Texas car insurance policy, so they just drive without it.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Texas?

Some drivers take the chance of driving without car insurance, but it’s not a great idea. TexasSure will catch up with you eventually. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll get caught if you’re stopped by police or get into an accident.

Driving without insurance incurs a fine of up to $350 plus court costs. Do it more than once, and you’re looking at fines of up to $1,000 and a two-year driver’s license suspension.

Texas also has a system of surcharges levied by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). You may have to pay the state extra money if convicted of certain offenses. Convicted of driving uninsured? You’ll have to pay an additional $250 annually for three years.

What Insurance Do I Need in Texas to Satisfy TexasSure?

To satisfy the requirements for TexasSure, you can’t just buy any policy. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to have a minimum level of liability coverage to stay legal. The current state minimum insurance requirements in Texas are known as a 30/60/25 policy and include:

Keep in mind that these are the mandatory minimums in the state. But due to the rising costs of automobiles, repairs, and healthcare, carrying more than the state minimum is a good idea.

Most experts agree that a minimum of 100/300/100 car insurance is the optimal level of coverage. It balances protection with affordability while protecting you from out-of-pocket expenses if your coverage limits don’t cover the other driver’s medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage.

However, with around 1.5 million uninsured drivers roaming the streets of Texas, you may also want to opt for uninsured/underinsured coverage. Although the state does not require it, it’s a smart move considering the minimal additional cost and the protection it offers you when the other driver has no insurance.

Avoid TexasSure Notices and Get Your Insurance Quickly With Compare.com

Affordable car insurance isn’t everywhere you look. Plus, it’s time-consuming if you’re gathering individual quotes from insurers.

So rather than spend all your time searching for the perfect rate, we have a better idea: Find super-cheap Texas auto insurance by shopping around on Compare.com. It only takes a few minutes to get free, personalized quotes. Pick the best one, and you’re good to go.

Type in your ZIP code below and get the best rate for your Texas car insurance.

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