Do I Need Auto Insurance to Get a Driver's License in Texas?

State of Texas with black backgroundTexas residents who own a registered vehicle in the state are required to purchase car insurance before they can apply for a driver's license. When it comes time to apply for a license, the applicant will need to show proof of an automobile policy. Proof must also be shown when renewing a driver's license.

Additional items that will be needed to apply for a license are the following:
  • Signed driver's license application
  • Verification of citizenship or legal presence
  • Proof of social security number
  • Consent to be photograph and fingerprinted
  • Required fee
  • Vehicle registration and inspection
Licensing requirements differ for those who are from another state or country.

Beginning April 2, 2012, applicants will also need to provide proof of residency.

TX Car Insurance Requirements

The state requires motorists who wish to obtain a driver's license to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. The lowest form of auto insurance in Texas is a policy consisting of liability limits of $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Although the mandated coverages are intended to pay for damages suffered by a third party due to the negligence of the policyholder, they also help the insured avoid financial strain from crash costs.

The minimum car insurance policy allowed in the state may seem like a sufficient amount of compensation, but medical bills for serious accidents involving multiple drivers can see total crash costs that easily exceed those limits. Texans may want to compare the price of policies with higher levels of protection.

Like many other states, Texas doesn't require motorists to maintain coverage for their own bodily injury or auto damages. It may be a good idea for those who don't have a health care plan to conduct quote comparisons on additional protection that will help pay for medical expenses. Those who want to protect their own autos should weigh the benefits of comprehensive and collision coverage, which will provide payment if the insured car is damaged or stolen.
Texas postage stamp

Another beneficial type of protection that doesn't cost too much extra is uninsured motorist coverage (UM). TX officials estimate that roughly 4 million drivers are operating their cars without a policy in place, and purchasing UM will pay for the injuries sustained by the insured and any passengers in the covered vehicle, up to the policy's limits, if one of those 4 million drivers causes an accident the policyholder is hurt in.