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Texas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Texas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Texas is located in the Southern Central region of the United States. The origin of the word “Texas” is from the word “Tejas” (from the Caddo language) which translates to “friends.” In terms of population, it is the second most populous state in the U.S. (behind California). It is also the second largest state in regards to overall area (behind Alaska) of all states in the U.S. It shares a border with Mexico to the south. It is nicknamed the “Lone Star State” to resemble the fact that the state used to be classified as an independent republic.

The geography of this state is made up of deserts, prairies, grasslands, forests, and coastline. There are also various swamps, mountains, and woodlands throughout the state. The economy in Texas is based primarily around agriculture, oil / petroleum, energy, computers, electronics, aerospace, and biomedical science. This state currently is top in the nation in terms of revenue generated from exports. There are also many popular professional sports teams in this state including the Spurs, Mavericks, Rockets, Cowboys, Texans, Stars, Astros, Rangers, etc. Texas has been ranked among the most business-friendly states in the entire nation.

Texas Motorcycle Insurance

Before you take your motorcycle on Texas roads, you must establish financial responsibility. This is a legal obligation that needs to be fulfilled by all drivers before they can operate a motor vehicle. The reason you are required to establish financial responsibility is to keep the roads a fair place to drive. If you get into an accident and are the driver that is primarily “at fault,” you need to reimburse others for the damages that you’ve caused. For this reason, everyone needs to have some sort of financial backing or “responsibility” to pay for bodily injuries or property damage.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in TX

The most common way to establish financial responsibility in any state, including Texas, is to purchase a liability insurance policy. These can be obtained from any state-licensed provider. If you would rather pursue an alternative way to establish financial responsibility, you have other options. Below are the various options you’ll have for responsibility in the state of Texas.

  • Liability Insurance: Buy a liability policy from a state-authorized insurer that meets the state’s minimum requirements.
  • Cash Deposit: Another way to prove responsibility is to make a cash deposit of $55,000 to either the county judge or county comptroller.
  • Surety Bond: If you’d like, you can file a surety bond through the county clerk. This bond must include multiple individuals that own verified property in the state of Texas.
  • Self-Insurance: You can obtain self-insurance coverage through the Texas Dept. of Transportation. In order to qualify for this option, you must have 25+ vehicles registered under your name. This option is mostly geared towards people with large quantities of motorcycles.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

It is important to be aware of your vehicle’s specific classification. Different states have different definitions for various two-wheeled vehicles. In one state, a motor scooter may be classified as a motorcycle, but in another it may be entirely different. Do you know the subtle differences between a motorcycle, moped, and motor scooter? Read below for a refresher on various definitions.

Motorcycle: A motorized vehicle (with a seat or saddle for the driver) that operates on a maximum of three wheels in contact with the ground. Tractors are excluded from this definition. In regards to insurance, motorcycles are treated the same as passenger vehicles. All must be titled, registered, and properly insured.

Motor-Driven Cycle: Any motorcycle with an engine displacement that does not exceed 250 cc.

Moped: A motorized cycle that is unable to exceed 30 mph top speed. The motor must produce less than 2-brake horsepower and if an internal combustion engine is used, the piston displacement must not exceed 50 cc. These vehicles must also be fully automatic (i.e. no shifting).

Note: If you are still unsure about the exact definition or classification of your vehicle, be sure to contact the Texas Department of Transportation at the following number: (888)-368-4689. They have representatives that will assist you if there is any confusion.

Texas Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

In every state, there are different minimums that are required for liability insurance. These minimums must always be met before you can legally operate your vehicle on public roadways. When shopping for an insurance policy, keep the minimum amounts listed below in mind for general guidelines. You should understand that these are only the “minimums” and additional coverage may be recommended by your provider.

Minimum Liability Insurance:

  • $30,000 bodily injury per person

  • $60,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $25,000 property damage per accident

You may see this coverage listed as a “30/60/25” policy – this is just an abbreviated way of showing what is required. In the abbreviation, each number represents an amount (in thousands of dollars) for a specific aspect of coverage. Understand that this minimal policy may not provide you with enough protection in the event of an accident. Take the time to talk with your insurer about possibly increasing your coverage amounts.

Texas Motorcycle Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

As a motorcyclist in this state, you need to fully understand helmet and eye protection laws. You also need to be aware of whether it is mandatory to use your headlight during the daytime and the proper licensing that is necessary to operate your vehicle. Keep these safety rules and recommendations in mind before you drive your motorcycle.

  • Helmets: All drivers under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets. If you are over the age of 21 and don’t want to wear a helmet, you will need to provide proof of completion of a rider training course OR valid medical insurance specifically for your motorcycle.
  • Eye Protection: You are NOT required to wear eye protection while operating your motorcycle, but it is recommended for increased personal safety.
  • Passengers: All motorcycle passengers must be at least 5 years of age.
  • Headlights: All motorcyclists are required to use headlights in the daytime, unless their vehicle was manufactured before 1975.
  • License: In order to obtain your motorcycle license, you must complete and pass both a knowledge-based test as well as a road-based skills test. The skills test may be waived if you have already completed a Motorcycle Safety Course (MSB-8 or MSB-8R) and received an official certificate of completion from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Proof of Insurance / Responsibility in TX

In order to keep track of individuals with insurance, Texas legislators developed “TexasSure” which is a program that verifies insurance electronically. The program is able to connect every registered vehicle in the state by license plate, vehicle identification number (VIN), and liability insurance coverage.

  • Electronic Verification – You are not required to keep any proof of insurance as a driver. When you purchase insurance, your provider will send all of your information to the state via the TexasSure system. If you are pulled over or are in an accident, it can be verified by this system.

If you are pulled over by a police officer, they will be able to look up your vehicle information in their database and verify that you have liability coverage. It should be mentioned that you may want to keep an insurance identification card with you while driving as an added form of proof. You are not required to carry proof, but you are always required to maintain your insurance coverage.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in TX

You should understand that driving without insurance is a serious offense. If you are involved in an accident and don’t have insurance to pay for damages you’ve caused, you will face major legal trouble. Various penalties for operating a vehicle without insurance include: license suspensions, fines, impoundment, additional fees, etc.

  • Fines: You will be fined up to $350 for your first offense of driving without insurance.
  • Impoundment: Your motorcycle will be impounded and you will have to pay to get it back.
  • Suspensions: Your driver’s license will face suspension for a designated period of time. Your vehicle registration may also face suspension.
  • Reinstatement Fees: Once your suspension period has been served, you will need to pay reinstatement fees to get back your driver’s license and registration. These fees can cost hundreds of dollars.

Note: If you get into an accident without insurance, you are still legally liable for all damages that you cause. In addition, you will face the above legal penalties.

Texas Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Texas is a big state and there are plenty of great insurance companies around to help you get a policy that works for you. In order to find the best deal on coverage, it is recommended that you conduct a little bit of online research. You can start by using the free form below to enter your Zip Code. When you have entered your Zip Code, you will notice a list of insurance providers based on your area. From here, it is your job to collect free quotes from each of these top companies and compare them.

Determine which company is offering you the most value for your money. In other words, ask yourself: Which company is going to give me the best coverage for my dollar? It may help if you calculate out ratios of appraised coverage value to the rate you are expected to pay. Eventually, if you conduct some comparisons, you should have a good idea of the company you’d like to choose for your motorcycle insurance. If you are stuck and can’t seem to settle on a company, read various reviews on this website to help with your decision!

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