Legislative Priorities

HB 1693: Municipal Courts Legislation

In 2005, the Legislature passed the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, which established a financial responsibility verification program implemented by the Texas Department of Insurance for the verification of whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial responsibility.  

  • Section 601.193(b) provides a defense wherein after the court verifies a document produced, the court shall dismiss the charge. 

Municipal Courts encounter increased difficulty when attempting to verify motor vehicle liability insurance coverage through directly calling insurance companies. Long wait times on the telephone by court personnel result in backed up court dockets.

Court access to the financial responsibility verification program for verification purposes would provide a more streamlined and efficient coverage verification process.  

House Bill 1693 authorizes a justice or municipal court to access the financial responsibility verification program established under the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act to verify financial responsibility for the purpose of court proceedings.  
This section of the Texas Transportation Code was amended:  

Section 601.193 Defense: Financial Responsibility in Effect at Time of Alleged Offense.  

  • It is a defense to prosecution under Section 601.191 or 601.195 that the person charged produces to the court one of the documents listed in Section 601.053(a) that was valid at the time that the offense is alleged to have occurred.  
  • After the court verifies a document produced under Subsection(a), the court shall dismiss the charge.  
  • A justice or municipal court may access the verification program established under Subchapter N to verify financial responsibility under Subsection (b).