On Wednesday, Governor Rick Perry signed a law that requires all new car registrations to have a single, mandatory auto insurance policy.
The law, part of the state budget, was passed on a bipartisan basis by the Texas Legislature in December.
The law also allows for an exemption for any auto insurer to cover certain items like the cost of repair and insurance coverage for electrics like the driver’s seat.
But the new law only applies to the insurance companies that are authorized to sell insurance under the federal government’s “shared responsibility” program.
The policy covers only the vehicles of the owner.
“It’s a really good day for the commonwealth of Texas, but it’s also a good day to understand that there’s a lot of confusion around the policies,” said Eric Toussaint, a senior policy analyst at the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry trade group.
The state also made it clear that drivers who want to change their vehicle ownership may not be eligible for a new policy, so those who already have policies can’t get one without a renewal fee.
Toussaints says that will cause some confusion for drivers who have no intention of changing their drivers’ licenses, and it could be harder for those who want a new driver’s license.
Tulsa insurance companies, like other auto insurers in Texas, already provide auto insurance to the new drivers under the state-mandated Shared Responsibility program.
But the new bill creates a separate policy that can only be sold to those who are enrolled in the federal Shared Responsibility programs.
That means if someone who was previously eligible for insurance under Shared Responsibility in Texas were to change to another state, that would still be eligible under the new state law.
A few other Texas cities and counties are now issuing a new car insurance policy with a different, separate, and higher cost.
In Austin, city officials say they’re allowing new drivers to buy a new “shared liability” policy for $50 per month, instead of $100.
That’s in addition to the $100 fee for a state-approved insurance policy under the current policy.
The city also says it will charge a $15 surcharge on new insurance policies that cover electrics and the cost to repair a car if the car has been repaired.
Other cities are offering $100 monthly car insurance to anyone who wants to buy their own car insurance and then renew the policy.
In the Austin area, that cost is $100 per month for those renewing their policy or $200 per month if they already have a policy.
Some counties in the state have said they may also charge drivers $1,000 per year to keep the current policies.
That’s more than the $25 annual renewal fee for new drivers.
The Houston area, where the new car policy will be issued, says it plans to increase the cost per vehicle to $100 a month.
The Dallas area said it is raising the cost by $100 to $200 a year.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where most of the counties in Texas are located, is charging $100 for each new driver, $200 for renewals.