If you have ever wondered if leaving your keys in your running car is illegal the answer is yes. There is a law in Texas against leaving your keys in the ignition of your vehicle and thus you could be penalized for doing so.

The law is under 545.404 of the Texas Transportation Code. Here it states that a driver may not leave the vehicle unattended without doing to following 4 things:

  1. Stopping the engine
  2. Locking the ignition
  3. Removing the key from the ignition
  4. Setting the parking brake effectively

If the Amarillo Police Department finds an unattended vehicle with keys in the ignition they can issue a ticket. The fine is typically under $200 but still isn't worth the trouble.

The act of leaving your keys in your car by accident is not illegal but definitely ill-advised. If your car gets stolen while your keys are in it your insurance will most likely not cover your loss.