What is SR-22 Insurance?

If you are unfamiliar with the term "SR-22," or “SR-22 insurance” you are not alone. It's a phrase often heard in conversations about car insurance, but its meaning and implications might not be clear to everyone. Every state has some form of it with different rules and regulations. Let's delve into what an SR-22 is and why it's important to understand, especially if you're navigating the world of auto insurance.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is not insurance coverage, but a certificate of financial responsibility you may need if you have encountered certain legal issues related to driving. You will know if you are required to have an SR-22 if the state or a judge orders you to have one, usually for one of the following reasons:

  • Major convictions like DUI or reckless driving
  • Conviction for driving without having insurance
  • Failure to pay damages for an at-fault accident
  • Underage drinking conviction
  • Causing a car accident
  • An accumulation of multiple violations in a certain period of time

You will then need to contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or its equivalent to file an SR-22 form to prove that you have the necessary insurance coverage.

Who must file an SR-22?

Not everyone will need to file an SR-22. It is typically required for individuals who have been involved in serious driving violations. Those who have had their licenses suspended or revoked may be ordered to file an SR-22. 

There are three different types of SR-22s: Operator, owner and operator/owner. Depending on the nature of your violation, you will be required to file an SR-22 that falls into one of these categories: 

  • Operator: An operator’s certificate is for drivers who borrow or rent a car, but don’t own a car. This is sometimes used with a non-owner car insurance policy. 
  • Owner: An owner’s form is for people who own and drive their own car. 
  • Operator/Owner: An operator/owner form is a combination form for individuals who own their own car, but also borrow or rent one to drive occasionally. 

As you can imagine, violations stated previously can make it very difficult for you to get insurance for a vehicle. Some insurance companies consider drivers who require an SR-22 to be too much of a risk to insure. . . but don’t be discouraged! Try other insurance companies until you find one that accepts SR-22s. 

Your insurance agent can help you out with this. Learn how an SR-22 can help you get back on the road. 

How do I file an SR-22?

Filing for an SR-22 is usually a straightforward process, but it is essential to follow the correct steps to ensure compliance with your state's requirements. Your insurance provider can assist you with the paperwork and file the SR-22 form on your behalf. However, not all providers offer this service, and you may have to contact your state’s DMV, or its equivalent, yourself to submit your form.

How much does an SR-22 cost? 

Having an insurance company file an SR-22 for you may require a small fee. Note that the fee amount depends on the state you file in. However, the violation that caused you to apply for an SR-22 will likely cause your premium to increase significantly. Remember, insurance companies must manage risk. 

For example, the SR-22 in Indiana has the following insurance minimums: 

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person 
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people 
  • $10,000 for property damage These prices are standard for most states but rates can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. As such, it’s important to do some research on your specific situation and requirements. 

These prices are standard for most states but rates can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. As such, it’s important to do some research on your specific situation and requirements. 

Strive to minimize risk. The safer you drive, the more likely your premiums will be less expensive.  

How long does the SR-22 remain enforced?

The length of time you are required to maintain an SR-22 varies depending on the nature of your violation and your state's regulations. In general, you can expect to carry an SR-22 insurance form for a minimum of three years, but this period may be longer in some cases and in different states. While being ordered to file an SR-22 for a certain amount of time, you should not allow your insurance policy to lapse or purposely cancel it without replacing it immediately because your driver’s license may be revoked.

What if you relocate to a different state?

When relocating to a new state, ensure compliance with SR-22 requirements by checking if your current SR-22 period is still active. Each state that recognizes an SR-22 mandate has its unique rules for SR-22 filings or equivalent certificates, necessitating guidance from the department of your new state that handles such forms. Furthermore, note that certain states may not recognize SR-22 filings, but may have a different name for a similar form. Additionally, be aware that some states may require drivers to maintain an out-of-state SR-22 when relocating.

What if you do not own a car?

After a moving violation conviction, some people choose to rid themselves of their vehicles and therefore, cancel their auto insurance policies. However, if you are ordered to have an SR-22 by the state or a judge, you may have to continue having a valid insurance policy with an attached SR-22 certificate anyway. You can do so by having a type of policy called a non-owner policy. This means that you won’t own a vehicle, but you can still have an SR-22 as mandated.

What is an FR-44?

An FR-44 form is like an SR-22 but is specifically required in the states of Florida and Virginia for drivers who have been convicted of DUI or other serious offenses. It typically involves higher liability insurance limits than an SR-22, which is the main difference between the two. This, of course, could make an FR-44 more expensive for drivers to maintain.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need an SR-22, it is essential to understand the requirements and fulfill them promptly to maintain your driving privileges. Remember to consult with your insurance agent and your state's DMV for guidance throughout the process.

If you need assistance with SR-22 insurance or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help you navigate the process and find the coverage that is right for you.

Get a quote now for an affordable SR-22 filling! 

The filing specifics of your SR-22 form will vary based on your violation and the state where it occurred. Some states don’t use an SR-22 certificate.  

These states are:  

  • Delaware  
  • Kentucky  
  • Minnesota  
  • New Mexico  
  • New York 
  • North Carolina 
  • Oklahoma  
  • Pennsylvania 

These states have their own requirements and forms that you’ll need to fill out to be compliant with each state’s laws. For example, Florida and Virginia require an FR-44 certificate to reinstate your license after a DUI or DWI. Other states have different proof of insurance forms that can be used for an accident or traffic violation. For example, the SR-21 certificate is specific to Arkansas and the SR-50 certificate is specific to Indiana. These forms are different from the SR-22 but the concept remains the same. 

Once you’re all set, don’t let your SR-22 coverage lapse during your mandated period! Your insurance company is required to inform your state’s DMV if you miss a payment. Otherwise, you could lose your driver’s license or face other consequences, depending on what state you live in. 

Making timely payments will keep your policy from being canceled and prevent your insurance provider from sending an SR-26 to the state, canceling your SR-22.  

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