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SR-22: What is it and why do you need it?


Katie Henderson

September 20, 2021

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When your driving privileges are revoked, your state may require you to demonstrate that you have a minimum level of auto insurance before your license can be restored to you. Form SR-22 serves as a reminder of the need for proof of insurance.

States that require your insurer to submit an SR-22 often require that it remains on your insurance policy for two or three years after which you are no longer need to submit the form to the state in question. Nevertheless, if your SR-22 insurance is canceled or expires before the required period has expired, your driver’s license will be suspended once more.

What Is An SR-22?

When your driver’s license is suspended, the DMV requires you to have auto insurance, and your automobile insurance provider is required to send an SR-22 certificate to your local department of motor vehicles. The certificate acts as proof of insurance to the DMV.

A car insurance policy that includes an SR-22 form is not technically automobile insurance; rather, it is a conventional car insurance policy that includes an SR-22 form. According to whoever you ask, the SR-22 form is alternatively referred to as a “certificate of financial responsibility” or a “certificate of liability insurance.”

The majority of states need your insurance carrier to give a certificate of financial responsibility in order for you to successfully reinstate your driver’s license. Even in states where the SR-22 form is not required, the state will seek proof of insurance in some other method.

Why Do I Need An SR-22?

Due to the fact that not all vehicle insurance companies submit the SR-22 – and you cannot submit it on your own – you may need to switch carriers in order to reinstate your license.

Each state has its own set of procedures regarding the reinstatement of a driver’s license. If your license has been suspended for one of the following violations, you may be required to complete form SR-22 before your license can be reinstated.

  • Driving while drunk (DUI) (DWI)
  • Causing an accident in which you are at fault when you do not have car insurance
  • Obtaining an excessive number of traffic tickets or committing an excessive number of traffic violations
  • Suspension of license by a court order for drug or alcohol possession

These laws apply regardless of the type of vehicle in which you were driving at the time of the traffic violation. Drivers of commercial and personal automobiles will be required to demonstrate financial responsibility in order to reinstate a driver’s license suspension.

How Long Do States Require SR-22’s?

The majority of states demand that the SR-22 remain on your insurance for a period of one to five years. After that time period expires, the insurer is no longer required to provide the certificate of financial responsibility to maintain the validity of your driver’s license.

However, while an SR-22 is still necessary, you must continue paying your auto insurance payments. If you cancel your policy within that time period, the SR-22 becomes invalid, and your driver’s license is suspended until you obtain auto insurance and your insurer files another SR-22. However, the insurance will tell you well in advance of such occurrence.

If you incur another traffic offense within that time period, you will be required to maintain an SR-22 form for an additional six months in order to maintain your driving privileges.

When renewing your SR-22, the form must be submitted a specified number of days in advance, as stated by the regulations of your state.

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How Much Is The Average Cost of an SR-22?

SR-22 insurance firms may charge a $25 filing fee to the state government in order to file the document with the state. Additionally, your state’s driver’s license bureau may charge you a reinstatement fee, which varies from state to state.

Car insurance with an SR-22 form attached, on the other hand, almost usually results in higher prices than non-SR-22 car insurance. Expect to pay somewhat more than the average monthly vehicle insurance premium of $92, which is approximately $92 per month.

Why? Because prices are determined by the risk you pose, which means that if you’ve been involved in multiple accidents or have driven under the influence of alcohol, you’ll have to pay a higher premium.

If you have been driving safely for a specific period of time, which varies from insurer to insurer but is often between five and 10 years, you may be eligible for a reduction in your insurance prices. That SR-22 will have been wiped from your record at that point, unless you are involved in another accident.

What Is Non-Owner SR-22 Car Insurance?

Individuals who will be driving an automobile that they do not own are covered by non-owner car insurance. If your license has been suspended, you will need to obtain non-owner SR-22 insurance, commonly known as a “operator’s certificate,” in order to drive until your suspension is lifted.

Non-owner insurance may only provide liability insurance, which is the form of automobile insurance that protects you if you cause injury or property damage to someone else, but it does not cover damage to your vehicle or injuries to you or your passengers as a result of the accident. (The person who owns the car will have his or her own insurance policy that includes coverage for the vehicle.) As a result, non-owner auto insurance may be less expensive than other types of auto insurance that provide more comprehensive coverage for the same risk.

Anyone who gets behind the wheel is required to have insurance coverage if their state mandates it, regardless of whether or not they own the vehicle in question. It is possible to face high fines and possibly jail time if you drive without insurance.

What Is An Out of State SR-22?

If you incur a moving infraction in another state, your driver’s license in that state may be cancelled until you complete the criteria of that state’s certificate of financial responsibility requirement. Make certain that your insurance provides coverage in that state and that they are authorized to issue SR-22s.

Affidavits of waiver of the SR-22 requirements are accepted in some areas; but, due to the fact that driving without insurance is prohibited in most states, you’ll still need at least the state’s minimum insurance coverage before you may legally drive in that state.

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