Written By: Elijah BlackReviewed By: Rachael BrennanUPDATED: Jun 22, 2022Fact Checked

Failure to keep your SR-22 insurance can result in hassles, fines, and even jail time.

While car insurance laws will often vary from state to state, there can be pretty severe legal consequences for failure to maintain SR-22 insurance. Because your car insurance company is required to file the SR-22 insurance form with the state, if your auto insurance coverage lapses, the insurance company is then required to report it.

When you have to maintain SR-22 insurance, be very careful not to let your car insurance lapse because it’s unlikely that you will get by undetected.

The first consequence of failure to maintain SR-22 insurance is generally having to start the time frame you’re meant to keep the SR-22 insurance all over again. For most people who have to obtain SR-22 insurance, the time that you’re meant to keep the coverage is for three years. You have to keep it continuously throughout this time and if it lapses, you’ll have to restart that entire time frame over again.

It is important to know that not all states only require a minimum of 3 years. In Alaska, the SR-22 requirement is a full 5 years minimum for the first offense and ten for the second, so you can imagine starting that over again.

n most states, if your SR-22 car insurance lapses, you will have to not only reinstate your insurance, but, in some cases, your driver’s license as well.

Some states have more severe penalties than others for failure to maintain SR-22 insurance. For instance, if you’re in Texas, the Texas Department of Public safety, upon notification of a lapsed, canceled or terminated policy will then initiate law enforcement action. This usually means that vehicle registration is suspended, and driving privileges are revoked.

In Washington State, the person who was supposed to carry the SR-22 insurance won’t be able to apply or reinstate their license if their policy lapsed or was canceled for any reason before that 3-year period is done, completely and continually.

In Florida, you will lose your car’s tags and registration and your license will be suspended.

In most cases, failure to maintain your SR-22 insurance is going to be a hassle.

At best, you are still going to have to pay a fine to the state department of motor vehicles to get your driver’s license reinstated. Then you will have to pay the amount you need to reinstate your auto insurance, and then you will have to pay whatever fines or penalties you incur due to that lapse in your car insurance coverage.

Even if you do not own a vehicle, you are required to carry at least the state minimum amount of car insurance if an SR-22 is required.

It is always best to bear in mind that failure to maintain SR-22 insurance (certificate of financial responsibility) is something that will ultimately cost you a lot more money with your current policy.  In the long run, your car insurance rates will be negatively affected if you have points on your license, and your credit score drops. 

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Elijah Black is a Greenville, South Carolina native with a B.A. English from Coastal Carolina University. He is a fiction writer and also works as a freelance writer and editor. He’s worked as a Production Assistant for WYFF 4 and has been published in several publications and websites across the United States.

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Written by Elijah Black
Lead Insurance Writer Elijah Black

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan