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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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

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2021

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Don't Forget These Facts

  • The most common penalty for driving without insurance is license suspension
  • If your license is suspended, you will need to file an SR-22 form to legally drive again
  • You can avoid driving without insurance by staying on top of your monthly car insurance payments

Needing an SR-22 and driving without auto insurance go hand-in-hand because driving without coverage is illegal in nearly every state. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will lose your license and will need to file an SR-22 form with the DMV to reinstate your driving privileges. 

Read our guide now to learn what common penalties you’ll face for driving without auto insurance and tips to help you avoid losing your license for driving without car insurance. 

Before you learn more about SR-22 and driving without auto insurance, enter your ZIP code above to start comparing cheap SR-22 insurance quotes from local companies in your area.

Why do I need SR-22 after driving without auto insurance?

An SR-22 filing isn’t actual insurance coverage. Rather, the SR-22 certificate acts as proof of insurance and shows the DMV that you carry the mandatory levels of insurance needed to legally drive in your state. 

If you are caught driving without car insurance, you will lose your driver’s license. To reinstate your driving privileges, you’ll have to file an SR-22 with your insurance company and the DMV.

In order to file an SR-22, you need to find insurance coverage. State laws require different levels of insurance coverage, and you must meet your state’s liability requirements to buy SR-22 insurance.

Can I get SR-22 insurance without a vehicle?

It’s a common misconception that a driver doesn’t need insurance if they don’t own a car. The fact is that all drivers must carry valid car insurance coverage even if they don’t own a vehicle.

If you drive a friend’s or family member’s car, or regularly drive work vehicles, you can file non-owner SR-22 insurance to get coverage without a vehicle. This type of SR-22 filing option will apply to any car you drive regardless of whether you own it or not.

How do I find out if I still need an SR-22?

To find out if you still need an SR-22, call the DMV and ask if your form has been filed for the required amount of time. If yes, you can then call your insurance provider to remove the SR-22 from your policy.

Drivers are typically required to carry SR-22 insurance for 3-5 years, but this can vary depending on your state laws and the type of violations on your driving record. Read our SR-22 state guide to learn more about the insurance laws and requirements in your state.

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What are the penalties for driving without auto insurance?

The most common penalty for driving without auto insurance is a license suspension, but individual fines and penalties will vary depending on where you live. 

In general, along with a suspended license, you can expect the following penalties for driving without auto insurance:

  • Vehicle impoundment and registration suspension
  • License and registration reinstatement fees
  • Court fees
  • Fines of up to $1,750 or more
  • Mandatory community service and/or jail time

You can also expect your auto insurance rates to go up if you lose your license for driving without auto insurance. 

Once you file an SR-22 to reinstate your driving privileges, it signals to providers that you’re a higher risk to insure, and you may lose coverage if your current company doesn’t offer high-risk car insurance.

The easiest way to avoid the penalties for driving without car insurance is to stay on top of your monthly insurance payments and avoid a lapse in coverage. Always remember to start new insurance policies a few days before your old one ends so you don’t accidentally drive without insurance and lose your license.

If you recently lost your license, comparison shop online to find an affordable SR-22 after driving without auto insurance. Start here with our free comparison tool below. Enter your ZIP code to get free SR-22 insurance quotes from local companies today.