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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Q. What is an SR22?
An SR-22 is a form completed by a licensed auto insurance carrier and submitted to the DMV or another state office. SR-22 is not actually a type of insurance; it is the form that is completed by the carrier once you obtain this type of high risk insurance policy. Certain drivers who have lost their privilege to drive legally must obtain this insurance in order to get their license reinstated.
The SR-22 is usually completed by the insurance carrier and is proof to the state that you have acquired the legal state minimum of car insurance coverage. For this reason it is also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
There are many reasons why certain drivers may be required to obtain SR-22 insurance or an SR-22 bond such as DUI, multiple infractions in a short period of time or failing to have insurance when deemed to be the at fault driver in an accident. In some cases people who are behind on their child support payments may also lose their license.
SR-22 is not required by every state, and there are different types of SR-22 coverage based on whether the driver will be driving their own vehicle or one that belongs to someone else. In most cases the driver is required to obtain this type of insurance for a minimum of three years.
Q. Who needs SR-22 insurance?
There are several reasons a driver may need to obtain SR-22 insurance. In most cases this type of insurance is for drivers who have had their license revoked. Some of the main examples include but are not limited to:
– DUI or DWI – Multiple traffic tickets or moving violations in a short period of time – Being the at fault driver in an accident and without carrying car insurance If you have appeared in court for serious driving charges or lost your driver’s license, you will likely be notified in court or through following documentation that you are required to carry this type of car insurance coverage.
Q. How long does it take to get SR-22 insurance?
Completing the actual SR-22 form does not take long. After it is completed, the insurance provider has up to 30 days to submit the form. From there it can take up to 30 more days for the application to be processed and approved.
Q. How much does SR-22 insurance cost?
To begin with, in some states there is an upfront fee for filing the SR-22 form. This can range from an average of $25 to $50. This fee is separate from the cost of the actual insurance premiums.
The insurance cost for this high risk insurance depends on a number of factors and can range a great deal just like regular insurance does. Much of it depends on the state, the previous driving history and even the previous insurance coverage history. It can also depend on whether you get owners, non owners or another type of SR-22 coverage.
Q. Where do I get cheap SR-22 insurance?
SR-22 insurance is more expensive than standard car insurance. The best way to get cheaper SR-22 insurance is to compare premium rates among different companies. It is important to try to make the best choice upfront because it can be difficult to change carriers during the probationary time you are required to carry this insurance.
Q. How can I save money with an SR-22 filing?
Just like comparing rates on premiums you should also compare the filing costs. Just be cautious. One carrier may offer a cheap filing fee but then higher premiums or vice versa. Make sure you know what you are getting into financially from the filing fee to the monthly or annual premium costs.
Q. How long is the SR-22 valid?
In most cases you are required to carry SR-22 insurance for a minimum of three years but possibly as long as five years. If you miss a payment or cancel your policy, the carrier is required by law to inform the DMV. This will result in you losing your driver’s license again and possibly having to start the three year period all over again.
Q. Can I get an SR-22 if I don’t own a car?
There are different types of SR-22 policies including owner or non owner SR22. So even if you do not own a vehicle you should obtain a non owner’s policy. A non owner’s policy may be for one car or for multiple cars from various owners.
The thing to keep in mind is that this liability coverage does not cover the car you are driving. If you are using someone else’s car and are in an accident, that borrowed or rented vehicle is your responsibility to cover financially out of pocket.
Q. What if I move to another state during my suspension?
The regulations on moving from state to state while carrying SR-22 can vary and be a little confusing. The first thing you should do is talk to your current insurance carrier as well as your DMV to make them aware of the possible upcoming change. Finding out what your current and future state regulations are for SR-22 is important.
Do not assume the guidelines are the same and that you don’t have to make any changes. Do your research and ask the experts. Getting things set up correctly is much easier than trying to fix problems down the road.
Q. Can I switch insurance companies when I have an SR22?
While it is possible to make changes to your policy or carrier while you have SR22, it is not always advisable. The reason for this is that you may appear to have allowed your policy to lapse. When you cancel your policy, your current carrier is required to inform the DMV.
Even if you have a policy through another company, it may appear that you have lapsed and your driver’s license may be revoked. If you do decide to change companies, it would be a good idea to let the two companies overlap and make sure the DMV is aware of the new policy being in place.
Q. Is SR-22 insurance valid in multiple states?
The SR-22 insurance policy you get in one state will not be the same in another, just like regular car insurance. If you are planning to move, you should look into the new state’s regulations. Not to mention you should make sure things are in place in your new state before relocating.
Q. Is there any chance my license could get suspended?
There are still ways that people could have their license suspended while they have SR-22 insurance. SR-22 is not a guarantee that will keep your driver’s license in place. Some examples of reasons you could still have your license suspended include but are not limited to:
– Letting your policy lapse or possibly even just being late on your payment – Incurring more tickets, moving violations or serious offenses such as DUI or DWI – Moving to another state and not updating to the current state regulations
Q. Do I need an SR-22 for each vehicle I own?
If you own multiple vehicles, you should include them all in your SR-22 owner’s policy. You can also include multiple vehicles if you are getting a non owners policy. In some cases you can also get a combination of the two policies if you will be driving your own vehicles and borrowed vehicles from other people.
Q. When can I cancel my SR22?
You need to keep your SR-22 policy for the full length of time required in order to be a legal driver. Generally this is a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years. Before changing from SR-22 to a different type of insurance once you have completed the time required, you should check with the DMV to confirm the exact date.
Q. Will an insurance company send me the SR22?
In most cases the carrier will fill out the SR-22 form for you. You should get a copy and will get something mailed to you from the DMV once the license is reinstated.
Q. What is the difference between FR-44 insurance and SR-22 insurance?
FR-44 is similar to SR-22 but usually with more restrictions. The FR-44 is more common in certain states, usually for serious issues such as DUI or DWI. The minimum required is often much higher, making the policy more expensive.
For example, your state may require someone with an SR-22 to have 10/20/15, which means $10,000 bodily injury per person per accident, $20,000 total for all bodily injury claims per accident, and $15,000 for personal property per accident.
However in the case of having FR-44 it could be more like 100/300/50, which would be $100,000 per person for bodily injury per accident, $300,000 total for two or more persons per accident, and $50,000 in coverage for damage to personal property.
Q. Is DUI insurance the same as SR-22 insurance?
There really is no such thing as “DUI Insurance” so if someone mentions this type of insurance he or she probably means SR22. SR-22 is also referred to as Certificate of Financial Responsibility, so you may hear either one or both mentioned.
Q. I got my SR-22 insurance, now what?
The important thing is to make sure you always have this proof of SR-22 insurance on you when you are driving. Do not let it lapse, and make sure to make your payments on time.
Q. Does my state have any specific laws in regards to SR-22s that I should know about?
Each state has different SR-22 guidelines just like standard insurance. In fact, some states do not require it at all. You need to be informed about the regulations for your state and make sure the policy you carry covers all of this. If you relocate to another state, you should also make yourself aware of the regulations for that state.
Q. Can good driving behavior have an effect on SR-22 rates over time?
In most instances, your rates will stay about the same over the period of time you are required to have SR22. You can compare rates and possibly change companies. Of course if you acquire any tickets or moving violations, your rates could go up or your driver’s license could be completely revoked altogether.