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: Nov 2, 2020

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Why is an SR-22 Filing Necessary?

You have just gotten off the phone with your insurance company and they told you they need to do an SR-22 filing for you. The agent made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, but you aren’t quite sure what it all means. What is an SR-22 and why do you need to have it on file, and with whom?

SR-22 Filings

An SR-22 filing is simply a document your insurance company files with the Department of Motor Vehicles on your behalf, telling them that you are compliant with state automobile regulations. The DMV requires them for motorists they deem to be “high-risk”. In most instances you will need to keep an SR-22 filing on record for three years, once it is deemed you need one.

Reasons an SR-22 Filing is Required

In all states that have SR-22 filing requirements, the first reason you will need one is if you have a lapse in your insurance coverage. Forgetting an installment payment or having an automatic deduction fail to go through can have your insurance policy cancelled. Your insurance company is required to inform the DMV of this cancellation. If the DMV catches up with you before you have reinstated the policy or gotten a new one, you will be told you need an SR-22 filing done when you get your new insurance.

If you receive a DUI conviction or a bunch of fines for moving violations you may also be required to ask your insurance company to do an SR-22 filing for you. Your insurance company may be the one that informs you of the requirement.

Needing to have an SR-22 on file is not a big deal. Your insurance company will do all the work. Requiring you to have an SR-22 filing is the state’s way of letting you know they are keeping an eye on you and your insurance.