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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Don’t Forget These Facts

  • 7.6 percent of Pennsylvania drivers are uninsured
  • Does PA require SR-22 insurance? No
  • If you move to PA from another state where you were required to have an SR-22, you will need to get one in Pennsylvania
  • Can I get an SR-22 without having car insurance? No you must have insurance first.

If you are in need of PA SR-22 insurance and find the whole process confusing, know that you are not alone. No one wants to need an SR-22 because it means a far-from-perfect driving record.

Who needs an SR-22, how do you get one, and how does it fit into the rest of the Pennsylvania auto insurance laws? Together we will get through the fog of uncertainty in regards to just what you need for SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania and what you don’t need.

We can help you find the SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania you need. Just enter your ZIP code above to get great rates from multiple companies all at once.

Now, let’s start by defining just what PA SR-22 insurance is.

Table of Contents

What is Pennsylvania SR-22 insurance?

What is SR-22 insurance? That’s a good place to start. A Pennsylvania SR-22 auto insurance certificate, or financial responsibility insurance form, is a document that serves as proof that a driver is financially responsible for carrying the minimum required auto insurance as mandated by state law.

What follows is an informational, animated video explaining SR-22 filing.

The SR-22 can sometimes also be referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility (CFR) and is filed with the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Six major factors affect car insurance rates in Pennsylvania. Which auto insurance factors will affect SR22 rates the most? Typically that’s a PA DUI arrest.

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Who needs SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania?

In the state of Pennsylvania, SR-22 auto insurance forms must be filed by uninsured drivers who were involved in an accident and did not pay for any damage or injury they caused.

Other examples of those who must file the SR-22 auto Insurance form are drivers with unsatisfied judgments, drivers with revoked licenses or who are under mandatory insurance supervision, and drivers with three or more mandatory insurance violation convictions.

The following video explains the importance of paying for the SR-22 on time.

There are several reasons why an individual may have a revoked license. For instance, a license can be revoked for driving without a valid insurance policy.

Other examples of why an individual may have their license revoked are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, receiving too many speeding tickets within a certain timeframe, and driving either with an expired license or with no license at all.

Drivers convicted of these aforementioned serious moving violations in Pennsylvania must carry liability insurance. Failure to do so is what results in the necessity of the SR-22 in most states.

In Pennsylvania, if an individual fails to show proof of insurance upon request by a law enforcement officer, they face a $500 fine and suspension of their driver’s license and registration. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 7.6 percent of motorists are uninsured in Pennsylvania.

Is SR-22 auto insurance required in Pennsylvania?

While many states require SR-22 insurance if a driver is convicted of a DUI, Pennsylvania is not one of them.

Keep in mind that just because Pennsylvania does not technically require the SR-22, if you were to move to another state that does require it, they would need to obtain the SR-22. The same goes for individuals moving to Pennsylvania from a state that requires one. Under California law, for example, you may need an SR-1P, in addition to the possible need for an SR-22, which is a different type of insurance filing altogether (and not in use in Pennsylvania at all).

So, for example, if an individual is convicted of a DUI in a state other than Pennsylvania and then they move to Pennsylvania, they will need to still carry their SR-22 within Pennsylvania’s boundaries.

The following table will explain whether or not your current state, or a state you’re moving to, requires the SR-22.

StateSR22 Requirement
AlabamaYes
AlaskaYes
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
DelawareNo
District of ColumbiaYes
FloridaNo, FR44 Requirement
GeorgiaYes
HawaiiYes
IdahoYes
IllinoisYes
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasYes
KentuckyNo
LouisianaYes
MaineYes
MarylandYes
MassachusettsYes
MichiganYes
Minnesota No
MississippiYes
MissouriYes
Montana Yes
NebraskaYes
NevadaYes
New HampshireYes
New JerseyYes
New MexicoNo
New YorkNo
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaYes
OhioYes
OklahomaNo
OregonYes
PennsylvaniaNo
Rhode IslandYes
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaYes
TennesseeYes
TexasYes
UtahYes
VermontYes
Virginia No, FR44 Requirement
WashingtonYes
West VirginiaYes
WisconsinYes
WyomingYes
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States that Require SR22 / FR44 Insurance
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As you can see, most states do require an SR-22. In fact, 40 out of the 50 states (and D.C.) require it.

What is FR-44 insurance you may be asking? Perhaps you noticed that for two states, Virginia and Florida, you need an FR-44 insurance filing as opposed to an SR-22. The FR-44 is very similar in that it is proof of financial responsibility.

The difference between the two is that the FR-44 requires one’s liability coverage limits to be significantly higher than that of the SR-22, perhaps even twice as much.

Are there different types of Pennsylvania SR-22 auto insurance forms?

Yes, and the different types of Pennsylvania SR-22 auto insurance forms prove the financial responsibility of the operator, owner, or operator/owner of a vehicle.

Next, we will cover the differences between Owner SR-22 insurance, Operator SR-22 insurance (or Non-Owner SR-22 insurance), and Owner-Operator SR-22 insurance.

Owner SR-22 insurance covers financial responsibility for drivers who own and operate a vehicle.

If you have violations on your record that necessitate the SR-22, the Owner SR-22 just states that you are responsible for the vehicle that you are driving in a financial sense should an accident occur.

Operator SR-22 insurance covers financial responsibility for drivers who operate but do not own a vehicle. It is also referred to as the Non-Owner SR-22.

This Non-Owner SR-22, in layman’s terms, is for those who need coverage despite not owning a vehicle. Even if one individual is to drive another’s vehicle, they would be required to carry this SR-22 insurance to use the vehicle legally.

Not unlike liability insurance, Non-Owner SR-22 insurance covers the damage to the other individual involved in the accident’s vehicle, personal property, or bodily injury.

The holder of the Non-Owner SR-22 would not have their borrowed vehicle’s damage, personal property damage, or bodily injury medical bills covered. Furthermore, the vehicle the individual has borrowed would have to have its damage fixed out of pocket by the Non-Owner SR-22 policyholder.

It is an ethical and legal priority to inform the owner of the car you are borrowing that your Non-Owner SR-22 would not cover damage to their vehicle.

Just because you have Non-Owner coverage does not mean you can drive any car. If you intend to drive multiple vehicles or vehicles from multiple individuals, you would need to discuss obtaining a different form of SR-22 policy with your insurance company.

Now, we will cover the third type of SR-22 insurance policies, the Operator-Owner SR-22. Operator-Owner SR-22 insurance covers financial responsibility for all vehicles, whether or not they are owned by the driver.

The individual’s insurance company can help them discern which policy type is the most prudent for them to have. It is of the utmost importance, though, that if the policy type is changed or the insurance company is changed, the state is given proper notice.

Essentially, even if you were to get a different policy immediately, there is still a chance that there would be a lapse in coverage. If the state is informed of this ahead of time, there would be no recourse in suspending or revoking your license a second time.

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How do I file a Pennsylvania SR-22 auto insurance form?

Your insurer files your request for an SR-22 insurance form with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. You will be charged a processing fee, which can vary among agencies.

Getting an SR-22, no matter what type, is not done by the individual alone. The process is completed in collaboration with their insurance company.

The chosen insurance company generally files the SR-22 within 30 days and will send the form to you once it is accepted, along with a letter from the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. No matter what company you choose, the SR-22 filing is the same. Geico SR-22 insurance filings are the same as Allstate SR-22 filings, although the coverage and rate may differ.

The following video shows requirements for the SR-22.

The SR-22 auto insurance form must be maintained for three years. Your insurer is required by law to notify the state if you fail to renew your SR-22 insurance form at least 15 days before the expiration date.

Should this renewal negligence occur, the state may then suspend your driving record until your Pennsylvania SR-22 auto Insurance is reinstated.

Even if the payment lapse is comparatively small, the state has every right to revoke your legal driving privileges.

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

There should be a specific date after which you’re no longer required to have an SR-22 filing, but if you can’t recall, contact your insurance company. The Pennsylvania DMV can also tell you when the requirement will fall off of your record.

Your insurance company should continue providing the filing for as long as it’s needed and the coverage is in force. Don’t be tempted to drop the coverage early – it will come back to haunt you when the DMV finds out.

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Pennsylvania Safety Laws and High-Risk Auto Insurance

Everyone knows that cellphone use, as well as drugs and alcohol, are primary causes of accidents on the roadway. Let’s take a closer look at the Pennsylvania safety law violations that are most likely to result in the need for SR-22 insurance.

Pennsylvania DUI Laws

A primary reason why an individual might require an SR-22 is having a DUI on their record. The following video covers the ramifications of DUI arrests specifically.

What follows is a table showing the penalties Pennsylvania state law has for driving a motor vehicle under the influence.

DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
LawsDetails
Name of offenseDriving After Imbibing (DAI)
BAC limit0.08
High BAC limit0.16
Criminal statusFirst and second offenses are misdemeanors;
third+ are second-degree misdemeanors
Look-back period10 years
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Of note is the fact that Pennsylvania is the only state that formally refers to the offense as driving after imbibing (DAI).

DAI Laws in Pennsylvania
OffenseLicense
Revocation
Jail TimeFinesIID LockOther
FirstNo minimumNo minimum;
up to six months probation
$300N/AAlcohol highway safety school;
treatment when ordered
SecondOne yearFive days to six months$300 to $1,500One yearAlcohol highway safety school;
treatment when ordered
ThirdOne year10 days to two years$500 to $5,000One yearTreatment when ordered
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Having a DUI, or DAI in this state can prove extremely detrimental to one’s premium rates. What follows is a table showing the rates of several companies with policies available in Pennsylvania. A clean record, a record with one DAI, a record with one speeding violation, and a record with one accident will all be compared.

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Company Rates Comparison
CompanyClean RecordWith One AccidentWith One Speeding ViolationWith One DAI
USAA$1,442.82$1,992.43$1,612.21$2,126.01
Geico$1,916.13$3,282.78$2,653.35$2,568.60
Nationwide$2,021.90$2,703.02$2,707.29$3,769.26
State Farm$2,512.31$2,976.14$2,744.22$2,744.22
Allstate$3,813.11$4,497.16$3,813.11$3,813.11
Progressive$4,034.71$5,570.34$4,045.00$4,153.94
Liberty Mutual$5,525.34$6,328.15$6,183.64$6,183.64
Travelers$5,566.16$7,914.42$7,914.42$9,974.88
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With each of the eight companies, having a DAI increases your insurance rates.

Furthermore, having a DAI on one’s record increased the rate even higher than having one accident, or one speeding violation, for three of the eight companies: Nationwide, Travelers, and USAA.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Driving Laws

While a bill was submitted in late 2019 for consideration, Pennsylvania has yet to legalize marijuana. The state does, however, have a medical marijuana program, but this requires user registration in order to access dispensaries.

No matter whether or not you are eligible for medical marijuana, Pennsylvania has a ban on driving under the influence. Furthermore, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with an amount above one nanogram per milliliter of THC, according to responsibility.org.

First-time offenders can receive anywhere from three days to six months in jail as well as a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Furthermore, they may have their license suspended for one year and be required to attend a safety school as well as a court-ordered treatment program.

Pennsylvania High-Risk Auto Insurance

If you were in an accident or received a moving violation with any of these convictions, you may be considered a high-risk driver. High-risk auto insurance is really the SR-22 in layman’s terms.

As we have seen thus far, the SR-22 is truly indicative of increased car insurance rates to tag along with the pre-existing headache caused by negligent driving. Keep in mind that while most insurance companies provide SR-22 insurance as an option, not all do.

Who has the best SR-22 insurance?

The short answer: comparing quotes is the only way to find the best coverage. Use our FREE quote tool below but here is a SR-22 insurance company list:

  • Acceptance Insurance
  • 21st Century
  • The General
  • SafeAuto
  • Infinity Insurance
  • Esurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • State Farm
  • Direct Auto Insurance
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Dairyland Insurance
  • Allstate
  • USAA

SR-22 Insurance in Pennsylvania

While Pennsylvania does not require an SR-22 of its residents, if you are traveling there from a state that does require the SR-22, you will need to hold on to it even while in Pennsylvania. You will need SR-22 insurance if you plan to move from Pennsylvania to another state, or if you are moving to Pennysylvania from a state that legally requires SR-22.

The SR-22 generally costs $25, which sounds small, but it will increase your premiums. While this sounds like a burden, it would be nothing compared to a payment lapse in car insurance that results in further legal penalties.

To avoid this headache, enter your ZIP code and find great SR-22 insurance rates with multiple car insurance companies in Pennsylvania.

References

  1. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists
  2. https://www.dmv.pa.gov/
  3. https://www.responsibility.org/alcohol-statistics/state-map/state/pennsylvania/issue/marijuana-drug-impaired-driving-laws/