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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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What is SR22 Insurance?
Understanding exactly what SR22 insurance is also means understanding what it is not. There are quite a few common misconceptions, and it is important to recognize the facts. SR22 is a type of auto insurance certain drivers must carry in order to be able to drive legally after having their driver’s license revoked. This type of insurance is also known as high risk car insurance.
The SR22 is actually a certificate the insurance provider provides to the state in order to prove the driver has taken actions to secure high risk auto insurance. The certificate is meant to demonstrate to the state that these drivers have taken financial responsibility for their automobile and their own driving.
Some reasons why drivers may have their driver’s license revoked and be required to obtain SR22 insurance include but are not limited to:
– Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) of drugs and/or alcohol
– Being the at-fault driver in an accident without carrying proof of insurance
– Getting caught driving without proper auto insurance coverage as dictated by the state
– Having a pattern of habitual moving violation offenses or series of offenses in a short period of time
Generally the length of time a driver is required to carry this type of high risk auto insurance is approximately three years, as long as no other offenses occur and there is no lapse in coverage during this time.
A car insurance provider is required by law to report to the state any instances when a driver lets his or her SR22 auto insurance coverage lapse.
In order to prevent having your license revoked again or facing other related issues, it is important to avoid any lapses in this coverage.
Not all states require SR22 insurance, but it is your responsibility to know the laws of your current state or a state you may be moving to in relation to this insurance. In some instances even if you relocate to another state, you must pick up SR22 insurance in that state or have coverage overlapping in your previous and current home state.
Basic SR22 Insurance Requirements
Requirements for SR22s vary from state to state. Some states do not require SR22s, such as Oklahoma, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, and Delaware. The state sets the requirements for how long the SR22 must be maintained, but it is usually three years.
If you file a SR22 in your state then move to a non-SR22 state, you are still bound to the SR22 requirements of your former state, and your new insurance policy must meet its minimum insurance requirements. You have to carry liability insurance on your vehicle for the entire duration of the SR22.
Your insurance carrier is required by law to notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if your policy lapses, and your license will be suspended. If this happens, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee in addition to any other fines appearing on your driving record in order to get back your license. Most of the time you can have your SR22 form faxed to you after you pay the reinstatement fee. If you don’t own a car, you can purchase Non-Owner’s liability insurance in order to get your license back.
For more specific information on your state’s requirements, please visit our SR22 State Guide.
How Do I Get SR22 Insurance?
SR22 insurance is typically sold through state-approved insurance companies. The insurance company files the SR22 form with the state or local DMV office within 30 days of receiving your request. You will be charged a filing fee of $15 to $25. If the filing is accepted, the insurance company will send the you the SR22 form along with a letter from the state or DMV. Keep in mind that not all auto insurance companies offer SR22 insurance, so it would be wise to research which agencies, if any, offer this type of coverage in your region.
Types of SR22 Certificates
1. An operator’s certificate covers a motorist who operates a vehicle but does not own the vehicle.
2. An owner’s certificate covers any vehicles a driver owns and operates.
3. An operators-owners certificate covers vehicles operated by the driver as well as vehicles owned by other drivers in his household.
SR22 insurance covers property damage and any liability arising from an accident involving a reinstated driver. The coverage does not necessarily include repair or replacement of the motorist’s car but that of the vehicle involved in the accident. An exception to this is if the reinstated motorist was was not at fault in the accident.