So, the state has told you that you’ll need an SR-22 for the next few years. You may or may not know exactly what that means, so we’re here to help. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what an SR-22 is and what it means for your driving privileges. Read on to discover everything you need to know about this documentation.
What is SR-22 Insurance?
First things first: SR-22 “insurance” is not insurance at all. It’s documentation that you need to carry that shows insurance companies that you’re a “high-risk” driver.
Was that a bit of an ego blow? Chances are, you saw it coming. When you went to court for your lapsed insurance, your DUI, or the accident you were found at fault for, your attorney or the judge probably explained this to you.
There are a few reasons you may be required to have an SR-22. Maybe you were caught drunk driving. Perhaps you were caught driving without the legal requirements for insurance. Maybe you caused an accident that put others at risk. It’s possible you didn’t pay your court-ordered child support. Oops.
In any event, the court ruled that you are, in fact, a high-risk driver, and you’ll need SR-22 insurance documentation.
What Does SR-22 Documentation Mean?
After you’ve been involved in a serious accident, or after you’ve had your driver’s license reinstated, you may have to get an SR-22 form from your insurance company. This request will be filed with the DMV directly by your insurer.
Unfortunately, not all insurers offer SR-22 documentation, so you may find yourself shopping around for a new insurance company. In addition to the hassle of finding new insurance, an SR-22 requirement will invariably make your insurance premiums go up. You’re high-risk now, after all.
So what does this SR-22 do? Well, it’s a certification from your car insurance company that you’ve bought at least the minimum car insurance for your state. Depending upon the offense or the state you live in, you may be required to purchase insurance with higher limits than just the minimum.
If your car insurance lapses again for any reason, your insurance company will notify the DMV or other governing agency that this is the case. This may mean additional costs and consequences for you.
How Do I Get an SR-22?
As soon as you find out that you need an SR-22 form, call your insurance company. If your insurer offers this service, you’ll typically pay around $25 and get a new quote on your insurance. In some cases, your insurance company may require that you pay for up to a year of coverage upfront.
Once you’ve paid all applicable costs, your insurance company will file the SR-22 form with your state. You don’t need to do anything else except keep paying your insurance premiums.
As we mentioned, not all insurance companies offer SR-22 insurance forms to customers. Some of the largest insurers in the country do, however, so you may be able to stay insured with your current provider. At the time of writing, the following insurance companies did offer this service:
- State Farm
It’s usually smart to shop around for quotes once it’s determined that you need SR-22 insurance documentation. As noted, your rates will likely be higher now, so a different company may offer better coverage for a lower price.
FAQs About SR-22s
You may still have a few questions about the SR-22 you’re required to file. These are a few of the most frequently asked questions about this auto insurance documentation.
I don’t have a car. Do I still need an SR-22?
If you’ve been involved in an accident that’s left you with no vehicle, you still may be required to file an SR-22 with the state. This will protect others from you if you borrow someone else’s vehicle or rent a car from an agency.
How long is the SR-22 requirement?
In most cases, you’ll need to maintain your SR-22 for three years. At the end of that term, be sure you notify your car insurance company that the term is over, as it usually doesn’t automatically drop off.
Who offers the cheapest SR-22 insurance certification?
The cost of your SR-22 certification will depend on several factors. Why are you required to have an SR-22? How is your credit? Where do you live? What type of car do you drive? Factors specific to you will influence the premiums you pay for your insurance. Again, be sure to shop around before you purchase a policy.