You’re a responsible driver, with an up-to-date car insurance policy in your glove box. Yet, is that enough?
If you live in one of the 52 states that require SR-22 insurance, the answer is “no”. In these states, you’ll also need to carry an additional set of documents that proves you’re qualified to be on the road.
From Texas SR22 laws to ones in Alabama, Florida, and California, there are guidelines that span every corner of the country.
Confused about the requirements? Wondering if your state requires SR-22 certification? That’s why we’re here. Read on to discover the details you need to know.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
Before we discuss the specific states that require it, it’s important to understand what SR-22 insurance entails.
In short, this is a certification proving that your auto insurance policy meets the minimum requirements set forth by your state. It can be a paper policy or an electronic document.
You might also hear this form of insurance referred to as A Certification of Financial Responsibility. Despite its name, SR-22 insurance is not an actual insurance policy.
If your license is never revoked or suspended, this term might not enter your vocabulary. However, depending on the state you live in, you might be required to show proof of SR-22 insurance to restore your suspended license after a serious traffic violation.
A few of the reasons why you could temporarily lose your license include:
- Being convicted of a DUI or DWI
- Being involved in a serious car accident
- Getting a ticket for driving without insurance
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Having too many points on your license
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, ticket, or criminal conviction, filing paperwork might be the last thing on your mind.
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about locating or completing this form on your own. A judge will order your SR-22 certificate and as long as you have an active auto insurance policy, your insurer will file it with the state on your behalf for a small filing fee.
If you experience pushback when you request this filing, it’s time to consider switching insurance providers. Most states don’t allow drivers to file for an SR-22 themselves and instead, require that the insurer take care of this part. A reputable company can perform the task quickly with few complications.
What Happens When You Get an SR-22?
While it might be inexpensive to file for SR-22 insurance, it usually puts you in the “high-risk” category with your car insurance provider. As such, you can expect your premium rates to go up accordingly.
These rate increases aren’t the same across the board. Rather, they will vary depending on the state you live in. Your insurance company will be able to tell you both the percentage increase and the dollar increase of your policy post-SR-22.
What’s more, this isn’t a designation that you can remove after a few months of good driving behavior. While the normal timeline can vary from two to five years, most states require you to hold an SR-22 certificate for at least three years.
If you’re involved in another major moving violation during that timeframe, the clock could reset on your requirements.
Moreover, if you allow your SR-22 coverage to expire and lapse before your specific timeline is up, most insurers are required by law to notify your state’s DMV. Upon notification, the DMV will suspend your license until coverage can be reinstated.
Texas SR22 and More: Which States Require It?
Are you wondering if your state requires SR-22 insurance? To answer this question, it would be easier to list the states that don’t require drivers to obtain this certification if their license is revoked.
These states include:
- New York
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
In any of these states listed above, you will not have to show proof of SR-22 insurance to reinstate your license after a revocation. For all of the 52 states that do require an SR-22, each one has its own requirements and guidelines governing its use.
For reference, 10 of the states that do require SR-22 insurance include:
What If I Move to a Different State?
What happens if the state you’re currently living in requires an SR-22 but you’re planning to move? Does this mean that the requirement simply vanishes and you’re off the hook?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. In most cases, you’ll still be required to follow the guidelines of the state that required the SR-22 in the first place. You can obtain an out-of-state SR-22 filing from most nationwide auto insurance carriers.
What if you’re required to hold an SR-22 but the state you’re moving to is one of the eight that does not require them? If so, you’ll need to work with the state requesting the certification to show another form of proof that your insurance meets the minimum requirements.
What About an FR-44?
It’s easy to see how drivers could get SR-22 and FR-44 mixed up. If you live in Florida or Virginia, you’ll be required to obtain an FR-44 in place of an SR-22.
This is a special type of certificate that’s specific to DWI or DUI convictions. To obtain it, you’ll need to show proof that your auto insurance coverage is at least twice that of your state’s minimum liability limit.
What’s SR-50 Filing?
Some states, such as Indiana, may also request an SR-50 filing. An SR50 insurance filing applies to the present, meaning that it’s a guarantee to the BMV that you’re carrying at least state minimum auto liability insurance at the present time. Once someone files an SR50, they are finished with the process.
Unlike SR-22 filing that keeps up with future insurance requirements, SR-50 applies to the present only.
Understanding Your Insurance Responsibilities
It’s no secret that insurance requirements can be a little confusing. From Texas SR22 insurance to your homeowner’s policy, there are myriad forms to complete, policies to decipher and terms to understand.
Feeling a little overwhelmed by it all? That’s where we come in.
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