What is SR22 Insurance? 9 Things You Must Know

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What is SR22 Insurance? 9 Things You Must Know

Is your driving record less than perfect?

If you’ve dealt with some major traffic violations or had your license suspended, there’s a good chance you need SR22 insurance.

If you received notification that you need it, you may wonder what it is and how you get it. The process can seem confusing, but it’s relatively straightforward and easy to handle.

SR22 allows you to have your driving privileges reinstated or lets you keep them after certain violations.

Keep reading to find out all about what SR22 insurance is, including all the important facts you need to know to meet the requirements so you can get your license back.

1. It’s Court-Ordered or State-Ordered

SR22 insurance isn’t something that everyone needs. You only need it if you’re ordered to do so after a traffic offense.

If you go to traffic court for an offense, the court may rule that you need SR22. The court will let you know about this decision in the ruling. You should receive notification by mail from the court informing you of your need for SR22.

The state may also require you to have SR22 for certain conditions. Your state’s DMV will notify you if they require you to have it.

2. There Are Lots of Reasons for It

One of the most common reasons for SR22 is a DUI or DWI conviction. But that’s not the only reason the court might mandate the form.

The following are other possible reasons:

  • Reckless driving or another serious moving violation
  • Driving with no car insurance
  • Getting into an accident when you don’t have insurance
  • Multiple traffic violations within a short time
  • Suspended license

The SR22 form may be one of many requirements after you’re convicted of one of the offenses.

3. SR22 is a Form, Not Insurance

You often hear it called SR22 insurance, but the SR22 itself is a form not an insurance policy. 

It’s a certificate of financial responsibility. It shows your state that you have the minimum amount of car insurance that’s required. Each state sets minimum requirements for auto liability insurance.

The insurance company completes the form as a guarantee that you maintain that coverage amount. If you fail to keep your policy, the insurance company notifies the state.

4. You Have to Purchase a Policy

You need to buy a policy before the insurance company can complete the SR22 form since it shows that you have insurance. You’ll need an insurance policy even if you don’t own a car or currently drive one.

Insurance companies can sell you a non-owner car insurance policy. The policy will meet the minimum requirements, and it satisfies the requirements for the company to file the SR22.

5. You’ll Probably Pay More for Insurance

The SR22 form itself only costs a one-time fee for filing. The fee varies by state, but it’s usually around $25.

You’ll only pay the fee when you initially set up the policy unless you let it lapse. You’ll have to pay the fee again to reinstate it. You may also need to pay the fee again if you switch insurance carriers.

But the insurance policy you have to maintain as part of the SR22 form may cost you a lot more. That’s because the violation that forced you to have SR22 can increase your rates.

Say you’re convicted of DUI. Your car insurance rates go up because of that DUI violation, not necessarily because of the actual form.

The likely increase in insurance premiums is due to the violation.

But, just like all other policies, the rates aren’t the same with every company. Shopping around with multiple companies that offer SR22 may help you find a cheaper option.

Sometimes, the state or the insurance company will require you to pay for the full policy upfront instead of breaking it up into monthly payments.

If your policy lapses for any reason, the insurance company notifies the state.

6. It Can Help You Get Your License Back

If your license is suspended, having SR22 is often a requirement to get it back. In some cases, you need the SR22 to keep your license. If you’ve already lost your license, you may need it to get it reinstated.

It may seem like a pain, but it’s a requirement you need to meet. 

7. It Doesn’t Last Forever

You’re not stuck with SR22 forever. It usually lasts between 2 and 5 years, with 3 years being the most common length.

The state determines the length of the SR22 filing period. The type of offense can also affect the length in some states.

Iowa requires SR22 for 2 years, for example, while Colorado and Illinois require 3 years. Where you live determines the length of time you’ll need SR22.

The starting point for the filing period can also vary by state. The clock might start when you commit the offense, when you were convicted, or when your license was suspended.

You’re required to maintain insurance throughout that time, but your rates may fluctuate. Just like any insurance, you may see an increase or decrease in rates.

8. You Can’t Just Stop Driving

You may decide you’ll just give up your driving privileges for the specified amount of time. That sounds like a good theory, but your state may still require you to have an SR22 even after that period.

Say your state has a 3-year SR22 filing period. You decide not to drive for 3 years after your violation and not get SR22.

When you try to reinstate your license, the DMV may still say you need to have SR22 for 3 years.

When in doubt, contact the DMV to find out the requirements for your state.

9. Not All Companies Offer SR22

You have to get the SR22 form from an insurance company since it shows that you have coverage. But not all insurance companies deal with SR22. 

If you already have an insurance policy in place, check with your company to see if they handle SR22 forms. If they do, the company may complete the form based on your current policy. If not, you’ll have to find a new policy from a company that files SR22s.

Once you find a company that offers SR22, the process isn’t any more difficult than getting a normal policy. The insurance company handles filing the form for you.

Finding SR22 Insurance

Securing SR22 insurance is an easy process, but it’s something you need to do if the court orders it. Getting your insurance policy in place immediately helps you me the state SR22 requirements, so you can get back on the road with your license faster.

Do you need SR22 or another insurance policy? Start the online quote process now.

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