Driving is the ultimate privilege. You have the freedom to go where you want when you want with whomever you want.
If you’ve ever lost the privilege to drive, you understand how paralyzing a suspended license is.
Once you receive that license back, you should do anything and everything you can to keep it. Complying with driving laws in some states means you need to have SR22 insurance.
By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand what SR22 insurance is and what you need to do to have it so you can maintain your driving privileges for years to come.
What Is SR22 Insurance?
SR22 is a term referring to the form you must file with your state proving your car insurance meets the minimum liability requirement for your state. The “SR” in SR22 stands for “safety responsibility.”
Thus, if you’ve ever had your license suspended, you need to take extra measures to prove that you’re now responsible enough to drive again.
SR22 insurance refers to an insurance carrier that has SR22 on your policy. Not all auto policies have an SR22 certificate.
Process of Filing an SR22
Filing an SR22 begins far before an insurance company calls the state. It begins when you need the SR22.
If your actions lead to you having your license suspended, your insurance will not cover you.
When you have your license suspended, your insurer will no longer cover you while you do not have a license.
When you get your license back, your insurance company will file an SR22 with the state. The law requires your insurer to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles office if you have insurance or if your insurance lapses.
Each state has a requirement to reinstate your license. Visit your state’s DMV site to learn how to have your license reinstated.
Eight states in the country do not require drivers to have SR22 if their license is suspended.
- New York
- North Carolina
- New Mexico
The requirements for minimum insurance required vary from state to state. Here is a breakdown of what California, Oregon, and Arizona require.
California SR22 Insurance
In California, you must have SR22 on your liability insurance for three years after your license is reinstated. This means you must maintain the minimum car insurance coverage that California law requires for three years.
If you miss an insurance payment and your insurance lapses, the three years start all over again.
California requires a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person. They require a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident, and a minimum of $5,000 for property damage liability coverage.
Arizona SR22 Insurance
In Arizona, you must have SR22 insurance for three years after you regain your license. Failing to maintain your proof of insurance will result in losing your license and vehicle registration until you can re-establish your insurance proof.
This means you need to carry your automobile and SR22 insurance proof with you in the vehicle at all times. If you get a different car during this time period, make sure you take your proof of insurance with you.
As far as minimum requirements go, Arizona requires drivers to have a minimum coverage of $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability insurance and $50,000 per accident. You must also have a minimum of $15,000 in property damage liability coverage in Arizona.
Oregon SR22 Insurance
Like California and Arizona, Oregon also requires drivers to maintain their SR22 insurance for three years.
In Oregon, you must have a minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. You must carry a minimum of $20,000 for damage to others’ property.
During your three years of holding SR22, you cannot commit any driving violations. A driving violation could result in the state extending the timeframe that must have SR22 insurance.
Even if you do not own a car, you need to have SR22 insurance. You will need to purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy. When you do this, the insurance company will complete and file your SR22 forms electronically.
Contact an insurance company that offers SR22 and explain your situation. Tell them how you lost your license and then how you need a non-owner SR22 to keep your license now that it’s been reinstated.
A non-owner SR22 policy works the same as an owner one. If you fail to pay your premium on time, you will lose your insurance as well as your license. You must maintain the state-mandated minimum coverage requirements.
You need the non-owner insurance policy even if you do not own a car because the policy will cover you if you’re driving a car temporarily. If you borrow a car from a friend or relative, for example, you need insurance coverage.
During the three years of your SR22 insurance coverage, you must notify your insurance company if you buy a car. A non-owner policy will not cover you if you buy a car and then have an accident with it. You must have an owner policy in this case.
Reasons You Need SR22 Insurance
Not everyone will need SR22 insurance. You only need it if your actions have led to having your license suspended. Here are the most common reasons individuals have their licenses suspended.
- Serious moving violations
- Multiple traffic offenses
- Failure to maintain the mandatory insurance coverage required by the state you live in
You will receive a notification if you need to get an SR22. Sometimes traffic court will tell you directly while you’re in court. Other times, the Department of Motor Vehicles will send you notifications by mail.
Cost of SR22 Filing
The cost of an SR22 certificate varies from state to state. It typically costs between $25 and $40. If you switch insurance carriers during the three years that you must have SR22, you will need to file again and pay the filing fee.
Do not let your insurance lapse even a day. Doing so will cost you even more money as you’ll have to start the entire SR22 filing process again and pay the filing fee again.
The law requires insurance companies to report in real-time when your insurance policy lapses or is canceled. So even a single day without coverage will lead to three more years of needing SR22 on your insurance policy.
SR22 Insurance Costs
SR22 will cost you more than the filing fee. The SR22 requirement can raise your policy costs significantly. An SR22 on your insurance policy means you are a high-risk candidate for insurance.
Thus, you’ll see your insurance costs go up by double and sometimes even triple. Your DUI or DWI conviction, reckless driving record, traffic violations, and driving without insurance puts a big red flag on your driving record that makes insurance companies wary. If they choose to insure you, they will make you pay a pretty penny for your coverage.
Suspended License Information
If you need SR22, you’ve had your license suspended. It’s important to note a few things about a suspended license.
First of all, driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor. If you lose your license but need a way to get to work, you can apply for a hardship license. The hardship driver’s license typically gives you a license just for commuting between work and home.
Continuing to drive with a suspended license will ultimately lead to a short time in jail and potentially a felony. The officer who pulls you over will arrest you and take you to jail. They will have your vehicle towed and impounded unless you have a suitable driver with you to take it home.
The amount of time you will not have a license depends on the severity of your offense. Traffic violations, for example, lead to less time than a DWI or DUI conviction.
Once you’ve fulfilled your mandatory suspension time, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV. Some states require you to complete a program such as a traffic safety school or a DUI program depending on the nature of your offense that led to the license suspension.
Finally, you’ll have to provide proof of insurance and the SR22 to prove you’re financially responsible enough to handle a license again. Your local DMV will have information that explains your state’s requirements for reissuing a driver’s license.
Revoked vs. Suspension
A revocation is different than a suspension. License revocation means the state has permanently terminated your driving privileges. You may not drive anymore in that state.
Typically, you will have your license suspended before the state will revoke it. If you continue to not comply with the requirements of your suspension, the state will take the license away completely. Here are a few reasons the state may revoke your license:
- Certain medical conditions
- Vehicular homicide
- drag racing
- Reckless driving convictions
- Failing to keep up with child support payments
Usually, the revocation has a time period attached to it. Once that time has passed, you can apply for a new license. However, you do not have a guarantee that you will ever get the license back.
Comply and Drive Free
If you need SR22insurance, you’ve already gone through the process of having your license suspended. You need only follow your state’s requirements for insurance requirements and then carefully follow state driving laws. Doing so will give you the freedom to drive once again.
Do you need SR22 insurance? If so, contact us today for a free quote. We can help you find freedom on the road once again.