Simply put, an SR-22 is a certification proving that your insurance policy meets the state’s minimum car insurance requirements.
No judgement, but if you need an SR-22 form, you've got a lot on your hands. We know you can use a clear explanation of the steps you need to take to get yourself back on track and we’ve got your back.
An SR-22 is a document that makes it clear that you do indeed carry the minimum car insurance required by the state. It’s normally a requirement to have a suspension lifted from your license due to a violation, such as DWI/DUI or driving without insurance. You may have heard an SR-22 referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” however, it is not insurance. Instead, an SR-22 is a certificate (literally just a piece paper or electronic document) that your insurance company files on your behalf with the state after your license has been suspended. That’s it!
This means not everyone needs an SR-22. Only, if you’ve had a serious traffic violation then, you’re in the running. But don’t worry—we are here to explain what that means for you and your insurance plan.
So how do you know you need an SR-22?
If a judge tells you that you must have an SR-22, then you need one! It’s that simple. If you aren’t sure whether you need an SR-22, but you have a nagging feeling you might, these are the reasons some DMVs list for which an SR-22 is usually required:
- DUI or DWI conviction
- Ticket for driving without insurance
- Serious car accident
- Suspended or revoked license
- Too many points/marks on your license record
So maybe you need an SR-22...now what?
The good news is most states only require an SR-22 for three years, as long as you remain major-violation-free during that time. Good to know that this too shall pass. If you already have car insurance and you now must carry an SR-22, simply call your insurance agent and ask them to file it for you. Most states require your car insurance company to file the SR-22 directly. If you find that your current car insurance company can’t file the SR-22 for you, then you’ll have to find a new insurance agent. If you’re shopping for car insurance, be aware that your auto insurance policy will need to meet some extra requirements. Also, depending on which carrier you choose, you will need to pay an additional fee for the insurance company to file the SR-22.
Be sure to not get a lapse of coverage! Meaning, don't let your auto insurance expire. If you've been required an SR-22, you must maintain continuous insurance coverage with an SR-22 for two to five years depending on the state you reside in and the reason for the SR-22. If you have a lapse of coverage of any kind, your insurer is legally obligated to notify the DMV and your license will be suspended.
What if you don't have a car?
Lastly, you might find yourself in a situation where you don't own a vehicle but the state is still requiring that you get an SR22. No need to worry! The answer is a non-owners insurance policy and an SR-22 can be attached to it just like a regular policy. Regular auto insurance follows the vehicle, but a non-owners policy is just like a basic state minimum policy that covers you to legally drive any vehicle. Not all companies offer this type of policy but rest assured that there are plenty of companies that do.
Now you are armed with the knowledge necessary to get your SR-22 and you back on track. Happy trails and safe travels!