I Need an SR-22 – How Do I Get It?
In most cases, getting an SR-22 certificate means finding an insurance company that will both provide you with car insurance and then file the SR-22 certificate for you with the state to certify that you have the required amount of liability car insurance. Only an insurance company licensed to do business in that state can file an SR-22 – you cannot file it on your own.
Having your license suspended or being arrested for a DUI can be incredibly stressful and expensive. If you are already dealing with this frustration, it may seem even worse if you receive a letter from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles that you are required to obtain SR-22 insurance. If this is a first offense, it is likely that you are unfamiliar with the term and you are probably wondering “what is SR-22 insurance” and “why do I need it”.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate that your insurance company files on your behalf with the state to certify that you have the required amount of car insurance.
The term “SR-22” is often referred to in a number of ways, such as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, an SR-22 form, SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 bond, etc. It is a state-filed form that certifies you have purchased the state-required minimum liability auto insurance. An auto insurance company issues an SR-22 – and they will automatically notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles that you comply with demonstrating financial responsibility.
Technically speaking, an SR-22 certificate is not actually car insurance. It certifies that a driver has the proper amount of car insurance.
Why Do I Need SR-22 Insurance?
While SR-22 insurance is most commonly associated with DUI or DWI offenses, there are a number of other instances when an SR-22 is required. These instances include:
- Repeat traffic offenses
- Multiple at-fault accidents or violations
- License suspension or revocation
- Driving without proper insurance coverage
- Reckless driving
Drivers who are required to file an SR-22 with the state are generally considered high-risk drivers. What this means is that car insurance companies may feel they are taking on extra “risk” in insuring a driver who has exhibited reckless or other egregious behavior behind the wheel. High-risk auto insurance is typically more expensive for this reason.
What Steps Do I Need to Take to Get an SR-22?
First, you have to find an insurance company that is willing to provide high-risk car insurance. Not every insurance company offers this type of coverage. However, there are options out there – you just have to find them – or find an insurance company that will help you search out your options.
Once you purchase your auto insurance, your insurance company will file your SR-22 with the state. Be aware that insurance companies are required by law to report in real time if your SR-22 insurance coverage lapses. You’ll want to stay on top of this so you can get to the finish line as fast as possible.
How Much Does an SR-22 Cost?
The filing fee for SR-22 insurance is typically $15-$25 in most states. This is a one-time fee as long as your policy does not lapse. While the SR-22 certificate itself does not cost more than the filing fee, drivers who require SR-22 insurance usually pay more for insurance because they are considered high-risk drivers.
It is important to note that different companies charge different rates for individuals who require an SR-22. Car insurance comparison-shopping is always a good idea under any circumstances to ensure you are getting the best rates with the ideal coverage to meet your needs.
How Long Do I Need SR-22 Insurance?
Although the SR-22 requirements vary from state to state, generally a driver who is required to maintain an SR-22 on file needs to do so for three continuous years. If there is an interruption of this liability coverage, the insurance company that issued the SR-22 is required by law to inform the DMV that you are no longer in compliance.
What Happens if I Don’t Maintain My SR-22 Insurance?
If you are required to hold an SR-22 for a three-year period and you cancel your insurance during that term or fail to make a payment and let your policy lapse, it could put you at risk for a variety of negative outcomes. Some of these repercussions include:
- The suspension of your license.
- The suspension of your vehicle registration.
- More money out of your pocket. If you do not have continuous insurance coverage, you will have to pay fees to reinstate your insurance and registration. It also could mean that you will pay higher premiums when you purchase a new insurance policy.
If you wind up in the unfortunate situation of having to obtain an SR-22, you do not want to make matters worse by ignoring the required terms and costing yourself more money. Be sure to follow the guidelines and practice safe driving while you are holding an SR-22 and your driving record and insurance premiums will improve before you know it.
How to Find Affordable SR-22 in Your State
Your imperfect driving record doesn’t mean you can’t get affordable auto insurance coverage. Freeway Insurance can get you cheap car insurance and help you file an SR-22. Get a fast and free auto insurance quote online, over the phone at (800) 777-5620 or visit one of our convenient locations.