If you are suddenly required by the state to file an SR-22 certificate, chances are good you’ve become known as a high-risk driver. Maybe you’ve heard other people talk about “SR-22 insurance.” But what, exactly, is an SR-22?
In short, this is a form that high-risk drivers must file with their state’s DMV. The form certifies that the driver has met the minimum insurance required by the state. Generally, only drivers considered “high-risk” need to file an SR-22 with the state.
All drivers are required to get a minimum level of car insurance (typically, liability insurance). But drivers that have been identified as high risk may have a more difficult time getting insured at all, much less insured at a reasonable price. Therefore, submitting the form to the DMV offers “proof” that such a driver has the insurance they need to get back behind the wheel.
Yes, all drivers must be able to prove they have the appropriate car insurance coverage at all times, but high-risk drivers must file a form with the state.
Who is Considered a High-Risk Driver?
Most drivers will never need to file an SR-22. Instead, this is only required for those who have been identified as “high-risk drivers.” So, what would cause someone to need SR-22 forms?
Strictly speaking, there are a variety of risky driving behaviors that may result in someone needing to file this form. These are just a few of the more common examples:
- Driving with no license
- Driving with insufficient insurance
- Driving with a suspended license
- Frequent moving violations
- DUI or DWI convictions
- Failure to pay child support
If you are required to get an SR-22, you will need to keep it on file for a minimum period of time (usually three years). During this time, you will need to periodically renew the form. And if you fail to do so, you may face various fees, penalties, and legal action, and it will be increasingly difficult to find an insurance carrier who will provide you with coverage.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
In most states, SR-22 forms are what high-risk drivers must file with the DMV. Nonetheless, many drivers often use the phrase “SR-22 insurance.” What does this phrase actually mean?
First of all, there is no such thing as “SR-22 insurance.” As we noted before, the SR-22 is a form that certain drivers are required to file with the state. Some insurance carriers are hesitant to offer any kind of coverage to these drivers, while other carriers may offer coverage at a greater cost than usual.
In this way, “SR-22 insurance” may refer to either the need to get insurance in order to file the form or the type of insurance available to drivers who are required to submit the form in the first place.
Is SR-22 Insurance Expensive?
Because high-risk drivers are, by definition, more dangerous on the road, insurance carriers usually charge a higher amount for those required to have an SR-22. But just how expensive is this insurance likely to be?
The honest answer is that it varies from driver to driver and carrier to carrier. When you file an SR-22 form, the cost of filing will likely be $50 or less. But it is up to insurance carriers to determine how much they will charge you. To do so, they will take into account your driving record (including the high-risk behavior) as well as other factors (ranging from age and location to credit score and your type of car).
Remember, you can effectively shop around for new car insurance whenever you want to. If you must file an SR-22 and are getting higher quotes than you want from your current carrier, you should take this time to get quotes from additional carriers and potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the years.
Is It Possible to Get Rid of an SR-22?
One of the popular questions we get is “is it possible to get rid of an SR-22?” And when it comes to this question, we have good news and bad news.
The good news is that the SR-22 requirement is time-limited. After a certain period goes by (such as the standard three-year period), then you will no longer need to file the SR-22 forms.
What’s the bad news? First of all, the DMV won’t necessarily drop the requirement right away. You will likely need to contact your insurance carrier and then have them contact the DMV. Second of all, there is typically no way to prematurely end the SR-22 requirement. So if your state requires you to have it for three years, you will need to complete the three-year requirement. And some states will keep a conviction, such as a DUI, on your record for life.
Do All States Use the SR-22?
The SR-22 form is a pretty standard requirement across most states. But is this requirement universal to all states?
In short, the answer is no. There are certain states that do not require drivers to file an SR-22. Those states are as follows:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
But make no mistake – these states are not “easier” on those drivers who are convicted of major traffic offenses. In some states, you may lose your license for something like a DUI or driving without insurance. Without a license, you cannot legally drive at all.
Additionally, some states have other forms that must be filed regarding your car insurance coverage status. Both Florida and Virginia have an additional form that supplements the SR-22 called an FR-44 form, which is used for DUIs and other substance-related violations and the SR-22 is used for other infractions (including driving without insurance). Delaware has an FR-19 form.
What happens if you get an SR-22 in one state and then move to a state that does not have it, such as New York or Kentucky? In these cases, you will need to continue filing your SR-22 forms. Otherwise, you will be at serious risk of losing your license in your new state.
Get Your SR-22 Insurance Quote Today!
Are you required to file an SR-22 form with the DMV, and you’re worried about your car insurance? Here’s some good news: You can get an amazing SR-22 insurance quote today!
Here at Freeway Insurance, we specialize in keeping you and your car safe with competitive and affordable car insurance quotes. You can get started with a quote online, visit us at an office near you, or call us at (800) 777-5620, and one of our agents will get you all the help you need!