SR-22 insurance is a document that must be filed with the state under specific circumstances. It’s commonly required of individuals who have committed a serious traffic violation or series of smaller violations.
You can obtain an SR-22 certificate, also called a certificate of financial responsibility, through an auto insurance company—either by adding it onto an existing policy or by purchasing a new policy. The official document proves to the government that you’ve purchased the minimum liability insurance required in your state and that you’ll maintain that coverage for a specified amount of time.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re told to file an SR-22 either to keep your license or to work towards getting it back after it’s been revoked. The process isn’t pain free (who wants limited options and higher insurance payments?!), but if you go about it the right way, you can set yourself on the path of least resistance.
When would I need an SR-22?
You may be required to file an SR-22 if you conduct a serious road violation or series of violations. If you live in Virginia or Florida, an FR-44 may be required instead. An SR-22 will be ordered either by your state or a court judge. You’ll know you need an SR-22 when you receive a letter from the department of motor vehicles or you’re told so at a court hearing.
You may be required to add an SR-22 to your policy, depending on your state, if you’ve been caught for
- Reckless driving
- Negligent driving
- Drunk driving (DUI or DWI)
- Driving without insurance or enough insurance
- Involvement in an accident without insurance coverage
- Committing several traffic offenses within a short time
- Driving without a license
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support
How long will I be required to carry an SR-22?
In many states, individuals are required to carry an SR-22 for three years, but it could vary based on your location and the severity of your offense. For specific instructions, call your state’s department of motor vehicles. Also tell your insurance carrier how long you’ll require this document, and remind them when the time is up and you no longer need it. It won’t automatically be dropped from your policy.
Make sure your auto insurance policy continues uninterrupted during the time your SR-22 is required. If you forget to renew your insurance policy or it’s cancelled for any reason, your insurance carrier will contact the DMV, and your license and registration could be revoked or suspended.
How much does SR-22 certification cost?
It typically costs $25 to file the initial form with your state, but having an SR-22 on your auto policy could also drastically increase your insurance premiums. This, of course, depends on the violation that resulted in the SR-22 requirement. The greater the violation, the riskier insurance companies will consider you to insure and the higher your rates could rise because of it.
Shop around and get various quotes to find an insurance company that offers affordable rates for high-risk drivers. Doing so might end up saving you thousands of dollars. Remember, these higher rates won’t last forever. As soon as the violation falls off your record, your rates will go down again. As long as you keep your record clean in the meantime.
How do I obtain an SR-22?
One of the easiest ways to obtain an SR-22 is to ask your insurance carrier if you can simply add it to your policy. If they offer this service, they can file the document for you with the state, assuring the government that you carry adequate coverage. Some insurance companies don’t offer SR-22. That means you may need to shop around for a new policy with another carrier.
Consider looking into companies that specialize in high-risk insurance. They may offer more affordable rates and options to better fit your situation. Keep in mind that you may have better luck and quicker results if you work with an agent directly, rather than requesting information solely online. Working with an agent will allow you to ask any questions you have to help you find an effective solution.
How can I save money as a high-risk driver?
Here are a few ideas to help you cut costs as a high-risk driver with an SR-22:
- Downgrade to a vehicle that’s cheaper to insure until your violation is dropped from your policy.
- Sell your car and purchase a non-owner SR-22 policy—a much more affordable alternative. Opt to carpool with a friend or use your city’s public transportation.
- Drive safely, and keep your record squeaky clean!
If you’re worried, confused, or disheartened after receiving the court order or letter in the mail telling you to get an SR-22, and/or your insurance rates have skyrocketed recently because of a serious traffic violation, consider working with an independent insurance agent to quickly connect you with affordable options.
Coverage Direct works with insurance companies that specialize in high-risk insurance. We’d be more than happy to introduce you. We’ll start by getting to know a little about you and your present circumstances. Then we’ll start shopping around for coverage that suits your needs and budget.
Call us any time at 888-411-1710 or shoot us a quote request online to get started. You can also email us directly at email@example.com with any questions or frustrations you have. We look forward to hearing from you!