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What is SR-22 Car Insurance?

An SR-22 isn’t a type of car insurance. It’s a certificate issued by your insurance company that serves as proof to your state that you’re carrying the legally required minimum liability insurance coverage. An SR-22 may be necessary if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. It’s often called “SR-22 insurance,” but it’s important to understand the distinction.

Why Would You Need an SR-22?

There are several reasons why a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) might mandate that you obtain an SR-22:

  • Serious Driving Offenses:This includes convictions for driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), reckless driving, or causing an accident while uninsured.
  • Multiple Traffic Violations:Accumulating too many points on your driving record due to repeated traffic offenses can result in SR22 insurance.
  • Failure to Pay Court Judgments:Ignoring court-ordered fines related to car accidents or traffic violations could lead to needing an SR-22.

How to Get an SR-22

If you need an SR-22, here’s the typical process:

  1. Find an Insurance Company:Not every insurance company will file SR-22s. Contact several insurers to find one that offers this service in your state.
  2. Purchase Liability Insurance:You must have an active car insurance policy meeting your state’s minimum liability requirements to qualify for an SR-22.
  3. Request the Filing:Once insured, ask your insurance company to file the SR-22 form with your state’s DMV. There’s usually a small administrative fee.
  4. Maintain Your Coverage:It’s crucial to maintain continuous liability coverage for the entire period required by your state. Allowing your insurance to lapse will result in your SR-22 being canceled.

SR-22 Insurance: Costs and Considerations

  • Higher Premiums:Drivers needing an SR-22 are classified as “high-risk,” leading to increased insurance premiums. Shop around to compare quotes from multiple insurers.
  • Filing Fee:Your insurance company may charge a one-time fee for filing the SR-22 form with the DMV.
  • Duration:The required length of time you must carry an SR-22 varies by state, but is typically between one to five years.

SR-22 and Your Car Insurance Policy

Your SR-22 requirement impacts your car insurance policy in a few ways:

  • Limited Choices:Your options for insurance companies may be narrower, as not all insurers are willing to work with high-risk drivers.
  • Coverage Restrictions:If you need an SR-22 due to a DUI, some insurance companies may deny you comprehensive or collision coverage.

What Happens If Your SR-22 is Canceled?

If your car insurance policy lapses or your SR-22 is otherwise canceled, the insurance company is obligated to notify the DMV. This will likely result in the immediate suspension of your driving privileges again.

Key Takeaways

An SR-22 demonstrates to your state that you are a responsible driver who maintains required insurance coverage. It can be a crucial step in reinstating your driving privileges after a suspension or revocation. If you’re facing an SR-22 requirement, it’s important to work with an insurance agent who can guide you through the process and help you find affordable coverage.

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