If you find yourself with a blemished driving record or outstanding court judgments, you may be required to obtain an SR-22 form in order to drive legally. When this happens, it’s important that you understand the process for obtaining an SR-22 and what it takes to meet insurance requirements.
An SR-22 form or bond, also known as a certification of financial responsibility, indicates that you carry sufficient liability insurance to meet state requirements. A court or state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may require you to obtain an SR-22 if you’ve been convicted of serious moving violations, held liable for multiple accidents, or had your driver’s license revoked or suspended, among other reasons. If so required, you will need to contact your insurance company in order to have them file the paperwork for an SR-22.
One of three types of SR-22 forms will be filed, depending on your transportation situation:
- Owner certificates are for persons who drive their own car.
- Operator or non-owners certificates are for people who don’t have a car but may rent or borrow a vehicle to drive.
- Owner-operator certificates apply to those who drive both their own car and vehicles owned by someone else.
SR-22 requirements vary from state to state. Typical reasons why you may have to file an SR-22 include:
- Excessive number of tickets over a set timeframe
- Excessive number of at-fault accidents
- DUI or DWI convictions
- Reckless driving, or other serious infractions
- Revoked or suspended license
- Unpaid judgments, including child support
- Failure to carry car insurance
- Issuance of hardship license
There may be additional instances where an SR-22 is required. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or a court will contact you if this type of certification is required.
Costs associated with obtaining an SR-22 vary across insurers. Some file the certification for free, while others charge a fee for carrying out this step. Individual insurance companies set these fees, but they typically range from $15 to $25.
If notified that you need to provide an SR-22, you will need to contact your auto insurance provider and have them file the form on your behalf. Not all companies will do this, however, in which case you may be forced to switch insurers. Likewise, if you don’t have car insurance currently, you will need to purchase a policy that meets minimum state liability requirements from a provider that will file an SR-22. Documentation typically required for an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility include:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license number and state where issued
- Suspension date
- SR-22 expiration date
- Information on why SR-22 is required
Policyholders are not responsible for filing this document, but they are responsible for ensuring their insurer does so.
Several factors can influence the required time you hold SR-22 coverage, but most states mandate three years. Failure to carry insurance or allowing your coverage to lapse while the SR-22 is in effect can lead to your driver’s license being suspended and additional penalties imposed.
It’s your responsibility to get an SR-22 removed. After confirming that your SR-22 requirement has expired, communicate with your insurance company and let them know this can be removed from your policy.
An FR-44 is similar to an SR-22, but it is only used in Florida and Virginia. Like an SR-22, an FR-44 certificate indicates that a driver has purchased the required amount of liability insurance. Unlike an SR-22, this amount of insurance exceeds the state’s mandatory minimum liability coverage level.
Generally speaking, you can expect your car insurance premiums to increase if you’ve been ticketed for speeding, been found at fault in a collision, or been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Consider this: A driver with a clean record can expect to pay about $1,442 per year on average for car insurance, according to our analysis. Just one speeding ticket will increase that amount by about $325 per year. Being found at fault for an accident will lead to even higher premiums, about $2,041 on average, while annual rates for someone with a DUI conviction average $2,320.
How much your insurance rates will increase by depends on your insurer and the severity of your violation.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Is SR-22 a Type of Car Insurance?
No. Although people may refer to this certificate of financial responsibility as “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 is not auto insurance. An SR-22 is a form affirming that you carry sufficient coverage to meet your state’s minimum liability insurance requirements. Your insurance company files this form on your behalf as required by a state or court order. Not all insurers will provide coverage in the event that you’re required to file an SR-22, however. If this occurs, you will have to find an insurer that does and obtain coverage.
For more information about auto insurance, see the following guides:
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For more information on other types of insurance, see the following guides:
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