SR22 Insurance: What You Should Know!
If you've ended up with a suspended or revoked driver's license due to a DUI, a DWI, or other serious traffic offenses, getting back on the road is likely at the top of your priorities. That means you have to carry SR22 insurance, an additional form of liability coverage that provides proof of financial responsibility to state authorities. We'll give you all the details below so you can make an informed decision for your SR22 needs.
What is SR22 Insurance?
An SR22, or a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, is a document that your insurance company files with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to certify that you have the minimum amount of liability insurance required by law. The SR22 is not an insurance policy, but rather a policy endorsement that indicates to the DMV that you have an active, valid, and sufficient insurance policy. Should you let your insurance policy lapse, terminate or cancel your insurance prematurely, or fail to renew your SR22 certificate, your insurance company is obligated to notify the DMV, and your license will most likely be suspended.
Who Needs SR22 Insurance?
Not everyone needs SR22 insurance, but anyone who has had their driver's license suspended or revoked for a serious traffic violation does. Depending on the state you live in and the reason for your license suspension, you may be required to carry SR22 insurance for a certain period of time after your reinstatement. The most common reasons that require SR22 insurance include:
- DUI or DWI convictions
- At-fault accidents where you were uninsured
- Repeated traffic violations or driving without a license
- Filing an insurance claim while uninsured
- Outstanding fines, court fees, or judgments related to driving offenses
It's important to note that even if you no longer own a vehicle, you may still need to carry SR22 insurance if you plan on driving someone else's car or renting a vehicle.
How Long Do I Need to Carry SR22 Insurance?
The length of time you need to carry SR22 insurance varies from state to state and depends largely on the reason for your license suspension. In most states, you will need to carry SR22 insurance for at least three years, although some states require five years or more. If you violate any of the terms of your SR22 endorsement such as failing to pay your insurance premiums promptly, filing a false certificate, or getting another traffic offense, your endorsement may be reset, and you may have to carry SR22 insurance again for a longer period.
What Are the Consequences of Not Having SR22 Insurance?
If you fail to carry SR22 insurance in compliance with your state's laws, you can face some serious consequences including:
Suspension or revocation of your driver's license: Failure to maintain SR22 insurance can result in your license being suspended or revoked, which means you won't be able to legally drive until your SR22 insurance is reinstated.
Fines: You may be fined for driving without proper insurance and SR22 certification. In some states, the fines can be as high as $5000.
Increased insurance rates: Driving without SR22 insurance puts you in a high-risk category, which can result in much higher auto insurance premiums when you finally apply for coverage.
Legal trouble: You could face legal trouble if you are caught driving without proper insurance. A judge may require you to pay additional fines or even serve jail time.