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March 16, 2013

Obtaining an SR-22 Insurance Policy Certificate

Have you seen signs or commercials advertising an SR-22 in relation to your car insurance policy? Are you confused about whether it’s something new that you have to have for your insurance policy? This FAQ will explain what an SR-22 is and why you might need it.

What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is not considered an insurance coverage part or an insurance policy. It is a certificate of insurance filed with the state that guarantees that you have the legally required insurance coverage for that state.

Why would a state require an SR-22?
An SR-22 is usually required for drivers who have something on their record that suggests they may not have the necessary insurance coverage. These activities might include:

  • Application for a probationary permit while license is suspended.
  • Conviction for driving without insurance.
  • Conviction of a DUI, DWI, or other major alcohol offense.
  • Conviction of multiple serious moving violations.
  • Failure to carry liability insurance when involved in an accident.
  • License reinstatement after a suspension or revocation.
  • Habitual traffic offenses causing too many points on one’s license.
  • How do I get an SR-22?

The only way to get an SR-22 is from your insurance company. You must have purchased an auto policy from an insurance company in order to secure this form, and you are required to tell your current insurance company about the need for the SR-22 so the company can file it for you. All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania may require a driver to obtain an SR-22.

How much does an SR-22 cost?
The SR-22 that the auto insurance company files for you typically costs between $15 and $50. The cost of the insurance policy you are required to carry, however, varies based criteria including type of vehicle, location, coverage amounts, and motor vehicle record.

How long will I need to carry an SR-22?
Typically, an SR-22 lasts one to five years. The actual length of time varies by state and by the severity of the offense. Your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) will indicate for how long you will need it and when the requirement begins.

What happens if my auto insurance is canceled?
If the auto insurance associated with an SR-22 is canceled, the insurer must file an SR-26 to inform the state of the cancellation. The state will then typically penalize you by suspending your driver’s license and/or vehicle registration.

What happens if I move?
If you are required to carry an SR-22 and you move to another state, you must still maintain the SR-22 requirement for your former state. After you move, you will need to have an insurance company file SR-22s in both states.

What happens if I don’t own a car?
Even if you don’t own a car, you are still required to carry an SR-22. In that case, you will need to purchase a non-owner’s policy to fulfill your SR-22 requirement.

If you have more questions about SR-22 or non-standard auto insurance, give us a call at 866-663-7561.

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