Last updated: January 2023
You may find yourself in a situation where you're required to submit an SR-22 to your state. What is an SR-22, you might wonder? Does it cost anything? Why do you need one? Here's what you need to know about an SR-22 and car insurance.
What is an SR22?
An SR-22 (the “SR” stands for “safety responsibility”) is a state or court-ordered certificate of financial responsibility required for drivers convicted of certain traffic violations. Your insurance company files it with your state to prove you have purchased an auto insurance policy that meets the minimum coverage requirements.
Who needs an SR22?
How do you know if you need an SR-22? While every state has its own driving and insurance laws, here are some general reasons you might be required to keep a certificate of financial responsibility on file:
- You've been convicted of a DUI or DWI offense.
- Your driver's license has been suspended.
- You have failed to maintain auto insurance coverage in the past.
- You've committed serious driving-related violations.
How can I get SR22 support?
By contacting Direct Auto Insurance! Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT or visit a location near you today. State laws regarding an SR-22 can be complicated, so getting reliable information and support from licensed insurance agents who represent SR-22 insurance companies can help you restore your driving privileges. Plus, they will be able to help you find an SR-22 insurance policy at the cheapest rate within their power. Your Direct Auto Insurance agent and SR-22 car insurance company are here to help.
How much does an SR22 cost?
In most states, there is a fee to file an SR-22 form. The amount can vary slightly, but it’s usually relatively inexpensive (around $25). The amount could be higher or lower depending on the state in question. It’s also worth noting that drivers with SR-22 requirements are often seen as a higher risk to insure, meaning their insurance premium can be more expensive. Don’t panic, though, because Direct Auto will work hard and try to keep your coverage affordable with discounts and flexible payment options.
What are the minimum SR22 requirements?
The exact process of meeting your state's SR-22 requirements may vary. But in general, when convicted of a serious motor vehicle-related offense (like any of the ones listed under Who needs an SR-22?) that requires an SR-22 form to be filed with the state, this is what you'll need to do.
- Purchase a policy that satisfies state insurance requirements or verify your current policy meets all necessary requirements. Depending on your state, this may include liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, or more.
- Notify your insurance company that you need an SR-22 and have them file the SR-22 with the state.
- Pay the associated fee.
- Maintain your SR-22, meaning you maintain continuous insurance coverage and avoid lapses, for the required number of years depending on the violation.
How long am I required to keep an SR22?
Just because you have an SR-22 on file now and are viewed as a high-risk driver currently doesn’t mean that will be the case forever. In most states, you’re required to keep an SR-22 on file for three years (be sure to ask about the exact length where you live). If you drive carefully during this time, you shouldn’t have to file another one. There’s also a good chance your rates will drop in the future as you exhibit good driving behavior.
Is there such a thing as SR22 insurance?
People often use the term SR-22 insurance, but it’s not actually a type of coverage you can purchase from an insurer. When someone mentions SR-22 insurance, they’re almost certainly referring to the form your auto insurance company electronically files with your state proving you have insurance coverage that meets minimum requirements.Before any form can be filed, though, you need to get covered. The minimum insurance requirements vary by state, but you must comply with the laws where you live to ensure you keep your driving privileges. If you're not sure about your state's insurance requirements, give us a call or check out our state auto insurance pages.
Is an SR22 proof of insurance?
When your insurance company files the SR-22 form with the state, it will be proof of your financial responsibility/insurance. Your insurance company may provide you with a paper copy of an SR-22 form as a courtesy which may be helpful for you to provide to your local department of motor vehicles. Remember that your insurance company will also provide you with an “Insurance ID Card” in electronic or paper form which you must maintain in your vehicle as proof of insurance in the event you are stopped by law enforcement.
Does an SR22 change if I move?
If you currently have an SR-22 filed in one state but you’re moving to another state, you will most likely still be required to maintain your SR-22. Each state is different and may have additional fees, additional insurance, or other requirements. Here are some common state requirements you may need to follow depending on where you live and move:
- Maintain the SR-22 requirements in the state where you originally filed the SR-22 form.
- File a new, secondary SR-22 (or similar form) when you become a new resident of the state you moved to.
- If your new state does not use SR-22s, fill out an affidavit stating that you will keep the SR-22 on file in the original state.
The best thing you can do is communicate with your insurer, the DMV in your current state, and the DMV in your new state. A quick phone call to your insurance agent can help answer most of these questions and make sure you don’t have any gaps in coverage.
What if I let my SR22 insurance cancel or lapse?
Your SR-22 form will stay in-force for as long as you keep your insurance policy in force and until you no longer have the certificate on file. If your SR-22 policy cancels, lapses or expires while you are still required to carry an SR-22, your insurance company is required to notify the authorities in your state. Failure to maintain your insurance coverage could cause you to lose your driving privileges again, and your state may take other actions against you. You’ll also have to restart the SR-22 process. It's always best to keep the SR-22 for the mandated time period.