Have you recently had your driver’s license revoked or suspended and you’re wondering how to go about getting it back?
One of the steps to getting your driving privileges reinstated is to obtain what’s known as an SR-22. This is required to show that you’re being backed up by a legitimate insurance company while on the road despite your past traffic offenses.
But what exactly is an SR-22, how can you be sure you need it, and how do you obtain it?
Read on to learn more:
What is SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 is a special kind of document that is usually required for a driver to either maintain or reinstate their driving privileges after certain traffic-related offenses. Sometimes referred to as “an SR-22” or as a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility”, it’s not so much insurance as it is a document from the insurance company stating that the driver is in possession of an active policy that meets all of the state’s liability requirements.
Do I Need an SR-22?
If you’re involved in a car accident or convicted of a traffic offense where you’re unable to prove you’d be able to pay for the damages caused while driving, an SR-22 is required. Here are some situations in which you probably need an SR-22:
- If you’re charged with a DWI or DUI or any other serious moving violation
- If you’re caught driving without a license or without car insurance
- If you’ve had repeat traffic offenses or too many tickets on your record in a short period of time
- If you’ve been found at-fault in an accident but you’re without insurance
- If you’ve had your license suspended or revoked
There are two ways you’ll find out that you need to get an SR-22. If it’s court-ordered, you’ll be told to obtain an SR-22 during a ruling. Or you might be ordered by the state in which case you’ll receive a notice by the state DMV. Either way, once you’ve been informed that you need an SR-22, you’ll need to call your insurance company so they can file it accordingly.
Is an SR-22 Expensive?
The cost of an SR-22 varies by state, but it’s not too expensive. Insurance companies typically charge a processing fee that’s usually no more than $25 total. Keep in mind that there are many insurance companies that won’t even insure a driver if they’re in need of an SR-22, or, if they do, they might add surcharges to the policy.
If you’re ordered to obtain an SR-22, it might be a good time to shop around for quotes.
Will My Insurance Rates Go Up as a Result?
It depends on your violation, but it’s not uncommon for your insurance premium to increase, not so much because of the SR-22 itself, but as a result of your offense.
How Long Will I Need to Carry an SR-22?
In states that have an SR-22 requirement, you can expect to maintain insurance coverage with an SR-22 for about 3 years. It depends on the state and the reason for the SR-22, but 3 years is average.
Would it be Easier to Just Skip Driving for 3 Years Instead?
You might wonder if it would just be easier to ditch driving for 3 years instead of dealing with obtaining and carrying SR-22 insurance. However, you might find that once you return to the DMV 3 years later, you’re still expected to obtain an insurance policy with an SR-22 in order to have your license reinstated.
Once again, the requirements will depend upon your state’s laws as well as the consequence of your particular violation, so check with your DMV first.
When Should I Contact My Insurance Company to Get an SR-22?
You’re probably anxious to get your license back as quickly as possible which means you want to get your SR-22 filed right away. Some states can file on the same day that you make a request if done digitally. If filed manually, expect anywhere from 10-14 days for processing and delivery.
You might end up getting your copy before your state has processed the original, in which case you can take your copy to the DMV to see if doing so will speed up the process of having your license reinstated.
It’s up to the DMV to decide if they’ll consider your copy as proof enough or if they’ll opt to wait for official confirmation.
Once My License is Reinstated, Do I Still Need the SR-22?
Whether or not you’ll still need to carry the SR-22 once your license has been reinstated depends on the requirements of your state. You might want to look into these requirements for sr22 insurance to give you a better idea.
Sometimes the end of a license suspension means that an SR-22 is no longer required, but it’s also possible that a suspension will be reinstated if you don’t carry the SR-22 through the entire mandated time period.
Discover Other Useful Financial Information
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