Have you been told by the DMV that you need an SR-22? If so, your first question was probably, “Just what is an SR-22?” You may have heard the term before, but until you need it, an SR22 is something you’ve probably never thought about.
Who needs an SR-22 Form?
There are a number of reasons you might be required to have an SR-22. Also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), it’s needed to show that you have the ability to pay for damages if you’re ever in an accident and found to be at fault, which for most of us would be done with liability insurance coverage. You’re required to have proof of this ability anyway, so an SR-22 is only required for certain higher-risk drivers when one of the following applies:
• You were at-fault in an accident and had no insurance
• You were convicted of a DUI or DWI
• You’ve had your license suspended or revoked
• You’ve had too many tickets or traffic offenses over a short time
Because drivers for whom one of the above conditions apply are considered high-risk, auto insurance companies could cancel their policies, if they did have coverage in place. The DMV wants additional assurance that these drivers indeed do have the proper liability coverage, and that they’ll keep it for a specified amount of time (usually 3 years).
What is an SR-22?
While it’s often referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” it isn’t actually insurance. Rather, it’s a certificate that shows the DMV that you have the required coverage. SR-22 filing is done by your insurance company, but be aware that not all insurance companies will do this. Some companies will not cover high-risk drivers, so be prepared to shop for a new policy. Be sure to mention to the companies you’re considering that you need an SR-22. Quotes will be higher because of this, again because you are in a higher risk category.
Is an SR-22 Expensive?
The SR-22 cost itself isn’t much – usually around $15-$25 to file – though your insurance rates will almost certainly go up. This is a time to shop around; relatively cheap SR22 insurance exists, though it’s much more important to be sure that you’re working with a reliable company.
What if I don’t own a car?
If you don’t own a car yourself, but you’ll be driving someone else’s car, you might think you’re off the hook. It’s going to depend on the state you live in, but you might be required to get a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy. This type of policy provides liability coverage when you’re driving someone else’s car. If you’re required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed, though, you will probably not be able to get non-owner coverage.
Being required to have an SR-22 is certainly inconvenient. Once it’s filed, though, the only thing left to do is to make sure you don’t miss payments. Doing so would result in your insurance company reporting to the DMV, who will probably suspend your license immediately, which just compounds the inconvenience (not to mention the cost). It’s unfortunate to have to go through this, but hopefully you’ll never have to do it again.
If you’ve been told you need an SR-22, USAgencies can help. Give us a call at 800-958-8545 to talk to one of our friendly, knowledgeable insurance advisors who can help you obtain an SR-22 and find cheap car insurance.