Many people wonder, “What is SR 22 insurance?” In reality, SR 22 insurance is not insurance at all. A SR 22 is a certificate filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles by an insurance company on a driver’s behalf. When a driver has become a high-risk driver for multiple tickets, several accidents, or DUI offenses, the court will often require that the driver obtain high-risk auto insurance. The insurance carrier must then file the SR 22 with the DMV as a confirmation that the policy holder’s insurance is sufficient to cover the driver an accident happens in the future.
An insurance company generally files the SR 22 for three consecutive years. The purpose of the SR 22 certification is to monitor the driver and make sure that he or she maintains financial responsibility in the form of adequate car insurance coverage. If the driver does not maintain adequate car insurance, perhaps by failing to pay the premiums, the insurance company will cancel the SR 22 certification by filing an SR 26.
Are There Any States that Do Not Require SR 22s?
Only two states, New York and North Carolina, do not utilize SR 22 filings. These states do not require drivers to have their insurance companies file SR 22s with each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. However, most states do require the SR 22 certification for the following infractions:
- A citation for driving without insurance coverage
- Lack of insurance coverage at the time of an accident
- A major conviction such as a DUI or reckless driving conviction
- A license suspension
- Unsatisfied judgments
If a driver committed one of those infractions, the state may require the driver to maintain a state-mandated minimum amount of insurance coverage in order to legally drive on the roads. Each car insurance company should be able to explain the various coverage options available to satisfy the SR 22 requirements. In most cases, the car insurance company will notify the driver if coverage must increase to satisfy the state’s legal requirements.
How Much Does it Cost to File a SR 22?
In most cases, there is no additional charge for asking the insurance company to file the SR 22 on the driver’s behalf. However, if driver had been convicted of an offense such as a DUI, the insurance company will likely consider that person to be a high-risk driver and increase the insurance rates accordingly. In some cases, the auto insurance provider might charge a fee twice per year to keep the driver’s SR 22 filings up to date with the DMV. The driver should check with the insurance company to find out if the company charges a fee to file the SR 22 with the DMV.
The term “SR 22 insurance” describes the high-risk insurance that a driver must carry. However, the SR 22 is not part of the insurance policy — rather, the SR 22 is certified proof that the driver has sufficient insurance as required by law.