SR22 Filing: A Step-by-Step Guide
Do you have to get an SR22?
For many people, just thinking about completing an SR22 filing stresses them out. Considering that nearly 25% of the American population is under financial distress, it makes a lot of sense. On top of paying court fees and legal fines, now you're expected to pay for a particular type of insurance?
Dealing with an SR22 is upsetting, but you don't have to go through it alone. Let this guide walk you through each step of filing for an SR22, so you can get back to focusing on living your life.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about SR22 driver filing.
What Is An SR22 Filing?
What is an SR22 filing? It's a certificate of financial responsibility.
Car insurance companies create the document to help keep drivers accountable. The certification shows that you'll have the minimum amount of insurance required for a driver.
The insurance company is guaranteeing the DMV that you're covered. It's a way of proving to the state that you are financially responsible for the type of damages you might cause in an accident.
In some instances, insurance companies will deny coverage or refuse to provide the SR22 form. That's when you'll have to start shopping around.
Who Needs An SR22?
Who needs an SR22? The answer is going to depend on what state you live in.
Typically, an SR22 is the result of a driving violation. For instance, if you've been convicted with multiple DUIs or DWIs, you might have to get an SR22. Each year there are over 100,000 DUI arrests in California alone. That's a lot of people filing for SR22's!
Was your license suspended because you didn't pay child support? That could also prompt the need for an SR22.
Were you in an accident without any car insurance? That'll definitely cause the state to issue an SR22 mandate.
If you have had multiple traffic violations within the last 6 months, you could also face the need for an SR22. There are a lot of different situations that can trigger a request for you to submit an SR22.
Depending on the state you live in, they'll be other violations that trigger the requirement. However, no matter what caused the request, you always have to answer the call.
Fast Online Application
If you're told to get an SR22, don't delay. The faster you secure your certificate, the sooner you can get your life back on track.
For instance, we can attach your SR22 to an existing insurance policy. Or you could attach an out-of-state SR22 to brand new coverage.
To apply, simply fill out the online SR22 application in full. You'll need information such as your VIN, mailing address, SSN, and so on. After receiving your quote you can move forward with finalizing the coverage.
Jumpstart the SR22 Process
After a California DUI arrest, if you know you're going to plead guilty, take action. The sooner you jumpstart the SR22 application process, the better your life will be.
File an SR22 after your arrest. You'll be able to initiate the process faster than the DMV can. It may be able to help you reinstate your driving privileges more quickly.
Will an SR22 Help With Restricted Licensing?
A common question we hear is whether or not an SR22 can help you get a restricted license. Again, the answer will depend on the state you live in.
For instance, the SR22 can be an excellent tool for getting your restricted license in California. If you receive a DUI conviction in California, you'll probably go on probation. Sometimes you'll also face penalties such as a driver's license suspension or a long-term revocation.
Thankfully, the California DMV is willing to offer 2 types of restricted licenses. First, there's the IID restricted license, and then the regular restricted license. By obtaining your SR22 certificate, you'll have a greater chance of being able to get the restricted license you need.
An IID restricted license means that you can drive during the suspension. But you have to have an ignition interlock device in your car.
A regular restricted license allows you to drive to essential locations. Getting to work or to and from school will all be acceptable with your standard restricted license.
You should talk to a DUI attorney to ask them about their advice for reinstating your license sooner rather than later. You can also check out these tips for more ways to get your driver's driving privileges back faster.
What Does an SR22 Cost?
How much will you wind up paying for SR22 insurance? For starters, you'll have to pay an application fee. Typically the SR22 application fee is reasonable and under $50.
After applying, you can expect to have premiums that are higher than what you're used to. However, shopping your policy around will help you find the best rates. Look for an agency with access to numerous insurance providers, so you can have your pick of the best quote.
All sorts of factors are going to affect your insurance rate. You're driving history, age, location, occupation, and even homeownership status can affect your insurance premiums.
Good Driving Reward Tokens
Does the company you're going with offer good driving reward tokens? They can come in really handy as you work to rebuild your insurance record.
Each month that you maintain safe driving habits, you can rack up bonus points. You can use good driving reward tokens when it comes time to reinstate your insurance policy?
It's a way of showing insurance carriers that you're committed to safety! There's even an app to track your rewards, so you can always check up on your progress.
How Long Will You Maintain Your SR22 Status?
How long are you going to have to maintain your SR22 insurance? Typically the time period is around 3 years. Depending on your violation, you could wind up waiting longer. However, 3 years seems to be the average.
During those 3 years, you'll have to maintain an active car insurance policy. If there's any lapse in coverage, the clock starts over! You also have to drive safely.
So whatever you do, don't miss any of your car insurance payments. Make them a priority. If you're having difficulty making your car insurance payments, look for alternative options.
You can start by reaching out to your car insurance company and asking them for their advice. Sometimes car insurance companies will be willing to offer a grace period for payments.
Along with maintaining insurance, you also have to stay on top of your current driving habits. Any more violations could cause problems with the state of your SR22 filing. Here are a few safe driving tips that are worth taking a peek at.
Find out how long it'll take for your provider to cancel your policy after the grace period. Many car insurance companies will have a waiting period that follows the grace period. Ultimately, you could get a 10 to 20-day buffer between payments when you're in a pinch.
However, the grace period and payment buffers will all be different from one company to the next. Call your insurance provider to find out what their late payment policies look like.
Your insurance provider might be able to help with changing the payment date or breaking the payment up. You can also explore subsidized plans that might be more affordable.
What if You Don’t Have a Car?
If you don't own a car, do you still have to get an SR22? Yes.
Many states will require you to have an SR22 on file, even if you're not the owner of a vehicle. In this situation, you would have to obtain non-owner SR22 insurance. It's a particular type of policy that protects drivers who are state-mandated to file an SR22 but don't have a car.
If you're not planning on driving until the state removes its provisions, you might not need to keep your coverage. However, many people wind up carrying their non-owner SR22 coverage for 3 to 5 years.
It's all going to depend on the regulations of your area. There is good news, though. Unlike a traditional SR22 that can be pricey, a non-owner certification will be less expensive. A non-owner SR22 filing without a vehicle will cost pennies on the dollar.
A couple of the rules for non-owner policies include that you can't own a car and can't have access to vehicles in your household. Even if the vehicle belongs to a roommate or family member, it'll disqualify you from filing.
Like a traditional SR22, don't let it lapse once you start your non-owner SR22 policy. Any lapse in payment will cause financial mayhem and legal implications.
Stop Stressing and Start Filing
Don't make a difficult situation worse by procrastinating. Start the process for your SR22 filing today, so you can rest easy tonight!
Here at SR22 Savings, it's our mission to help you find affordable coverage in the most convenient way possible. Instead of leaving your house to go to an insurance agency, we can handle everything over the phone or online. Before you know it, you'll have the coverage you need at a price that works.
What will your SR22 rate look like? Click here to find out!