Updated: Aug 1
Did you know that about 29 Americans die every day due to vehicle accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers? This means that in every 50 minutes that pass, at least one person dies. Moreover, the cost of alcohol-related crashes amounts to about $44 billion per year.
With the rise of traffic incidents, states are prioritizing the requirement for SR22 insurance among license owners today. This is to help not only the owners but also serve as means of reforming high-risk drivers.
Confused about what SR22 insurance is? We've got your back! Here are ten things you need to know about SR22 insurance:
1. SR22 Insurance Is Not a Policy
What is SR22 insurance? One thing is for sure, SR22 isn't a car insurance policy. The name can be misleading, but SR22 insurance is a certificate or form.
SR22 insurance proves that you have the auto insurance required by your state. In addition, it shows that you have a policy that meets the required state minimum liability. Like the standard auto insurance, SR22 covers any vehicle you drive.
2. When Do You Need SR22 Insurance?
Drivers caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol needs SR22 insurance. States also require them for those who have serious or repeated traffic offenses. This is also true for drivers caught driving with expired registrations.
When drivers cause an accident with no insurance, the DMV will ask for SR22 insurance. This is also true when drivers cause a damaging accident and fails to report it.
Also, if the state dims you as a "high-risk driver," they'll suspend your driver's license. To get your license back and resume driving, you'll need to file an SR22.
While most states require an SR22, nine states don't. These states are:
Most think that they can get away from filing one when they move to any of the states mentioned above. However, such isn't the case as you still need to follow the requirements of the state where you came from.
Moreover, while the states above don't require SR22 insurance, they have their versions of the required forms. For instance, in states like Florida and Virginia, their DMV requires FR44 insurance, which is twice expensive.
3. Your Insurer Files the SR22 Insurance
You don't have to worry about extra work since the filing is a task done by your insurance provider and not you. Thus, as soon as you get an order from the court, immediately contact your insurance provider. This way, you'll avoid rushing to meet the set deadline.
Your insurance company will likely charge you a filing fee. You'll know it's done once you receive a confirmation.
Often, processing your SR22 insurance can take two weeks. Electronic forms are often processed faster than those sent through the mail.
You do have to be wary as there are insurance companies that don't offer an SR22. In such cases, you can work with other providers whose willing to do business with you.
4. SR22 Insurance Cost Varies By State
You might be asking, "how much is SR22 insurance?" The cost usually ranges between $15- $25. Of course, the exact cost depends on various factors, such as your driving history and age.
Often, insurance providers will also factor in the driving offense you committed. If your state DMV dimmed you as a high-risk driver, expect to pay a higher sum. Your expenses can also go higher as you'll also be paying for liability coverage.
You can always choose to seek other providers, especially if your current provider's filling charges are too expensive. However, we recommend getting free quotes from several insurance providers. This will allow you to compare and find the most reasonable deal available.
5. You Need It for at Least Three years
Most states require drivers to keep a certificate of financial responsibility for three years. Yet this time frame can last for up to 10 years. The state where you're in and the reason you need SR22 insurance will determine this.
Reckless driving in California, for instance, can land drivers a 10-year rule. Meanwhile, you'll need to maintain SR22 insurance for five years if you commit a DUI in Arizona.
Do note that when your policy lapses, your provider will have to notify state authorities. This will result in the suspension of your licenses and extra penalties and fines. It will also nullify the timeframe, which means that you have to start counting all over again.
Let's say that you're required to maintain SR22 insurance for three years. You canceled your insurance policy after two years, which resulted in licenses suspension. When you reinstate your policy, you'll have to maintain the SR22 insurance for another three years instead of 1.
6. SR22 Increases Insurance Interest Rates
The act of filing SR22 insurance doesn't raise your interest rate, but the reason you need the form does. As you may know, needing SR22 insurance meant you violated a traffic law. This misconduct sets a bad record for your driving history.
Almost all insurance providers base car insurance rates on the driver's risk. Thus, if you have a DUI conviction, the insurance company will see you as someone who'll likely get in an accident. As such, expect to pay a higher car insurance rate.
7. You Need to Maintain SR22 Insurance Even When You Move
Don't think that you can drop your active SR22 insurance when you move into another state. Remember that if you stop paying your SR22 before your time ends, the state will suspend your license.
This will cause a problem when you obtain a new driver's license or car in another state. As such, even if you were to move to another state, make sure to continue paying your SR22 insurance premiums.
8. There are SR22 Insurance for Non-vehicle Owners
You can't get SR22 insurance if you don't have an active car insurance policy. The good news is that you don't need to own a car to get a car insurance policy. Today, insurance providers have a special program for license owners that occasionally drives.
For example, you someone often rent cars or borrow one from a relative or a friend. Non-owner car insurance gives you the liability coverage that can protect your assets if you ever get into a car accident.
Let's say you borrowed your friend's car and caused an accident on the way home. Unfortunately, the damage expense exceeds John's minimum auto liability coverage. However, when you have a non-owners policy, you can use it to pay for the remaining balance.
Non-owners car insurance can also get you SR22 or even SR44 insurance. So should you need SR22 insurance to get your license back, you won't have to worry.
You can reap the benefits of liability coverage at a minimal cost. This is because non-owner insurance policies are cheaper.
Getting a Non-Owners SR22 Insurance Policy
How to get SR22 insurance for non-owners today? First, contact an insurance agency with experience in handling high-risk car insurance policies.
Do take note that to qualify for a non-owners car insurance policy, you need to meet specific criteria. This includes having no accessible car at home even if it belongs to your housemates. You also shouldn't have an ignition interlock breath device requirement.
9. Foregoing Will Not Do You Any Good
If you decide not to get SR22 insurance, you'll no longer be able to get back on the road. If you don't file form Sr22 when you get convicted, your license will forever remain suspended. There's no other legal way to revoke your license suspension than with Sr22.
You might be thinking that it's okay as you can get one in another state. Unfortunately, that is also not possible, as every state requires the applicant to be completely free of suspensions before they can get a valid license.
Note that states share information, especially DUI convictions, so it will be hard to trick them into giving you a license. Even if we say you managed to trick them, you'll soon be facing charges against you once the state finds out.
If you're lucky, you may be able to leave with a hefty penalty fee. If not, you might face prison time. Either way, this will go under your criminal record.
10. Good Things Happen When Your SR22 Obligation Ends
When you're finished with your SR22 obligations, you'll be able to get your license back. The best thing is that SR22 insurance isn't a permanent addition to driving records. As such, you may be to get back your original car insurance rate.
You'll also be free of stress as you finally crossed out one more worry on your list. This will allow you to focus on more important matters and save up a little money.
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