If your state’s DMV requires you to file SR-22 documentation, you have likely been involved in one of several legal matters:
- DUI or DWI: Generally, these two terms refer to the same moving violation. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a certain threshold or if you are convicted of driving while high, you may face a DUI or DWI charge.
- Uninsured driving: Driving without insurance or with inadequate insurance can result in this violation.
- Driving with an expired license: If you have allowed your license to lapse, a police officer may charge you with driving with an expired license.
- Driving without a valid license: If you do not possess a driver’s license, you may face this charge.
- Accruing traffic violations: If you receive too many tickets in a short period of time, your state’s DMV may assign you an SR-22 requirement.
While these issues can cause your state’s DMV to require you to file SR-22 paperwork, committing these same acts a second time can also prolong your SR-22 period.
In many states, courts and DMVs have discretion to increase the SR-22 timeframe. You should treat this possibility as a serious concern since an SR-22 mandate typically adds a significant cost to your auto insurance expense.
Read on to learn more about these five issues that could prolong your SR-22 and how to avoid them!
1. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
In states with SR-22 requirements, a DUI or DWI often results in the DMV issuing an SR-22 mandate.
This requirement comes in addition to any legal penalties you may have faced for the original charge, including potential jail time and fees, along with attorney expenses.
If you receive subsequent DUI or DWI charges, your license may be permanently revoked or your SR-22 period extended.
Avoiding DUIs and DWIs involves taking the following precautions:
- Never operate a vehicle if you have been drinking.
- Have a designated sober driver accompany you on nights out on the town.
- Use a cab service or a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft instead of driving home.
- Consider walking if safe to do so.
You should never take any chances behind the wheel if you have had even one drink. Be safe and avoid SR-22 extensions with these tips!
2. Driving With Insufficient or No Auto Insurance
All states require drivers to have adequate insurance to legally drive. However, not all states share a common set of minimum requirements.
For instance, Florida does not require bodily injury liability insurance, while every other state in the union does.
Some states may require you to hold uninsured (or underinsured) driver insurance as well.
If your auto insurance plan does not conform to your state’s legal requirements, and a police offer pulls you over during a traffic stop, you may face an extension to your SR-22 mandate.
However, this scenario cannot happen if you properly filed your SR-22 paperwork since your insurance company will automatically report to the state your insurance status.
3. Driving with an Expired Driver’s License
If you take to the streets with an expired driver’s license, you may face serious legal repercussions, including the possible revocation of your license and/or an extension to your SR-22 reporting period.
To avoid this possibility, you should ensure that your license is up to date with your state’s licensing authority. Do not under any circumstances drive a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
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4. Driving without a Driver’s License
Some states make receiving a license reinstatement dependent on a proper SR-22 form filed by your insurance company.
If you still choose to drive without a valid driver’s license, you may face serious consequences, including possible jail time or other legal penalties.
If the DMV has required you to obtain an SR-22 to reinstate your license, you should follow its guidance. Otherwise, you may wish to reconsider driving and instead opt for other forms of transportation, such as public transit.
5. Receiving Too Many Traffic Violations in a Short Period of Time
If you receive additional traffic violations while under an SR-22 reporting period, the DMV or court that has jurisdiction over your case may choose to increase the length of time you hold this status.
To avoid this scenario, consider taking additional and practicing safe driving habits. The most helpful driving behaviors to consider include:
- Staying focused on the road and always being aware of your surroundings
- Not engaging in other activities while driving, such as texting, eating, or talking
- Always wearing your seat belt and buckling up as soon as you enter your vehicle
- Following all traffic laws, signs, and speed limits
- Not running red lights or speeding through intersections
Depending on how you learned to drive, you may have picked up a few bad habits along the way. Eliminating these bad habits can help you avoid costly SR-22 extensions.
A driving instructor may also offer additional training and support to help you unlearn these bad habits and replace them with good ones.
What Happens If You Cancel Your Auto Insurance or Fail to Pay on Time?
If you cancel your auto insurance policy or fail to make timely payments, your state’s DMV may revoke or suspend your license.
To avoid the suspension of your license due to non-payment or failure to carry adequate insurance, create and keep to a budget that can ensure you make timely payments.
If you believe you will run into problems paying for your SR-22 insurance, consider reaching out to your insurance company to work out a payment plan that enables you to stay on the road.
Get an Affordable SR-22 Auto Insurance Quote Today
By working with the right insurance agency when you have an SR-22, you’ll be able to get an affordable policy, file the proper forms, and be back on the road in no time. Get a quick SR-22 auto insurance quote from our partner today!