Getting SR-22 insurance can be a confusing experience, especially if you’re just learning about SR-22. Why do you need SR-22 insurance? For how long? What happens when you move?
To help get you more familiar with SR-22 insurance and how it works, we’ve put together these seven facts about SR-22 insurance that everyone should know.
1. SR-22 Insurance Isn’t Actually Insurance
SR-22 — “SR” stands for “safety responsibility” — actually refers to an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility. An SR-22 isn’t a separate insurance policy, but rather a special form that your insurance company files with your state DMV to confirm that your car insurance is active. When an SR-22 certificate is linked to your insurance, then it’s known as SR-22 insurance.
In most states, you won’t need to get more SR-22 insurance coverage than the state-required minimum. However, if you live in Florida or Virginia, then you’ll need to file an FR-44 instead of an SR-22. The two forms are similar, only that the FR-44 requires you to carry insurance with higher limits than the state-required minimum.
Tip: If you already have the state-required minimum insurance, then all you need to do is get an SR-22 certificate attached to your current policy. There’s no need to get an entirely new policy, though it always helps to shop around for SR-22 insurance quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. SR-22 Insurance Isn’t Just for DUI Convictions
In many states, getting charged with a DUI almost always means that you’ll be required to have SR-22 insurance. But it’s far from the only reason. States require SR-22 insurance for many kinds of high-risk drivers. Here are other reasons why you might be ordered to get SR-22 Insurance:
- Getting caught driving without insurance
- Getting caught driving without a valid (non-expired) license
- Being at fault for too many accidents
- Getting too many traffic tickets within a short period of time
Tip: If you want to avoid SR-22 insurance, then you need to avoid all high-risk activities on the road — not just drinking and driving.
3. There Are Different Types of SR-22 Insurance
There are three main types of SR-22 certificates: owner’s certificates, operator’s certificates, and owner-operator certificates.
An SR-22 owner certificate will cover you while driving cars that you own. If you don’t own a car, then you’ll need an operator’s certificate, which covers you while driving other people’s cars. Finally, the SR-22 owner-operator’s certificate is the most flexible and covers you while driving any vehicle.
Tip: If you own a personal car but drive another vehicle for work, then you’ll need the SR-22 owner-operator certificate to fully cover you.
4. You Won’t Need SR-22 Insurance Forever
Being required to get SR-22 insurance is never good news, but it won’t last forever. In most states, you’ll only need to have SR-22 insurance for three years. After that, you can apply to remove your SR-22 insurance requirement and start driving under a regular insurance policy. Note that some states may require you have SR-22 insurance for up to five years for serious traffic offenses.
Tip: Stay on top of renewing your SR-22 insurance and drive safely. If you let your insurance lapse or get caught in another violation, you’ll reset the clock and have to keep SR-22 insurance for even longer.
Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes
5. Not Every State Requires SR-22 Insurance
Like driver’s licenses and other vehicle-related matters, SR-22 insurance is regulated at the state level. That means that each state has its own laws and policies about who’s required to get SR-22 insurance and for how long. A few states don’t require SR-22 insurance at all. These states are:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
Finally, two states — Florida and Virginia — require an alternative to SR-22 insurance, known as FR-44.
Tip: If you’re a resident of a state that doesn’t have SR-22, you can still be required to have SR-22 insurance if you’re charged with a major traffic violation while driving through another state.
6. You Still Need SR-22 Insurance If You Move Out of State
If you’re required to carry SR-22 insurance in your home state, moving somewhere else won’t change that. You’ll still need to file an SR-22 for the required period of time. The car insurance company in your new state will first file the SR-22 in both states before transferring the SR-22 over to your new state. This is true even if you move to a state that doesn’t require SR-22 insurance.
If you let your SR-22 insurance lapse during the move, then you’ll have your license suspended in your old state. This means that you won’t be able to get a license in your new state.
Tip: Make sure that there are a few days of overlap coverage between your old SR-22 and your new SR-22 insurance policies. That way, there’s no chance that you’ll accidentally have a gap in coverage.
7. SR-22 Insurance Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
While getting a DUI will mean higher insurance premiums for a while, SR-22 insurance is cheaper than you realize. First, there are plenty of ways to save money on your SR-22 insurance. For example, you can adjust your policy limits (as long as they stay above the state-required minimum), bundle policies, or even install safety features in your car. Talk to your insurance company for more details.
Second, there are car insurance companies that specialize in providing SR-22 insurance. These companies tend to be a lot more understanding of your situation and willing to offer DUI insurance, SR-22 insurance, and other coverage for high-risk drivers.
The best way to get the most affordable SR-22 insurance is to compare SR-22 quotes with multiple companies. You never know when someone can offer a better rate than your current insurance company!
Tip: As you shop for SR-22 insurance quotes, make sure you’re giving each insurance company the same information so that you can compare apples to apples. It’s also much easier to work with an insurance company that can give you multiple quotes from different insurance carriers to save you time and help you make the best decision.
Find Cheap SR-22 Insurance Online Today
Now that you’re more comfortable with SR-22 insurance, the next step is to get coverage as soon as possible. If your license was suspended, then you won’t be able to get it back until you take this first critical step. SR-22 Adviser works with drivers all around the country to get affordable SR-22 insurance so they can get back on the road. All it takes is a few minutes for an online quote from our partner for SR-22 insurance.