If you’ve recently received a legal notification that you must have an SR-22 before you can drive again, you may be wondering why and how to begin the process. Several factors can result in an SR-22 filing.
We’ll help you understand the SR-22 process, but let’s start by answering your first and most basic question.
What Is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate of auto insurance that means your state has determined that, for one reason or another, you can’t drive until you can prove that you have a certain level of car insurance. This often gets called SR-22 insurance, though it’s really the legal paperwork needed to get such coverage.
Basically, it means you have a less-than-perfect driving record. As a so-called high-risk driver, your state thinks you have a greater chance of causing an accident than other drivers. Here are some leading reasons you might have gotten a notice of SR-22 insurance requirement.
1. You Got a DUI for Drinking and Driving
Getting convicted for drinking and driving can lead to SR-22 or FR-44 requirements in most states. Depending on where you live, this might be called a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense, Driving While Impaired (DWI), or Operating While Impaired (OWI).
Whatever it’s called, the offense means that you have a suspended driver’s license, and you can only get it back under a set of requirements. One of those requirements is that you obtain SR-22 documentation.
2. You Have Too Many Reckless Driving Incidents on Your Record
Even totally sober drivers can end up with SR-22 insurance requirements. It might be a matter of receiving repeat traffic violations, such as speeding, quickly changing lanes without signaling, following drivers ahead of you too closely, or other acts that make the authorities consider you a high-risk driver.
Just like with impaired drivers, the courts demand you file paperwork that shows proof you have auto insurance.
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3. You Have One Exceedingly Reckless Event Behind the Wheel
Sometimes one mistake is one too many. In this situation, you commit just one driving violation that the courts consider so extreme immediate action must be taken. This might be for driving way over the speed limit, such as in a school zone or a 25-mile-per-hour zone. Or maybe you exhibited road rage or caused an accident that resulted in injury to another party.
The point is, even though it was just a single offense, it was so dangerous that it proved your driving habits could endanger others. So, you must file an SR-22.
4. You Get Caught Driving With a Suspended License
Drivers who commit serious violations, such as driving recklessly or while impaired, can lose their licenses as a penalty. This might be in addition to receiving stiff fines and even jail time – especially if it’s not a first offense. The actual penalties for license suspension vary from state to state and are based on the specific circumstances.
The bottom line is that you are not permitted to drive until you get your license back. Remember, if you’re caught operating your vehicle with a suspended license, you are likely to receive notice to file an SR-22 with your state.
How Do I File an SR-22?
Filing an SR-22 is easier than you might think. Most auto insurance agents have plenty of experience conducting business with customers who’ve received SR-22 filing requirements. They can explain the details, find the most affordable rates for car insurance coverage in your state, and file the paperwork that will get you legally behind the wheel again.
How to Find Cheap SR-22 Insurance
At SR-22 Adviser, we specialize in helping drivers find cheap SR-22 insurance. We can explain the requirements for your situation. If you’ve received an SR-22 requirement, our partner can help with a fast and free quote. We are here to get you back on the road legally and safely!