Have you been ordered to provide the state with proof of financial responsibility? If so, what is the best insurance SR22 for drivers? Use our handy guide to narrow down your choices.
What Is an SR22?
If the state recently charged you with a serious traffic violation, you may face a car insurance requirement that you’ve never experienced before, says Nerd Wallet. As part of your sentence, a judge could suspend or revoke your driver’s license and require you to file a form SR22 from your insurance carrier to keep or get your driving privileges back.
Having to submit an SR22 to your state’s motor vehicle department can come with higher premiums and a limited number of carriers to choose from, although shopping around for the best rates can help reduce some costs.
An SR22 certificate isn’t technically an insurance policy. It’s actually a form that a carrier files with the state on behalf of high-risk drivers with numerous traffic violations or a suspended license. These motorists must follow regulations to get their license reinstated, reported Benzinga in a recent post. There are many reasons why you would file SR22 forms, including:
- At-fault accidents
- Driving without car insurance
- A DUI or DWI conviction
- Driving recklessly
- Too many traffic tickets in a short time
- Failure to pay court-ordered child support
- Failure to pay traffic fines
Important Things to Keep in Mind About SR22
Once the court orders you to submit an SR22 certificate, the next step is to contact your insurance provider. Not every company will issue this type of certificate. If your agent can’t help you, you’ll need to shop around and do some research. Keep in mind that it could take up to 30 days to acquire an SR22, and until you receive your document, your license remains suspended and you can’t regain your driving privileges.
Your insurer will notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) once you have satisfied your legal requirement to purchase an SR22 and will confirm that you have met all the minimum liability requirements. After you receive your certificate, keep a copy with you whenever you’re behind the wheel. Be ready to show it to a traffic officer if needed.
Your SR22 filing must remain active, or the DMV may suspend your license. If your coverage lapses or you cancel your insurance, your carrier is obligated to notify the DMV that you no longer meet the state’s requirements.
Your policyholder also has the option to deny your renewal based on factors such as your driving history. If you don’t comply with the SR22 insurance laws, the state could revoke your driving privileges. Ensure there’s no gap in your coverage and renew your insurance at least 15 days before it expires.
SR22 Cost by State
The filing fee for an SR22 varies by state. However, you can expect to pay between $15 to $50 a month. Your insurance company will submit the certificate to your DMV on your behalf and pass the costs on to you. Compare rates between companies to get the best deal.
This charge is usually a one-time fee, although because you may need to file this document for up to five years, check with your policyholder to be sure you don’t have to pay each time you renew your coverage. If you allow your policy to lapse, you will likely have to pay the fee again, as your new provider must send updated proof of financial responsibility to your state.
How to Get an SR22
ValuePenguin suggests following these basic steps to get an SR22:
- Contact your current carrier or find another insurer.
- Pay the SR22 filing fee.
- Your insurer files the SR22 on your behalf with your state’s DMV.
- Await confirmation from the DMV, which could take up to two weeks per Clearsurance.
How Long Do You Need to Carry an SR22?
Drivers typically find out they need to file an SR22 certificate during a court hearing, reports experts at ConsumersAdvocate.org. Find a carrier that will provide this form for your entire sentence, typically three to five years in most states.
That time frame can change, depending on your state’s requirements and the reason you need this form. Your SR22 will remain active as long as your car insurance policy is valid. If you cancel your policy, the state may suspend your license, and the time lapsed won’t count toward fulfilling your mandated sentence. For example:
The judge ordered you to file an SR22 for four years, but you cancel your insurance policy after just one year. You reinstate your policy six months later, yet you’ll still need to have the SR22 on file for another three years.
While most judges set a fixed time frame for filing, the court may choose to extend your requirements if your coverage lapses or you commit another violation. The riskier your behavior, the more likely your insurer will raise your rates or drop you altogether. Once you satisfy the state’s mandate and you’re no longer required to submit an SR22 form, your insurance company will file an SR26 form so that the court administrator can close your case.
SR22 Insurance Alternatives
Depending on where you live and the type of violation you incurred, the court may ask you to file a different document than the standard SR22, such as:
- SR21: This is an insurance document that’s typically filed after an accident or traffic stop and demonstrates you have adequate coverage.
- SR22A: Missouri, Georgia, and Texas use this form for drivers that repeatedly violate financial responsibility laws.
What is the best insurance for SR22? Take advantage of this article to help guide your search for coverage.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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