Understanding an SR-22
Knowing how an SR-22 works and why you may be required to have one is important in helping you understand how this filing can impact your auto insurance.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a specific form filed by your auto insurance company with your state's department of motor vehicles (DMV). Simply put, an SR-22 is proof you're carrying the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required by your state. An SR-22 is also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, an SR-22 Bond, or an SR-22 Form.
Is an SR-22 a type of insurance?
No. An SR-22 is not insurance, but a document that proves you have the minimum amount of liability insurance your state requires.
Is an SR-22 the same as a FR-44?
No. While both documents serve as proof that you're carrying the minimum required liability insurance required by your state, an FR-44.1, 2, 3
- Is only used in Florida and Virginia
- Is only required if you are found guilty of driving while under the influence (a DUI) or driving with a suspended license
- Requires you have liability limits higher than the state minimum
How do I know if I need an SR-22?
An SR-22 is typically ordered by a court or state. Either the judge will notify you of the requirement at the time of your court-ordered hearing or you'll get a letter from your state's DMV. If your state doesn't issue SR-22s, then you won't receive a notification.
Who usually needs an SR-22?
While laws will differ by state, a person typically required to have an SR-22 is someone who has
- Been convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Serious traffic offenses like reckless driving or a hit and run
- Multiple/Repeat traffic violations or car accidents
- Caused an accident while driving without insurance
- Had their driver's license revoked or suspended and is now getting it reinstated
- A hardship or temporary driver's license issued because of a license suspension or revocation
- Not stayed current with court-ordered child support payments
How do I get an SR-22?
- Contact your insurance company and let them know that you're required to have an SR-22. If you're a Liberty Mutual customer, contact customer support.
- Be sure to have the letter from your DMV or state ordered mandate handy. In some cases, you may need to provide your insurance company with a copy of your letter or mandate before they can issue you an SR-22.
- Your insurance company will review your coverages, make any required changes to your auto insurance policy, and then file the form with your state on your behalf. Depending on the state you live in and your insurer, you may be required to pay a fee for your SR-22.
- Contact your DMV within the timeframe specified by your insurance company to ensure that the SR-22 has been filed.
- It's important to keep in mind that because of the additional risk, not every insurer is willing to offer SR-22s. You may have to shop around for a new insurance company.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
How much an SR-22 costs depends on the state you live in and your insurance company. In general, SR-22 fees are between $0 - $200 a year.
Will an SR-22 increase my insurance rates?
Having an SR-22 will typically increase your insurance premiums because the insurance company is taking on additional risk.
Just how much your rates may increase depends on several factors like the company and the type of violation(s). In the meantime, you should talk with your auto insurer about options that may help you to lower your car insurance costs.
The good news is that once the SR-22 is no longer required, you're likely to experience more favorable rates.
How long will I need to have an SR-22?
While every state is different, the typical timeframe for maintaining an SR-22 is around 2-3 years. However, some may be as long as 5 years depending on the offense.4
Can I get an SR-22 for motorcycle insurance?
Most states offer SR-22s for motorcycle insurance. However, every state is different so check with your local DMV. You may also have to shop insurance companies to get an SR-22 filing specifically for a motorcycle.
How do I remove an SR-22 from my insurance?
An SR-22 doesn't come off your insurance policy automatically. Once your SR-22 is no longer required, you must notify your insurance company and have them remove the filing with your local DMV.