If you have been caught for driving under the influence (DUI), or you have racked up several traffic violations throughout the years, you might want to consider getting an SR22. Most people often confuse it as a type of insurance, but it’s not. The SR22 is a certification that serves as proof of having the proper level of car insurance coverage in your state. You can get this one from your insurance provider.
When you have a DUI, are involved in an accident without insurance, have serious moving violations, or any event that makes you a severe driving and insurance risk, your state might require you to obtain SR22 certification. Additionally, the SR22 can also serve as proof of your financial responsibility.
A Close Look At SR22 Certification
An SR22 serves as proof of financial responsibility if you end up in a vehicular accident. Remember that it’s technically not a type of insurance but it is often seen as one. When you have one, it indicates that you have liability insurance coverage that complies with the minimum requirements set by your state.
Most states will require drivers to obtain liability coverage, including bodily injury liability coverage that pays for injuries you cause if you’re at fault in an accident. It also covers property damage that would pay for the repairs to another person’s vehicle or property.
Once you obtain an SR22 certificate, it becomes part of your driving record. It remains on your record as long as you’re required to have it in place. For example, it might be a requirement to provide an SR22 to your insurance company or motor vehicle division in your state. It’ll also serve as a prerequisite to reinstate a suspended or void driver’s license. The fees you need to pay will vary, depending on your state.
Who Needs An SR22 Certificate?
When an SR22 certification is needed, the requirements will vary by state, and not all will require one. Although not everyone needs to get an SR22, you might consider acquiring one for the following reasons:
- When you’re driving without insurance or a driver’s license
- You have been recently penalized for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
- You have long-standing child support obligations.
- You’re still applying for a probationary driving permit.
- You racked up multiple driving offenses in a short time frame.
If you’re prone to distracted driving, you might want to look at this post to learn more about why you need SR22 coverage. Remember that you need an SR22 on record in a state you got your license, even if you’re living in another state. The reason is the state where you’re temporarily residing might not issue you a permit without presenting proof of SR22 coverage from your home state.
How Much Is The Cost?
In most instances, the insurance company might only charge a minimal fee for filing your SR22 certification. Take note that the price tends to vary by provider. The SR22 is a form that you’ll file with the state and not an insurance policy. Nevertheless, getting one can affect your premiums, and not all insurance providers offer one.
Although the SR22 has a minimal fee, the premiums of your insurance might rise. Remember that the insurance rate will depend on your risk level as a driver. If you’re the risky type, you’ll have a higher premium. Since a pattern of high-risk driving behavior will require you to get an SR22, expect a higher price for your insurance. Additionally, your state might need a higher limit than the average minimum on your policy, adding further to your overall cost.
If you’re getting a new car insurance policy, you can save on expenses by looking for available options. Inform the insurance provider that you require an SR22 to make sure that the company offers one.
When you have an SR22 certificate, the insurance provider will file it with the state. At this point, you can get your license reinstated (if it was revoked or suspended) as long you have complied with the other prerequisites set by your state.
How Long Will It Last?
You might only need an SR22 for a few months, but it can also last for a few years. For those who live in Florida, you need SR22 coverage for a minimum of at least three years.
You’ll receive a notification from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that will inform you as to how long you need SR22 coverage. The SR22 requirement comes through the DMV and criminal courts. In case you gain additional infractions during the period, the end date will extend further.
When the time comes that you need to get an SR22 certification, it’s a manageable process that you can tackle as soon as possible. You only have to communicate and work with a trusted insurance provider. But depending on your risk level as a driver, it’s best to hope that you don’t have to need one in the near future.