• Jarod Evans

What Is an SR-22?

If you've had a DUI or another serious offense, you may need an SR-22 insurance form. Here’s what to do.

After a serious traffic violation, you may face a car insurance requirement you haven’t encountered before. To keep your driver’s license, or get it back after it’s been revoked, you may need an SR-22 form from your auto insurer. (There’s not a special policy called “SR-22 insurance.”)

Having to file an SR-22 is no one’s idea of fun. You’ll pay higher car insurance premiums than a driver with a clean record and you’ll be limited in your choice of insurers. But shopping around for the cheapest rates can help. Here’s what you need to know.

What is an SR-22?

Even though it might be called “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 form isn’t actually an auto insurance policy — it’s an official document to prove you’ve bought the minimum liability insurance required in your state. The SR-22 form may also be called a certificate of financial responsibility.

With an SR-22, insurance companies assure your state’s motor vehicle or insurance department that you’ll maintain coverage for a certain period of time. If you don’t, the insurer will alert your state, and your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked.

Who needs an SR-22?

An SR-22 allows you to keep or reinstate your driving privileges after serious or repeated offenses.

You might be required to have an SR-22 if:

  • You’ve been convicted of DUI, DWI or another serious moving violation.

  • You’ve caused an accident while driving without insurance.

  • You’ve got too many traffic tickets in a short time, such as three or more speeding tickets within six months.

  • You didn’t pay court-ordered child support.

  • Your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.

How to get an SR-22

The procedure for getting an SR-22 form can vary by state, but here’s how it typically unfolds.

When you’re notified you need an SR-22, start by contacting your auto insurance company. Some insurers don’t offer this service, so you may need to shop for a company that does.

If you don’t already have auto insurance, you’ll probably need to buy a policy in order to get your driving privileges restored. And the insurer may require you to pay the entire premium upfront — either six or 12 months’ worth.

When your coverage is in place, the insurance company will file the SR-22 form with your state’s traffic authorities.

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