In certain instances when a driver has shown a lapse in responsible driving, he or she may be required by the state to prove financial responsibility by filing an SR22 certificate. This certificate is obtained from insurance companies by purchasing an SR22 policy. These policies usually have higher premiums than standard policies do, but most companies are very helpful in providing them and offering assistance with filing them. While the laws and regulations vary in each state, a few general guidelines cover most situations and locations.
SR22 insurance is a type of automotive liability insurance that includes an SR22 certificate. This certificate serves as proof of financial responsibility, and states may order certain individuals to obtain and submit this document to maintain driving privileges or to have a suspended or revoked driver’s license reinstated. The certificate must be obtained from a qualified provider licensed in the driver’s state of residence, and the policy must meet the state’s minimum liability requirements. However, in some cases, the SR22 may have to be submitted to a different state.
When Is It Required?
While the specific laws vary in each state, some of the reasons that an SR-22 may be mandated for an individual are as follows:
• A driver is convicted of driving without insurance or with a policy that does not meet the state’s minimum qualifications.
• An individual owns and is the current registrant of a vehicle that was involved in an accident while uninsured.
• A driver has repeated traffic offenses in a short period of time.
• A driver has had his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked and wants to have it reinstated. In some states, the suspension must have been mandatory, which may be imposed for infractions such as reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
• A driver has had his or her license suspended and is applying for a hardship permit.
The above list is by no means comprehensive, and drivers who require further information should contact their state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
How Long Is It Required?
You can think of it as a type of probation. The specific length of time that an individual is required to be covered varies by state and may vary by the reason it is being mandated. In many states, the minimum length of time is three years. However, most states require that a new certificate is filed every six months during the time it has been mandated.
How to Obtain SR22 Insurance Quotes
Most insurance companies offer SR22 insurance policies. The premiums may be higher than those for standard auto insurance, but the exact price varies by company. Websites that provide quotes can usually help individuals locate a policy with the lowest cost. However, some providers also offer helpful ancillary services, such as electronic filing, which may be more important than cost to some individuals.
How and Where to File an SR-22 Certificate
Certificates must be filed with the DMV in the state that has mandated it or the driver’s current state of residence. This may be accomplished by mail, but many states have implemented electronic filing systems. In addition, many companies will file SR22s on behalf of policyholders, which makes the process very simple.
Some states also require a filing fee. This fee may have to be paid directly to the state, but it may be possible to pay the fee through the insurance company if they will be filing it. If the fee is paid by the company, it may be added to the premium, but when shopping for SR22 insurance quotes, it may not be included in the original quote.
Some states, such as Oregon, verify auto insurance through a random lottery system. If the registered owner of a vehicle is selected for verification, proof must be submitted within six months. If the proof is not submitted and if it does not meet the minimum requirements or if the owner’s actual insurance is different from that submitted, a certificate will need to be obtained.
If a driver is required to carry SR22 auto insurance in his or her state of resident, but moves to a different state, the driver must continue to submit the certificate to the original state even though it is no longer the state of residence. In addition, the carried in the new state must meet the minimum liability limits of the original state. Some insurance providers do not offer filing for other states, so it is imperative to contact the provider to discuss the details.
Any driver who is required to carry a certificate should always verify the details of the SR22 requirement with the DMV in the state mandating the insurance and with his or her provider. No single source provides all of the pertinent information for each state, and requirements may change with little or no notice, that is why it is pertinent to get multiple SR22 insurance quotes.