The SR-22 ——most people probably have a hazy idea of what it is. Maybe you’ve had a friend who needed one or you understand vaguely that it has to do with car insurance. But really, what is it? Is it something you get from the DMV or your car insurance company? Does everyone have to have one?
Here is some simple points you need to know about SR-22.
SR-22 —— not really insurance
An SR-22 — also known as SR-22 insurance or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) — isn’t a type of car insurance, but verification that you’re maintaining car insurance liability coverage. An SR-22 form is a state-mandated certificate filed by your car insurance carrier with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
SR-22 —— people who need it
You might also need an SR-22 if you had any of the following:
• A DUI or DWI or any serious moving violation
• An at-fault accident while driving without insurance
• Repeat traffic offenses or too many tickets in a short time period
• A revoked or suspended license
SR-22 —— not very expensive
Though it varies by state, car insurance companies will typically charge a nominal fee of $15 to $25 for filing an SR-22 form.
If you need an SR-22, however, you’ll first need to purchase a car insurance policy. Your car insurance rate will be determined based on all the factors that normally go into rating a policy. Keep in mind that car insurance companies generally consider drivers who need an SR-22 riskier to insure, so your car insurance rates will likely reflect the risk.
How to get an SR-22?
To obtain an SR-22, you’ll need to go through your car insurance provider. Only an insurance company that is filed with the state can issue SR-22s.
Additionally, if you have an SR-22 in one state but move to another, you’ll need to fulfill the SR-22 requirements for your former state, and your new liability limits will need to meet the minimums required by law in your former state.
How long does an SR-22 have to be maintained?
Most states require drivers to carry SR-22 insurance for 3 years. In that time, continuous coverage must be maintained. If there is an insurance lapse or cancellation, your car insurance company is legally obligated to notify the DMV and your license will be suspended.
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