Every car owner needs auto insurance. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there’s still a potential danger on the road as you share it with others. Owning a vehicle requires you to have car insurance that fits your driving style.
In some cases, you may have to carry separate proof that you are paying a premium and that you’re willing to pay for damages if an accident occurs through your fault. That’s where the SR22 form comes in.
What is a SR22?
Some basic SR22 information—it is not a car insurance policy. It is a document that the state files along with the minimum requirement of car insurance that you need. It is a certificate of financial responsibility. There is another similar form known as an FR44 in Florida and Virginia, which requires a higher premium.
Upon documentation, the insurance provider will notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you have insurance. If regular payments to your premium came to a halt, the department would be notified as well. Both you and the state department will get a copy of the form.
Does Every Driver Need the SR22?
Laws may vary by state, and not everyone needs to have a copy of this document. Although in general, an SR22 form becomes a requirement for the following reasons:
- Your license has been suspended
- When you’re convicted of driving without the required auto insurance
- Diving without insurance upon an accident through your fault
- As a requirement for obtaining a probationary license
- For serious traffic violation convictions
- DUI violation convictions
While an auto insurance policy requirement varies from state to state, the SR22 document is retained for about two to three years. Again, this status period may depend on the state where you live. Once you move to a different state, you will need to refile another SR22 in compliance with state laws.
How Much Does an SR22 Cost?
Currently, an SR22 cost varies from one state to another, depending on the insurance company. Rates also match personal factors such as driving history, location, and other required information. Generally, SR22 rates range from $300–800, though some companies like Dairyland provides it for free. Insurance companies charge a filing fee of up to $50.
An SR22 also means that you are now considered a high-risk driver. You will be paying a higher premium for liability insurance, and you may also lose a good-driver discount. Some companies may require that you pay for the SR22 form in full for this reason.
You have to remember also that it’s the premium you’ll have to worry about as well. Getting the minimum amount of state-required insurance lowers the premium you need to pay monthly. You will also have to get comprehensive car insurance that may break the bank if you’re a bad driver. It’s better that you’re driving an affordable car that you’ve paid for cash before applying for an SR22.
Can an SR22 Status be Revoked?
Having an SR22 on your record is one of the reasons for the high premium but these are not permanent. The likelihood of the removal of the penalty is highly likely the more responsible you are while carrying it. However, as a carrier of an SR22 copy, that also means that you must not repeat any driving offenses.
The penalty may extend past the end date, and you’ll never get your license back. Another factor that can affect the retention of the status is if you don’t have enough insurance. You can inquire about the type of car insurance you need with an authorized agent.
When Do You Need an SR22?
An SR22 can be filed when ordered by a judge upon the suspension of your driver’s license. It is completely mandatory if you want to want to expel the SR22 from your driving history eventually. According to state law, you can also get it when you meet the minimum liability requirement.
In the strictest sense of the word, insurance can be anything that offers protection from a possible eventuality. In a way, the SR22 is technically protecting you upon the suspension of your driver’s license. It’s also for the insurance company to mark high-risk drivers who would eventually want to remove the penalty for the mutual benefit of both parties. Finally, it also protects other motorists. The SR22 is granted to irresponsible drivers to encourage the reformation of their reckless ways on the road. It ensures properties and, more importantly, lives.