If you need an SR-22, then the odds are, you probably received that directive from the court or your state DMV. SR-22 forms verify that you meet a required level of car insurance, often called for after certain auto incidents occur.
SR-22 is not a type of insurance, but serves as proof of required levels of insurance for certain circumstances. These forms have no direct, inherent impact on a driver’s insurance rates. However, they are usually only required after an incident that might directly lead to an auto rate increase; incidents like DUIs, for instance, will increase your rate and may lead to an SR-22 requirement. While they may involve a filing fee, the real “SR-22 cost” is often the incident that led to the form being required.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
An SR-22 is an insurance verification form that proves you have met a required amount of auto insurance. These forms are generally required from drivers who have had certain auto incidents or car insurance issues. Driving without insurance or a license can result in needing an SR-22, as can DUIs and other severe offenses. To be issued an SR-22, you must first meet the required auto insurance minimums. In most cases, this minimum will be the state auto liability minimum.
Thankfully, getting an SR-22 is relatively easy, provided you qualify for insurance coverage. First, contact your insurance company, or select an insurance company that you would like to use. Consider the Bankrate guide for Best Car Insurance Companies as a starting place. Next, you need to have or purchase the required level of auto insurance. Then, you pay the SR-22 filing fee and request that your insurer file the form. After the company files the form, you may need to wait up to a couple of weeks to receive your confirmation.
Similar to an SR-22 form, non-owner SR-22s are a form verifying you have required levels of non-owner insurance. Non-owner policies are designed for people who drive but do not own a vehicle and may not consistently have access to the same car. Most auto insurance is designed to follow the vehicle, while non-owner insurance policies are designed to follow the driver. If you are caught driving in a situation that would lead to an SR-22 requirement but do not have your own vehicle, then you may be required to obtain a non-owner SR-22 form. This ensures that when you drive, you have at least the state minimum liability insurance.
SR-22 vs FR-44
Depending on the state, other forms besides the SR-22 are used for verification of insurance following various incidents. The SR-22 is the most widely used, but the FR-44, SR-21, SR-22a and SR-50 forms are also used within a few states and serve a similar purpose. Each of these forms provides proof of mandatory insurance when required by the court or the state.
The circumstances that lead up to this request, and the state in which it occurs, determine which form a driver will need. For instance, the FR-44 is often required of drivers in Florida and Virginia convicted of a DUI. Unlike the others, this form generally comes with a requirement to hold double the standard mandatory minimum for auto insurance.
If you do not live in Florida or Virginia, you’re unlikely to need an FR-44. Most states use the SR-22 form. The SR-22 can be required in many circumstances, ranging from driving without insurance, receiving a DUI or getting too many traffic tickets. In contrast, the FR-44 is usually used for DUI and DWI offenses.
|Form||States issued||Required insurance minimums||Qualifying circumstance|
|SR-22||All states except for Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania||State mandatory minimum for auto liability||Driving without insurance or license or receiving a DUI|
|FR-44||Florida, Virginia||Double the state mandatory minimum for auto liability||DUI or DWI|
|SR-21||Florida, Georgia, Indiana||State mandatory minimum for auto liability||Auto accidents and traffic tickets|
|SR-22a||Georgia, Texas, Missouri||State mandatory minimum for auto liability||More than one driving-without-insurance citation|
|SR-50||Indiana||State mandatory minimum for auto liability||Driving without insurance or being a high-risk driver|
SR-22 insurance costs
While the SR-22 itself will not raise your insurance rates, the incident that led to needing this form likely will. The types of offenses that lead to these forms are among the ones that most affect insurance rates. For instance, if you are caught driving without insurance, you may be required to get an SR-22.
Doing so will involve getting at least the state’s minimum liability insurance. Still, because you were breaking the law and driving without insurance in the first place, the insurance companies will likely charge you more for their products. In general, the higher risk a driver demonstrates, the more insurance companies will charge.
If you’re looking for cheap SR-22’s, then you’re in luck. The fees associated with these forms are generally in the $25-$50 range. The main costs associated with these forms is in the amount of car insurance they require. Suppose you do not currently hold the state minimum auto insurance, or you do but the FR-44 requires you to have double the minimum required amount. In either case, you would have to purchase enough coverage to meet the requirements. And as mentioned above, recent driving incidents can lead to you paying a higher premium than you would have with a clean record.
How long do I need an SR-22?
Generally, these forms are required for three years. However, the duration can vary between two years and five. The duration changes between states and can also be impacted by circumstances. For example, drivers who commit further offenses after getting an SR-22 may have the required duration period extended.
Depending on why you need an SR-22 and what your driving record is like, you may see a required duration that is longer than average.
The courts and the states may choose a more extended time required for people who appear to be higher-risk drivers. For instance, situations like DUIs, hit-and-runs and other extreme offenses will often see longer SR-22 requirements.
In summary, SR-22 is a proof of insurance form that states and courts often require from drivers who have broken particular traffic laws. Generally, these forms are for more severe violations. Things like DUIs, driving without insurance or license, hit-and-runs and other such offenses. The SR-22 does not inherently increase insurance rates, but typically correlate to other events that occur that can directly cause rates to rise. These forms serve to ensure that high-risk drivers maintain a minimum amount of auto insurance.