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The term SR-22 often comes up in regard to car insurance, but while the term is pretty common, not everyone is aware of what it means. If you’re unsure of what an SR-22 is, it’s an insurance verification form that many states require from drivers who have committed serious traffic offenses, like DUIs and hit-and-runs.
If you’ve been found responsible for a serious driving violation, you may be required to get an SR-22 to maintain your legal driver status in your state. And, you may even be required to obtain an SR-22 without a car. In those cases, you’ll need what is called a non-owner SR-22. Either way, it can be helpful to understand what these forms are and how to get one. The good news is that you typically don’t have to do much to obtain one; your auto insurance company will generally handle most of the process, but not until you meet the requirements.
What is an SR-22?
These forms can cause some confusion because of the language around them. SR-22 insurance isn’t actually insurance at all. Instead, it is an insurance verification form that may be required when you commit certain traffic violations. These forms prove to the state that you are maintaining the legally mandated amount of auto insurance coverage. The idea behind them is that some drivers demonstrate a greater level of risk on the road and so need to be monitored more closely. Specifically, the state uses the SR-22 to ensure that high-risk drivers maintain an adequate level of auto insurance coverage.
Why would I need an SR-22?
If you have been convicted of a DUI, a hit-and-run, or even numerous lesser violations, you may be ordered by the state to obtain an SR-22 form. This is required of drivers who have shown themselves to be particularly high-risk. Suppose your driving record shows that you’re more likely to cause financial damages with a vehicle or less likely to maintain the legally required level of car insurance. In these situations, the state may see you as a high-risk driver and then require you to file an SR-22, proving that you maintain the required amount of auto insurance.
What is a non-owner SR-22?
Non owner car insurance SR-22 forms work the same as a regular SR-22, except they pair with non-owner car insurance policies. Like non-owner car insurance, a non-owner SR-22 is designed for those who do drive but do not own their own vehicle. In these cases, the form shows that the driver is maintaining enough non-owner basic liability coverage to meet the state insurance laws. The state doesn’t require that you have your own vehicle, only that you are adequately insured while you drive.
When would I need an SR-22 without a car?
The same instances that can lead to an SR-22 can lead to needing SR-22 insurance without a vehicle. In essence, committing these traffic violations while driving a car that isn’t owned by you can lead to you needing a non-owner SR-22. Many drivers do not own a vehicle but instead, borrow one. Non-owner car insurance and non-owner SR-22s are designed for these situations.
How do I get an SR-22 without a car?
Before you can get SR22 insurance without a car, you must meet the state-mandated auto insurance requirements in your state. In most states, this is called basic liability or minimum coverage. When you don’t have a car, you need to find an insurance company that will sell you non-owner minimum coverage auto insurance. Once you have procured this policy, you can inform the insurance company that you need a non-owner SR-22. After a filing fee and processing time, they will provide you with one.
Here’s how to get an SR-22 without a car.
- First, the state needs to require or request that you obtain one.
- If you don’t have non-owner car insurance, find an insurance company that offers it.
- Purchase a non-owner car insurance policy if you do not have one yet.
- Inform your insurance agent that you need to file a non-owner SR-22.
- Pay the filing fee and wait for the form.
What does a non-owner SR-22 cover?
These forms generally report on basic liability or minimum coverage. The SR-22 verifies that you meet the state minimum requirement for auto insurance and does not deal with those coverages that exceed this requirement. For example, the SR-22 deals with basic liability coverage but not with collision or comprehensive. Most states require only basic liability, which can pay towards the costs of others if you are at fault for an auto accident. SR-22s verify that you are meeting these minimum coverage car insurance requirements.
Frequently asked questions
There isn’t one best car insurance company for all drivers. The best car insurance companies vary for each person because rates are determined by a number of personal factors, and car insurance needs tend to vary significantly too. The type of coverage you need or want typically plays a significant part in the companies you shop with for your policy, as can other factors, like the cost of your coverage and other factors, like the company’s financial stability or customer service ratings.
Insurance rates can vary significantly between customers based on numerous variables. Factors like age (except in HI), location, company, vehicle, driving record and more are all considered when insurance companies determine rates. Because rates are so personalized, it can be hard to select just one company as having the cheapest auto insurance. Consider comparing insurers from the Bankrate guide to the cheapest car insurance companies for 2021.
The amount of coverage you need depends on numerous factors, including your state laws. Auto insurance requirements vary by state, and you have to meet at least the mandatory minimum coverage amounts to drive legally. Some drivers choose to purchase more than the minimum, however, which can provide greater coverage and help to cut down on losses related to covered events. While you aren’t legally required to buy more than the minimum coverage, the minimum isn’t always enough to cover the costs of an auto accident. And, if you have a loan on your vehicle or are leasing, your lender may require you to carry more than the minimum.
While many states use the SR-22 insurance form, some states use different forms, and others don’t use any of these forms. The SR-22 is the most common, but there is also the FR-44, SR-21, SR-22a and SR-50. Each of these forms is used for state-mandated insurance verification under specific circumstances and in certain states. A licensed insurance agent in your area should be familiar with what your state requires and can guide you through the process.