If you were involved in a traffic violation and your driver’s license has been suspended, you may need to file an SR-22 to have it reinstated. Needing an SR-22 is never good news — it means you have a severe violation on your driving record that makes you a high-risk motorist. By filing an SR-22 with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you prove that you have at least the required amount of insurance coverage as mandated by the laws in your state. However, you should know that SR-22 forms are not required in Delaware.
However, an SR-22 is not auto insurance. While car insurance is mandatory in Delaware, an SR-22 is a document establishing financial responsibility for someone who had their driver’s license suspended because of a violation. Although SR-22 forms are used in most states, some states may use an alternative form, such as an FR-44 and SR-21. Understanding these forms, even though Delaware doesn’t use the SR-22, might be helpful if ever need to file one in another state.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
Contrary to popular notion, an SR-22 is not a type of insurance. It is a document that proves you have at least the legally mandated auto insurance coverage, particularly after your license has been revoked because of a traffic violation. An SR-22 is a form that must be filed with the DMV by your car insurance company. The most common offense calling for an SR-22 is a DUI, but other major violations or repeat offenses might prompt the need for the form as well.
Generally, SR-22s are filed by insurance companies on your behalf. However, Delaware auto insurance companies will not file SR-22 forms as the forms are not required in the state. If you live in another state and need an SR-22, it could still be helpful to know how they work. Keep in mind that not all insurers provide SR-22 filings, and if yours does not, you will likely need to shop for coverage and switch your policy. An SR-22 form is not necessarily expensive, but it does indicate that you are a high-risk driver, which can lead to a steep increase in your car insurance cost. In most cases, an SR-22 remains on your record for three years.
SR-22 Delaware alternatives
Delaware is one of a handful of states that does not use SR-22 forms. If you reside in another state or hold a driver’s license issued outside of Delaware, you may need one of the following documents.
|Form||States issued||Required insurance minimums|
|SR-22||Most states (excluding Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania)||State minimum|
|SR-19||California, Texas||Uninsured motorist coverage|
|SR-21||Florida, Hawaii||State minimum|
|SR-22A||Georgia, Texas, Missouri||State minimum or more, pre-paid|
|FR-44||Florida, Virginia||Higher than state minimum (up to double)|
- SR-19: In California and Texas, this form may be required after an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- SR-21: This certificate shows that a driver was covered at the time of an accident or ticket.
- SR-22A: The SR-22A is very much like an SR-22 but requires that six months of car insurance coverage be paid in advance.
- FR-44: Florida and Virginia use this form for especially high-risk drivers or repeat offenders. Drivers with FR-44 filings are required to carry higher-than-state-minimum coverage.
- FR-19: This Maryland form provides proof of insurance for 30 days.
- SR-50: Indiana uses this form to prove coverage on a date in the past.
If you do not own a car but need an SR-22, you might want to purchase non-owner insurance. This type of policy provides car insurance coverage for you without insuring a car. Keep in mind that Delaware doesn’t require SR-22 forms, though, so even if you don’t own a car, you likely won’t need to get an SR-22 filing.
SR-22 Delaware insurance costs
Delaware does not use SR-22 forms, so there are no costs associated with the form in the state. On average, though, an SR-22 itself is not too expensive; it simply requires a small filing fee. However, having one on your driving record can significantly increase the cost of your car insurance premiums because of the driving incident that prompted the need for the SR-22 in the first place.
Delaware’s average annual car insurance premium is $1,775 per year for full coverage, which is already higher than the national average of $1,674. That’s assuming you have a clean driving record, too. Drivers with a history of traffic violations will likely pay more. If you have a major violation on your driving record and your car insurance is too expensive, you might want to shop around for a cheap car insurance company in Delaware.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in Delaware?
Delaware doesn’t require SR-22s, so you shouldn’t need the form in the state. However, in other states, an SR-22 remains on your driving record for at least three years, although it may be required for longer. For those years, you must maintain active and continuous car insurance coverage. If your policy lapses or is canceled (and if you haven’t replaced it with a new policy), your car insurance company will notify the DMV and your license will likely be suspended.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in Delaware?
You cannot get an SR-22 in Delaware; the form is not used in the state.
How much does SR-22 cost in Delaware?
Delaware doesn’t use SR-22s, but in general, the filing cost of an SR-22 form is usually relatively low. Keep in mind that SR-22 is not a type of insurance policy; it is only a document that gets attached to your driving record to establish that you have the required amount of insurance coverage. The driving incident that led to the SR-22 filing will likely increase your premium significantly.
What insurance company is best for drivers with SR-22s?
Even for drivers who need SR-22s, the best insurance company will vary. One driver might want the cheapest car insurance company while another is more concerned with customer service or needs a certain coverage type. Most insurance experts recommend shopping around to compare rates, coverage types, discounts and third-party reviews to find the company that best fits your needs.