If you’ve received a notice in the mail from the DMV asking you to provide an SR-22 you may wonder what that form is and why you’re being asked for it. An SR-22 request typically follows these driving events:
- You have several traffic violations — such as speeding tickets — in the last six months
- You’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI (an FR-44 is required, with liability limits of 100/300)
- Your license was suspended for failing to pay child support
- You caused an accident and didn’t have car insurance
Any of these types of situations could trigger the Florida DMV to request you submit an SR-22. With insurance in place, obtaining an SR-22 form in Florida is not that difficult, but there are a few important aspects of the process to understand.
Florida also has two additional forms required under specific circumstances, the FR-44 and the SR-21, which are similar to the SR-22 requirement. An FR-44 is required in Florida and a few other states when alcohol is involved in the incident, or based on the severity of the infraction, while an SR-21 is required under narrower circumstances involving an accident or traffic ticket.
SR-22 insurance in Florida
It is a common assumption that “SR-22” is a type of insurance and often, references to “SR insurance” or “SR-22 insurance” are used by drivers seeking more information about the requirement. However, technically an SR-22 isn’t insurance although car insurance is tied to the SR-22. The SR-22 is a document — a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility” to be exact. The certificate is created by car insurance companies to assert that you have the minimum amount of insurance the State of Florida requires for all drivers.
Before your insurance company provides you with a Florida SR-22 certificate, you’ll need to have car insurance. By providing an SR-22 certificate, the insurance company is making a guarantee to Florida’s DMV that you have a valid auto insurance policy and you’re financially responsible for any damages you may cause in the event of an accident. Because of the risk associated with drivers who are mandated to provide an SR-22, some insurers may deny coverage or will not provide these forms.
Other insurance forms required in Florida
Florida is one of only a handful of states which have SR-22 requirements, in addition to alternative forms required under other circumstances. As a result, Florida drivers need to clearly understand this more complex regulatory environment.
|SR-22||An SR-22 is required in Florida for drivers who have committed a serious traffic violation, like reckless driving or driving without insurance.|
|FR-44||This form is required for Florida drivers who are ticketed for serious offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The FR-44 requirements include the need to buy car insurance with higher limits than those required by an SR-22.|
|SR-21||An SR-21 form is required in more narrow circumstances relating to automobile accidents and traffic violations.|
Cost of SR-22 insurance in Florida
The costs associated with an SR-22 extend beyond the fee for the actual certificate, which is typically between $15-$25.
If your license has been suspended or revoked, it means you have a number of serious traffic violations on your driving record. Car insurers will consider you a risky-to-insure driver who is more likely to cause an accident or be involved in expensive insurance claims that the car insurance company may end up financially responsible for. Therefore, you may qualify for coverage, but it will generally come at a higher price.
Not all car insurance companies provide SR-22’s in Florida, possibly because of the increased risk the driver represents. As long as the traffic incident(s) that led to the need for an SR-22 remain on your record, you’ll need to maintain the (potentially more expensive) car insurance.
In Florida, you’ll need to keep your SR-22 certificate (and a corresponding insurance policy) in force for three years, which reflects the time it will take for the violations to get removed from your driving record.
If you stop paying for the coverage in the three-year period, your insurance company that certified that you have the legal amount of coverage required is obligated to report you, as that is the intent of the SR-22 or FR-44 requirement. Failure to remain insured under an SR-22 certificate can lead to your driver’s license getting suspended or revoked.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance for Florida drivers
What happens if you’ve been asked to provide an SR-22 before the DMV will reinstate your driver’s license, but you don’t own a vehicle? You can still get car insurance by purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy. Non-owner car insurance covers you and not your car. This means you’ll be insured if you drive someone else’s vehicle. Once you purchase non-owner auto insurance, the insurer can issue a Florida SR-22 certificate so you can request to have your driver’s license reissued.
Frequently asked questions
How do I get an SR-22?
To get an SR-22, you’ll need to follow a couple of steps. If you already have car insurance, contact your insurance company, ask for an SR-22 and pay the fee. The insurance company will issue you a copy and send the original directly to the state or DMV. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to purchase coverage first before the insurance company drafts the SR-22.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in Florida?
SR-22 forms cost between $15-$25 on average, but your car insurance rates will likely increase if the need for an SR-22 is based on a major infraction on your driving record.
Who sells SR-22 certificates in Florida?
Not every car insurance company in Florida issues SR-22 certificates. Among the companies that do, GEICO, USAA, American Family and The General provide SR-22 forms to Florida drivers.
Can I cancel my SR-22 after my license gets reinstated?
Insurance for an SR-22 in Florida must remain paid and up-to-date for three years. If you cancel your car insurance or can’t afford to pay it and the policy lapses, your insurance carrier will report you to the DMV and your SR-22 certificate would become invalid. Your driver’s license can also be suspended or revoked.