Navigating Georgia’s roadways may call for understanding the purpose of an SR-22 certification for some drivers. This document isn’t insurance, but rather proof that you’re meeting the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements, often required after serious traffic violations. Understanding the SR-22 requirements in Georgia is essential for those looking to maintain or reinstate their driving privileges. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team simplified the information you need to know to best help you in your search for coverage.

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What is “SR-22 Insurance?”

An SR-22 isn’t actually insurance, but rather a certification that verifies you’re carrying the required insurance coverage. It’s commonly mandated following serious driving infractions, such as driving uninsured, DUI/DWI convictions or even nonpayment of child support. In Georgia, the requirement for an SR-22 can be initiated by either a court order or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).

To secure an SR-22, you’ll need to request SR-22 filing from an insurer that is willing to file this form on your behalf. While your existing insurance provider might offer this service, SR-22 filings are not a universal offering due to the high-risk nature associated with them. Nevertheless, some of the best car insurance companies, like Geico and Progressive, often accommodate drivers in need of an SR-22, contingent upon meeting their underwriting standards.

An SR-22 serves as proof that you are insured with at least Georgia’s mandatory minimum coverage levels, which include:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

SR-22 alternatives in Georgia

If an SR-22 is ordered by a court or the state of Georgia, there aren’t alternatives to what you need. If you wish to keep your license and continue driving, you will need to ask your insurance company to send an SR-22 to the DDS as soon as possible. If you don’t have insurance, you will need to find an insurance company willing to insure drivers in need of an SR-22. These are the only options.

SR-22 for non-owner policies

If Georgia deems you a high risk driver but you don’t own a vehicle, you can still file an SR-22 by getting non-owner insurance. Many companies offer non-owner car insurance, so rate shopping shouldn’t be too difficult. Just make sure that whatever company you choose will also file an SR-22 on your behalf to the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

Many drivers opt for non-owner insurance if they frequently rent vehicles or borrow someone else’s car as an extra layer of liability insurance. It may also be necessary if you want to keep your license but have no plans of driving in the near future after a severe traffic violation conviction (such as a DUI).

SR-22A in Georgia

An SR-22A is also a form demanded by either a court or the state of Georgia. However, with an SR-22A, drivers must pay for insurance six months in advance, and they must do so for three years. SR-22As are required after a driver has been caught driving without insurance multiple times or after an unsatisfied judgment. Like a regular SR-22, an SR-22A does not have any alternatives if the state or a court has ordered you to have one on file with the DDS.

How much does an SR-22 in Georgia cost?

Depending on which company you have, Insurance companies charge a one-time fee of $15-35. However, the true cost of an SR-22 boils down to the fees and surcharges related to the reason Georgia or a court requires you to have one.

Usually, drivers require an SR-22 or SR-22A to reinstate driving privileges, which also come with fairly hefty penalties. If insurance lapses during the filing period, the DDS will re-suspend your driver’s license. Georgia drivers can receive a discount on some fees if they pay online or through the mail instead of in person. Below is a chart showing license suspension types with corresponding fees.

Reason for suspension Cost by mail Cost in person
Child support $25 $35
DUI (For first offense for age 21 and over) $200 $210
Failure to appear $90 (online payment) $100
No proof of insurance (First offense) $200 $210
No proof of insurance (Second offense and more) $300 $310
Points Violation (First offense) $200 $210
Points Violation (Second offense) $300 $310
Points Violation (Third offense) $400 $410
Super Speeder $50 plus $200 Super Speeder fee (online payment only)

Aside from the cost of state fees, you may see an increase in your car insurance rate. Most insurance companies run motor vehicle reports before each policy renewal. Once they are aware of the new driving activity, the policy may be surcharged. Policy surcharges are a point-based system insurance companies use to account for increased risk. While surcharges typically stay on a policy for three years, they decrease in severity over time. The chart below shows how insurance premiums in Georgia can change based on driving activity.

Average annual full coverage car insurance premium in Georgia
Clean driving record $2,609
Accident $3,674
DUI conviction $4,781
Speeding $3,188

Frequently asked questions

    • Georgia state law requires SR-22s to remain in effect for three years (this also applies to SR-22As). If you continue to have driving offenses, it’s possible a judge may order the SR-22 ‘clock’ to be reset— meaning you’ll need to start the three year cycle over again.
    • If you already have insurance, check with your agent. Hopefully, they can file the SR-22 or SR-22A for you. Several high-risk auto insurance companies offer SR-22 forms, so you can switch providers if necessary. When shopping for new coverage, ask about possible discounts that can help lower your insurance premium, such as telematics or defensive driver courses.
    • It depends on your insurance company. While the form does not have a fee, companies usually charge between $15 and $35 to send an SR-22 on your behalf. Keep in mind that the cost of your premium may increase significantly depending on the reason behind the SR-22 requirement.
    • If your SR22 insurance in Georgia is canceled, Georgia DDS will cancel your driver’s license if you are unable to find another provider willing to insure you.
    • You will need an SR-22A — meaning you will have to pay six months in advance.

      Georgia DDS also accepts an SR-22 form if the provider states that you paid your premium in full.