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SR-22 forms are considered proof of future financial responsibility and are typically required for drivers convicted of serious moving violations. In Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has five different proofs of financial responsibility available and it is vital to understand which one you need, how long you need to carry it and how SR-22 filings can impact your car insurance rates.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
Although it is common to hear the term SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 is actually not insurance, it is an electronic form filed by insurance companies on your behalf. This form is a special proof of insurance that shows you carry at least the minimum car insurance coverage requirements for your state. When mandated to carry an SR-22, you must maintain continuous coverage during the requirement period. If an insurance lapse occurs, the Indiana BMV may suspend driving privileges until insurance is back in place and another SR-22 is on file. In Indiana, all drivers must carry at least the following types and limits of car insurance coverage:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability per accident
Who might need an SR-22 in Indiana?
Indiana can require drivers to obtain an SR-22 for many reasons, but not all are related to moving violations. You may need an SR-22 filing for any of the subsequent reasons:
- Driving without car insurance
- DUI or DWI conviction
- Numerous speeding and traffic violations within a short time frame
- Failure to pay traffic fines
- Numerous at-fault accidents
- Refusal of a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test
- Reinstatement of driving privileges (including court-ordered license suspensions due to failure to pay child support.)
Where can you get an SR-22 in Indiana?
SR-22 forms are submitted through BMV’s Electronic Insurance Forms Submission (EIFS) program by your car insurance company. Since your agent has all of your identifying information on file, the process of requesting an SR-22 is usually straightforward. You may need to know a few additional pieces of information like your case number, filing date, filing expiration date and reason for filing.
Not every car insurance company offers SR-22 insurance certification. If you discover that your current insurance company can’t file an SR-22, consider contacting an insurance provider specializing in non-standard insurance, which provides coverage for high-risk drivers.
Depending on your insurance company, you may need to pay for the SR-22 before your agent submits the form or they may include it in your next billing statement. It is common for agents to refile the form on your behalf automatically at each subsequent renewal and the filing fees are listed separately in your billing paperwork. Once the state notifies you that an SR-22 filing is no longer required, inform your agent of the update.
SR-22 alternatives in Indiana
Depending on the situation, drivers in Indiana may require an alternate form of proof of financial responsibility instead of an SR-22. Here’s a look at some common SR-22 alternatives and when they are needed.
|SR-22||This is the standard form the state requires to provide proof of future financial responsibility for infractions like DUIs, severe moving violations, and insurance lapses. The SR-22 must be refiled at every renewal until the filing period expires.|
|SR-26||Insurance providers must notify the BMV anytime a policy with an SR-22 is canceled and do so by submitting the SR-26. The same form is issued from your agent to the BMV when the SR-22 filing period has ended.|
|SR-50||The original purpose of this form was to show current proof of insurance, basically that a driver has an active policy. Instead of stating a specific coverage date, it shows the effective dates of the active policy term. The BMW no longer requires this form to reinstate driving privileges and instead uses the standard SR-22.|
|Certificate of Compliance (COC)||This form is used when drivers need proof of insurance to reflect a specific vehicle and date. Typically it is used in court for past citations or accidents.|
Affidavit-Proof of Financial Responsibility for Employer or Rental Vehicle
|This form pertains only to rental cars or companies on vehicles. In this situation, the form releases the driver from having to prove financial responsibility since they are not the true owners of the cars. However, the driver can’t complete this form themselves; it must be completed by an administrator of the employer or rental agency who oversees the company’s insurance policies.|
|Out-of-State Residency Affidavit||Drivers who were required to file an SR-22 but are no longer Indiana residents can submit this form to waive the SR-50 or SR-22 requirement. You can download the Out of State Residency Affidavit and bring the completed form along with proof of out of state residency to the Driver Compliance Department.|
SR-22 for non-owner policies
In some cases, Indiana drivers might be directed to purchase car insurance to meet SR-22 requirements even if they don’t own a vehicle. This can happen when a driver gets convicted of a serious traffic violation or loses their driving privileges after borrowing someone’s car. You may need a non-owner car insurance policy if this applies to you.
These policies cater to drivers who don’t own their own vehicle or have regular access to a vehicle but tend to borrow or rent cars frequently. A non-owner policy provides liability coverage for the driver instead of a particular car. Since a non-owner policy is a liability-only policy, it can be a cost-effective way to honor SR-22 requirements without owning a vehicle.
Not all insurance companies offer non-owners policies and some that do might not offer SR-22s. In this situation, it is better to reach out to an agent that works with several insurance carriers so they can point you in the right direction and handle the non-owner SR-22 filing.
How much does an SR-22 in Indiana cost?
The actual SR-22 filing in Indiana does not have a cost associated with it. However, every insurance provider handles SR-22 filings differently and most have an average processing or handling fee between $25 and $50. Unfortunately, that is just the start of what can be a costly process.
Drivers with a license suspension due to a lapse in car insurance must pay a license reinstatement fee. The fee structure is as follows:
- First offense: $250
- Second offense: $500
- Each additional offense: $1,000
License suspensions due to severe moving violations, DUIs and other transgressions may have additional fees and penalties beyond the reinstatement fees. The BMV will notify you of the exact amount required to reinstate your license.
In addition to the aforementioned fees, drivers requiring SR-22 filings are now considered high-risk drivers by car insurance companies. It is not the SR-22 that increases the cost of car insurance, it is the driving behavior and potential risk behind needing the SR-22. Insurance companies will assess any applicable surcharges related to the incident on your insurance policy. Increased car insurance rates can remain elevated for three to five years or more, depending on your state and the infraction. See the chart below for an example of how insurance premiums in Indiana can change based on driving activity.
|Average annual full coverage car insurance premium in Indiana|
|Clean driving record||$1,295|
|Insurance coverage lapse||$1,453|
Back on the Road
As of 01/01/2022, Indiana passed Act 1199 to help drivers keep their driving privileges and allow some drivers to regain their privileges when it would be otherwise cost prohibitive. The Back on the Road Act allows drivers with administrative license suspensions to stay their suspensions and legally drive. When drivers maintain an SR-22 continuously for 180 days, the state will waive the reinstatement fees. A few examples of eligible administrative suspensions are:
- Traffic violations
- Lapse in insurance violations
- Failure to pay outstanding tickets
- Failure to appear in court
- Failure to pay child support
Not every violation that requires an SR-22 falls into this category and the most severe violations are not eligible. Read this Back on the Road pamphlet for more detailed information and speak with your attorney or BMV employees for assistance.
Frequently asked questions
According to the Indiana BMV, SR-22s related to driving without insurance must be maintained for 180 consecutive days. Depending on the infraction, you may need to keep the SR-22 for up to five years. If your Indiana insurance cancels during the filing period, the BMV will receive an SR-26 from your insurance provider notifying them of your lapse in coverage. In this situation, your driving privileges automatically get suspended until the BMV receives an in-force SR-22 insurance certificate or the required filing period has expired.
The first step in getting an SR-22 in Indiana is to find an insurance company that offers SR-22 certificates. Your current insurance provider may offer SR-22 insurance, but if not, providers selling non-standard insurance may be another option. You must advise your insurance agent to submit the SR-22 on your behalf and pay their SR-22 filing fee. All SR-22 are filed through BMV’s Electronic Insurance Forms Submission (EIFS) program.
Your insurance company will usually refile the SR-22 automatically with each renewal. You will see any SR-22 filing fees listed as a separate line item on your policy billing statement. This is not the case with every insurance provider, so contact your agent and inquire about their SR-22 practices to be safe. In some cases, you can be penalized for failing to renew your SR-22 within a certain number of days before the expiration date.