Contrary to what you may have heard, an SR-22 is not an insurance policy. An SR-22 is a form that is filed with the state and that shows that your insurance policy meets or exceeds the state’s minimum requirements. The only thing an SR-22 does is show that you have the required level of insurance for your state; it doesn’t provide any insurance coverage (although you will need an active car insurance policy to get an SR-22). Different states use different forms, such as an FR-44 or SR-21. Regardless of which form you need, you may want to be aware of the financial consequences of these filings. Understanding how an SR-22 affects your policy might help you find cheaper auto insurance in Maine if you’ve been convicted of a major driving offense.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
An SR-22 in Maine proves that you have the appropriate amount of insurance as required by state law. This form is often required after a severe traffic violation (such as a DUI) or repeat offenses (such as multiple speeding tickets or at-fault accidents). Maine requires that drivers carry at least the following limits of coverage:
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $50,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $100,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $2,000 medical payments
After you’ve been told by the state that you need an SR-22, the form will be placed on file with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The SR-22 proves you have all of the coverage types and at least the limits listed above. Additionally, car insurance companies are required by law to notify the state of any policy cancellation for drivers with SR-22s. Should you not replace your canceled policy with another, your license will likely be revoked.
If you’re wondering how to get an SR-22 in Maine, the process is fairly simple. You can start by calling your Maine auto insurance provider and asking it to send an SR-22 to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If you do not currently have insurance, you will need to find a company that is willing to file the SR-22 form on your behalf. Keep in mind that even some of the best car insurance companies won’t file SR-22 forms or insure high-risk drivers; you may need to shop around.
SR-22 Maine alternatives
If you were convicted of a severe traffic violation in another state, you might be ordered to have that state’s equivalent of an SR-22 even though you live in Maine. The good news is that Maine has pretty rigorous insurance requirements, so it is possible you will not have to purchase any more insurance than you normally would.
|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: SR-19s are used in California and Texas when a driver is in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- SR-21: This form proves that a driver was insured at the time of an accident or ticket.
- SR-22A: SR-22As are similar to SR-22s but require that a longer period of coverage (often six months) be paid for in advance.
- FR-44: In a few states, these forms are used for especially high-risk drivers and require them to carry higher than the state minimum coverage.
- FR-19: Maryland uses this form to confirm insurance coverage for a period of 30 days.
- SR-50: This form is used in Indiana to confirm coverage on a date in the past.
If you need an SR-22 form but you don’t own a car, you may need to purchase a non-owner car insurance policy to get the filing. These policies give drivers liability coverage without providing coverage for a vehicle. The liability requirements are the same if you need an SR-22, but remember that not all companies will file the form. If you’re shopping for non-owner insurance, be sure to let the companies know that you need the form early in the quoting process.
SR-22 Maine insurance costs
To have an SR-22 filed, you will likely need to pay a one-time filing fee to your insurance company. The filing fee isn’t usually too high, but you’ll still likely see an increase in your premium due to the driving incident that led to you needing the SR-22. For example, Maine drivers convicted of a DUI often see a 92% increase in their insurance premium. When it comes down to premium increases, it’s your driving history that affects the cost of insurance — not the SR-22 itself.
If you find that your car insurance is too expensive after your driving incident, you could shop around for a cheaper company. If you find a carrier that can offer you a lower price and is willing to file the SR-22, you might want to switch your insurance.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in Maine?
If you have been ordered to get an SR-22, you’ll likely need to carry it for at least three years. During this time, you’ll have to maintain continuous insurance coverage. If your policy lapses or you cancel it and don’t buy a new policy (with an SR-22 filing), your car insurance company will notify the state and your license will likely be suspended. To reinstate it, you’ll probably need to buy car insurance again to file the SR-22 form.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in Maine?
You can’t file the SR-22 form yourself; rather, you should contact your insurance provider and ask for the form to be sent to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If you are not presently insured, or if your insurance carrier won’t file the form, you will need to find an insurance company that is willing to send an SR-22 for you.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in Maine?
Maine has the distinction of being one of the cheapest states for car insurance in the country, with an average annual auto insurance cost of $965 for full coverage. However, this assumes a driver has a clean driving record. The infraction that led to you needing an SR-22 will likely increase your premiums. Remember, though, that SR-22 insurance isn’t a thing. The SR-22 is just the form that is filed with the BMV and comes with a small filing fee, often around $25-35 on average.
What happens if my insurance company cancels my policy?
If an insurance company cancels your policy, you let the policy lapse or you cancel the policy, you’ll need to find a new insurance company to file the SR-22 form. If you do not, Maine will likely suspend or revoke your license.