Drivers required to get an SR-22 proof of insurance form usually have an underlying reason, often a major traffic violation like a DUI. However, “SR-22 insurance” doesn’t exist; an SR-22 isn’t an insurance policy, it’s a form that proves to the state that you have insurance coverage. An SR-22 is also considered a certificate of insurance or a financial responsibility filing form.
Maryland does not require SR-22 forms to be filed. Different states have different form types, so understanding the types of forms and what they are for could be helpful. Bankrate’s research might help you know how to proceed if you have been notified that you need a proof of insurance filing.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
An SR-22 is a proof of insurance certificate you may be required to provide in order to drive legally. It is typically used for high-risk drivers who have had prior traffic violations, been convicted of a DUI/DWI or have been caught driving without insurance. However, if you have been convicted of one of these infractions, you will not need an SR-22 in Maryland; the state does not use SR-22 filing forms.
Understanding how SR-22 forms work can still be useful, though. Generally, the car insurance company providing your coverage will submit the form electronically to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to prove that you meet minimum insurance requirements. This may be required for three to five years from the date of the incident. The time frame is determined by the state requiring the SR-22.
SR-22 Maryland alternatives
Proof of insurance requirement forms may be called different things in other states, and there are no alternatives in Maryland for an SR-22. However, Maryland car insurance companies may still be able to help you file a form called an FR-19, which is uniquely used in the state.
The table below outlines different financial responsibility form numbers, which states require which forms, and the insurance levels needed to satisfy the proof of insurance requirement.
|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: Drivers in California and Texas may need to file the SR-19 form after a collision with an uninsured motorist.
- SR-21: These forms are used as proof of insurance after a crash or ticket in some states. They verify to the DMV that the driver was insured at the time of the incident.
- SR-22A: These forms are similar to SR-22s but prove that you’ve paid for your car insurance coverage for an extended period of time.
- FR-44: “FR” stands for financial responsibility. These forms used in Florida and Virginia to prove financial responsibility for drivers with serious offenses, like DUI, DWI or driving on a suspended license. These forms also require drivers to carry higher limits than just the state minimum.
- FR-19: Maryland uniquely uses FR-19 forms, which verify insurance coverage for a period of 30 days.
- SR-50: Indiana uses SR-50 form to confirm that drivers were insured upon a past date.
If a driver is given an SR-22 insurance requirement but does not own their own vehicle, they can obtain a non-owner SR-22. This non-owner car insurance coverage provides liability coverage just like a standard car insurance policy but is not attached to a specific vehicle. However, drivers will not be required to file even a non-owner SR-22 in Maryland, since the state doesn’t use SR-22 filings.
SR-22 Maryland insurance costs
Drivers with an SR-22 requirement have done something to be considered high-risk, like having too many at-fault accidents or tickets, a DUI or a DWI conviction, or having been found to be driving without insurance. If you are court-ordered or state-ordered to comply with an SR-22 request, it means you must carry at least the minimum car insurance coverage outlined by the state. However, keep in mind that Maryland does not have an SR-22 requirement.
High-risk drivers typically pay higher premiums than other drivers and may have to pay a filing fee for the length of time the SR-22 is required. Filing fees aren’t usually too high, but the premium increase you could face after the driving violations that lead to an SR-22 could increase your premium significantly. The average cost of car insurance for a high-risk driver varies by state and other personal rating factors. You may be able to find a cheaper car insurance company, though, even with incidents on your driving records.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in Maryland?
Maryland does not use the SR-22 form, so you will not need a filing in the state. However, in general, SR-22 forms are required for three years after a violation, although the length of time could vary and is determined by the state or court system requiring the form. During that time, you’ll be required to maintain continuous coverage. Any lapse or cancellation will mean that your car insurance company will alert the state, which could then suspend your license.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in Maryland?
You cannot get an SR-22 form in Maryland. The state does not use the filing. If you are required to carry an SR-22 in another state, you’ll need to seek the help of that state’s DMV. Typically, your car insurance company will file the form with the DMV on your behalf, but this could be more complicated if you live in a different state than the state that requires the filing. However, not all car insurance companies will file these forms. If you need an SR-22 and your current carrier cannot file it, you might want to shop around to find the best car insurance for your situation. If you find a carrier that will file the form, you could switch your car insurance.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Maryland for high-risk drivers?
Bankrate’s research found that Nationwide, USAA and Geico are among the cheapest car insurance providers in Maryland. However, rates vary based on your own individual rating factors, so getting quotes from several carriers could help you find the lowest-priced policy for you.
How long does a DUI stay on my record?
A DUI in Maryland might show up on your driving record for your entire life, but it should only affect your car insurance premiums for around five years. Each company sets its own regulations, however, so the length of time you see a premium increase after a DUI could vary based on the car insurance company you are with.
What happens if I don’t buy insurance in Maryland?
Car insurance is required by law in Maryland. If you drive uninsured, you are breaking the law. Driving without insurance in Maryland can result in fines, license suspension and higher insurance costs when you do purchase a policy. If you cause an accident without insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying for the damages and injuries you cause out of pocket.