If you have been ordered to get an SR-22 in New Mexico, you may think you need to buy SR-22 insurance. However, an SR-22 isn’t an insurance policy; it’s a form that your car insurance company files with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to prove that you are carrying at least the state minimum car insurance limits.
Many states in addition to New Mexico also use SR-22s, but there are other form types that some states use. Regardless of which form you have been ordered to have, you may want to understand these filings and how they’ll affect the cost of your car insurance.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
An SR-22 is a form that proves to the MVD that you are properly insured. SR-22s are often required for high-risk drivers after major violations, like DUI convictions, to ensure that insurance coverage is maintained. In New Mexico, the minimum amount of car insurance that each driver, including those with SR-22s, must have is:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
Keep in mind that these are just the minimum requirements. Most insurance experts recommend that all drivers, including drivers who need SR-22 filings, purchase higher limits for greater financial protection.
To get an SR-22, you will need to speak with your New Mexico car insurance company and ask for the form to be sent to the MVD. You may want to be aware that not all companies will file SR-22s; even some of the best auto insurance providers aren’t willing to insure high-risk drivers. If your current carrier is one of those companies, you may need to switch your policy to a new company. If you do not currently have insurance, your first step is to find a company that is willing to file SR-22s.
New Mexico SR-22 alternatives
Just like car insurance rates vary by state, so do car insurance verification forms. SR-22s are relatively common, but you might want to have some knowledge of alternatives.
Here is how an SR-22 compares with other state forms:
|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: Both California and Texas use SR-19s after accidents with uninsured motorists.
- SR-21: SR-21s prove that a driver had at least state minimum coverage at the time of an accident or ticket.
- SR-22A: These forms are similar to an SR-22, but drivers are required to pay for at least six months of car insurance coverage in advance.
- FR-44: Virginia and Florida use FR-44 forms for particularly high-risk drivers. This filing requires a driver to carry higher limits than the state minimum.
- FR-19: Maryland is the only state that uses this form, which verifies coverage for 30 days.
- SR-50: Indiana uses SR-50s to confirm coverage on a date in the past.
If you have been ordered to file an SR-22 but do not actually own a car, then a non-owner insurance policy might be necessary to get the form. These policies provide drivers with car insurance coverage but don’t insure an actual vehicle. Just remember that not all companies will file SR-22s, so be sure to find a company that will.
SR-22 New Mexico insurance costs
The fees associated with an SR-22 itself are minimal — most drivers will have to pay a filing fee that is less than $50. You may also have fees associated with the driving incident and reinstatement fees for your license.
The largest cost behind an SR-22 actually has nothing to do with the SR-22 itself, but rather the driving history that necessitated it. For example, a DUI conviction in New Mexico results in an average car insurance rate increase of 94% per year. You might need to shop for cheaper car insurance after your SR-22 filing, but bear in mind that you’ll still likely pay more than if you had a clean driving record.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in New Mexico?
Most drivers required to file an SR-22 must have one on record for at least three years. However, if you receive subsequent convictions for other driving offenses, a judge may order you to file the form for a longer period of time. You have to maintain active insurance with no lapses when you have an SR-22 filing.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in New Mexico?
You will need to contact your insurance provider and ask for the SR-22 to be sent to the state for you. You may need to switch insurance companies if your current company will not file the form. If you do not currently have auto insurance, you will need to find a provider willing to work with you and your situation.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in New Mexico?
The only cost associated with an SR-22 itself is the filing fee, which varies from provider to provider but is usually under $50. However, your actual car insurance premium will likely increase due to the driving incident that led to you needing the SR-22. If your insurance is too expensive due to that incident, you may need to shop for a cheap New Mexico car insurance company.
What happens if I cancel my insurance policy with an SR-22?
You will need to replace it as soon as possible. Cancelling a policy (or letting a policy lapse) will cause your car insurance company to notify the MVD and your license could be suspended. The SR-22 filing means you have to maintain continuous car insurance coverage as long as the filing is required.