SR-22s are often required after a severe traffic violation (such as a DUI), but an SR-22 isn’t an insurance policy. Instead, car insurance companies file SR-22s, which are actually verification forms, to prove to the state that drivers are properly insured. While most states, including New York, use SR-22 forms, there are also alternative forms that high-risk drivers might need to file, depending on their driving records and where they live.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
SR-22 is not insurance. An SR-22 is a form that proves a driver is insured. Drivers ordered to file an SR-22 are simply proving that they are complying with their state’s car insurance laws. These forms are usually required after major traffic violations or a repeated number of violations.
New York state law requires all drivers, including those with an SR-22 filing, to have at least the following minimum coverage types and limits:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 death per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident and $100,000 death per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
- $25,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $50,000 statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
In New York, you can also purchase supplemental uninsured motorist coverage. The required statutory coverage only provides coverage within the state. If you purchase higher limits as supplemental coverage, you’ll get coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists outside of the state and also get underinsured motorist coverage.
An SR-22 form tells the state that you are currently insured. If you cancel your policy, your New York car insurance company is required by law to tell the state. Once the state finds out, your driver’s license will likely be suspended or revoked.
To get an SR-22, you should contact your insurance provider and ask for the form to be filed with the state. However, not all carriers will file SR-22s; even some of the best car insurance companies aren’t willing to file the forms or insure high-risk drivers. If your carrier won’t file the form, you might need to switch your auto insurance. If you do not have insurance, your first step is to find a provider who is willing to file the form for you.
SR-22 New York alternatives
Just like car insurance rates vary between states, so do car insurance requirements and verification forms. Many states besides New York use SR-22s, but some also have a different form. Most forms, however, do the same thing — verify that a driver is insured. Most of the time, drivers are required to file these types of forms after they have been convicted of a major traffic violation.
|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: This form is needed to verify a driver was insured at the time of an accident or ticket.
- SR-22A: An SR-22A is a variant of SR-22 and requires drivers to prepay for six months or more of car insurance.
- FR-44: Florida and Virginia require repeat offenders or particularly risky drivers to file this form, which mandates that higher-than-state-minimum limits be carried.
- FR-19: Maryland is the only state that uses the FR-19, which proves coverage for 30 days.
- SR-50: Indiana uses the SR-50 to confirm coverage at a past date.
If you do not own a car but have been ordered to file an SR-22 to the DMV, a non-owner car insurance policy might be the answer. These policies provide coverage just for drivers without insuring a car. Having a non-owner policy with a company that is willing to file SR-22s means you’ll be able to buy the coverage needed to get the form.
SR-22 New York insurance costs
The only cost associated with the SR-22 itself is the filing fee that insurance companies charge to send the filing to the state. That fee will need to be paid at the time you purchase your policy and with each renewal that the SR-22 is required, but it’s usually below $50. You might also have fees associated with your violation and license reinstatement. However, the main cost associated with an SR-22 does not actually have anything to do with form, but rather the driving incident that necessitated the form.
For example, a DUI in New York, which is a common cause of needing an SR-22, increases the cost of car insurance in the state by an average of 86% per year. This means each driver with an SR-22 requirement is likely going to pay a different amount for car insurance because each driver has their own unique driving history. If you find that you can’t afford your coverage after your SR-22 requirement, you might need to shop for a cheaper New York auto insurance provider.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in New York?
Drivers ordered to file an SR-22 must do so for an average of three years. However, if you are convicted of another offense or let your policy lapse, you may have to start that three years over again. You have to maintain active insurance with no lapses for the duration of your SR-22 filing.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in New York?
To get an SR-22, you’ll need to contact your insurance company and ask a representative to send an SR-22 to the DMV. If you do not currently have insurance, you will need to find a company that is willing to work with drivers who need an SR-22. If your provider won’t file the SR-22, you’ll need to shop around for a carrier that will insure you with the form requirement on your record.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in New York?
There is a filing fee, and the amount varies with each insurance company, but it’s usually under $50. Other costs associated with SR-22s revolve around the violation that prompted the need for the form. Your premium is likely going to be higher than if you had a clean driving record, but you may still be able to take steps to get the cheapest auto insurance for your situation.
What happens if my insurance provider cancels my policy while I have an SR-22?
You will likely have time to find a new provider to file the SR-22 for you. Remember, the form requires you to maintain active and continuous insurance, so if your insurance company notifies you that your coverage is being cancelled, you’ll need to find a new carrier before the last day of the policy. Otherwise, your license will likely be suspended or revoked.