In Oregon, drivers with significant violations on their driving record might need an SR-22 certificate to maintain their driving privileges. This form is essential for high-risk drivers to prove that they meet the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements. While often referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” it’s important to understand that an SR-22 is actually a certification of insurance — not a policy itself. Holding an SR-22 can be crucial in avoiding license suspension and ensuring you’re legally covered to drive, especially following serious traffic infractions.

What is SR-22 insurance?

Oregon drivers are legally required to purchase an SR-22 if they have certain negative marks on their driving record. SR-22s are also required when a driver loses their license for any reason. Some situations where a driver might need to purchase an SR-22 in Oregon include:

  • Getting charged with a DUI/DWI
  • Getting charged with reckless or negligent driving
  • Having multiple traffic violations or accidents in a short period of time
  • Getting convicted of driving without insurance
  • Applying to reinstate driving privileges after a license suspension
  • Applying for a hardship or probationary permit

In some cases, a driver in Oregon may not automatically lose their license after a serious violation. However, they may lose their license if they do not have an SR-22 on file by the required deadline.

For example, if a driver is caught without car insurance, they may be required to have an SR-22 starting on the date of conviction. For drivers who lose their license and want to reinstate their driving privileges, the SR-22 requirement typically starts on the end date of the suspension. Out-of-state drivers who are required to carry an SR-22 in Oregon may not obtain a license from another state until they file one in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not disclose how long drivers must file an SR-22 for, but in many states, SR-22 insurance stays on a driver’s record for three years, depending on the severity of the violation.

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Non-owner SR-22s for Oregon drivers

Drivers who require an SR-22, but do not own a vehicle, are typically required to purchase non-owners insurance. For instance, if a driver borrows their friend’s car to drive home from a bar and they get pulled over for a DUI, the driver would likely be required to purchase non-owners car insurance and file an SR-22 with the state.

Non-owners insurance provides bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. It covers the driver’s legal and financial responsibility in the event that they cause an accident in a borrowed vehicle. Non-owners insurance may be purchased from insurance companies that specialize in high-risk insurance.

Drivers should know that non-owners insurance does not typically offer any protection for the vehicle they are driving. If a driver caused an accident in a borrowed vehicle, they would likely be responsible for paying for the vehicle’s damages out-of-pocket.

Checking SR-22 requirements with the Oregon DMV

To find out if you need to obtain an SR-22 in Oregon, you can directly contact the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Phone contact: You can reach the Oregon DMV through various phone numbers based on your location. For example, the Portland Metro Area number is 503-299-9999. The call centers operate from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.
  2. Online inquiry: For specific questions, including whether you need an SR-22, you can submit an online inquiry through the Oregon DMV’s official website. This can be a convenient option if you prefer digital communication.
  3. Visit in person: If you’d rather speak to someone in person, visiting a local DMV office is also an option. The main DMV office is located at 1905 Lana Ave NE, Salem, OR, 97314. Remember to check the specific hours of operation for the office you plan to visit.

Cost of SR-22s in Oregon

The cost of SR-22 insurance in Oregon may vary based on the company that issues it. The cost to file an SR-22 with the state is typically fairly low, but the cost of the insurance policy associated with the SR-22 may be quite high as drivers with DUIs and other severe driving infractions typically pay some of the highest average auto insurance rates.

For example, after a DUI, the average cost of a full coverage car insurance policy in Oregon increases by over $1,200 per year. In addition, drivers who get their license suspended are required to pay a $75 reinstatement fee to the Oregon DMV. It’s important to note that the actual increase you experience in Oregon could be more or less depending on your specific circumstances and driving history.

Where can I get an SR-22 in Oregon?

In Oregon, there are several insurance carriers known for offering SR-22 filings and providing coverage for high-risk drivers. These companies can assist you in obtaining an SR-22 certificate, which is important if you’re required to prove financial responsibility due to certain driving violations. Remember, the availability and cost of SR-22 coverage can vary based on individual circumstances and the insurance provider’s policies.

Notable insurance companies that typically file SR-22s and may offer coverage for high-risk drivers include:

Each of these carriers has its own criteria around writing policies for high-risk drivers and process for SR-22 filing. It’s advisable to contact them directly or explore their websites to understand their specific offerings and how they can assist with your SR-22 requirements in Oregon.

Frequently Asked Questions

    • SR-22s and FR-44s are often grouped together, but they are actually two separate documents. SR-22s are issued for high-risk drivers in most states, whereas FR-44s are usually issued in Florida and Virginia only. FR-44 certificates usually require the driver to carry at least $100,000 in liability coverage. With an SR-22, the driver is only required to meet the state’s minimum liability requirement.
    • No, many insurers do not issue SR-22s. If you are required to file an SR-22 and your current insurer doesn’t issue them, then you may have to switch to an auto insurer that does. In these situations, you may consider researching auto insurance companies that specialize in high-risk auto insurance.
    • The first step is usually to make sure that you have an auto insurance policy with an insurance company that issues SR-22s. This policy must meet the state’s mandatory minimum coverage requirements. Once those requirements are met, you may contact your insurer and request that they issue you an SR-22. A small fee may be associated with the request, and then your insurance company will file the rest of the paperwork and issue your documentation.
    • Insurance companies use multiple factors to rate your car insurance policy, so the company that may offer the cheapest rates to one driver may not be as affordable for another driver. To find the cheapest car insurance for your situation, the best approach is usually to request quotes from several companies for the same coverage types and levels and compare them.
    • Most states require SR-22 insurance, with the exception of Florida and Virginia, where FR-44s are required. However, some states do not require SR-22 insurance. Drivers who live in Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania are not required to purchase SR-22 insurance if their license is suspended.