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SR-22s are proof of insurance forms that are commonly required after major traffic violations, such as DUIs or reckless driving charges. Car insurance carriers file these forms with the state to prove that a driver is carrying at least the state minimum required car insurance coverage types and limits. However, Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that does not use SR-22 forms. You will not need to purchase SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania, but understanding how proof of insurance forms work and what alternatives exist could still be helpful.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
SR-22 insurance is an incorrect term. An SR-22 does not provide any insurance coverage; it only proves to the state that a driver is properly insured. However, Pennsylvania does not require drivers to file SR-22 forms.
That doesn’t mean you can get around the state’s car insurance laws, though. To drive legally in Pennsylvania, all motorists must carry at least the following coverage types and limits:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 property damage liability per accident
- $5,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
In Pennsylvania, PIP may also be called “first-party benefits” or “FBP.”
Generally, car insurance companies will file these forms with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) directly. However, since SR-22s aren’t used in this state, Pennsylvania car insurance companies likely won’t have the ability to file these forms. You will likely still see insurance implications from a driving incident, though. If you’ve been convicted of a major violation, you’ll probably still face a car insurance premium increase. If you need to find cheaper car insurance in Pennsylvania or if your carrier cancels your policy after a major violation, you may need to shop around and switch your coverage.
Pennsylvania SR-22 alternatives
Car insurance rates vary by state and so do insurance verification requirements. Many states use SR-22s, but a few, including Pennsylvania, opt out. However, understanding the basic structure of these SR-22 alternatives could help you be prepared should you need to file one of the forms in the future.
|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 both California and Texas after accidents with uninsured motorists.
- SR-21: SR-21s prove that a driver was properly insured at the time of an accident or ticket.
- SR-22A: These forms are similar to SR-22s but require that drivers prepay for at least six months of car insurance coverage in advance.
- FR-44: A few states use FR-44s for repeat offenders or particularly high-risk drivers. This form requires that drivers carry liability limits in excess of the state minimum.
- FR-19: Maryland is the only state that uses the FR-19 form. The form provides proof of insurance for 30 days.
- SR-50: The SR-50 is an Indiana form that proves insurance coverage on a date in the past.
A non-owner policy is a car insurance policy for drivers who do not own a car. If you have an SR-22 requirement but don’t own a vehicle, a non-owner policy may enable you to keep your license by providing the SR-22 filing. Keep in mind, though, that even for drivers who don’t own vehicles, Pennsylvania doesn’t require SR-22s.
SR-22 Pennsylvania insurance costs
There are no costs associated with SR-22s in Pennsylvania because the state does not use these forms. However, in states that do use SR-22s, the only cost for the form itself is a filing fee, which is usually under $50. However, you may also have fines associated with your violation and license reinstatement.
Most of the cost of an SR-22 actually comes from the traffic violation that necessitated the filing. DUIs, major violations and repeat offences often cause large increases in average car insurance costs. However, you may be able to find a cheap car insurance company even with driving violations on your record. Keep in mind that even some of the best car insurance companies won’t insure high-risk drivers, though, so you may need to allow yourself some time to find the right company for you.
Frequently asked questions
How long do I need an SR-22 in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania drivers do not need SR-22 filings as the state does not utilize the form. However, drivers in most states will need to carry the form for a minimum of three years, on average. During this time, you must maintain active and continuous insurance. If your policy is cancelled or lapses, your insurance carrier will notify the state and your license will likely be suspended.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania does not require SR-22 filings, so you will not be able to obtain a form in the state. If you have been advised that you need an SR-22 filing in another state, you’ll need to work with your car insurance company and that state’s DMV to provide the form.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in Pennsylvania?
There is no charge for an SR-22 in Pennsylvania since the state does not use the form. However, in general, the cost of an SR-22 mostly revolves around the traffic violation that mandated it; the fee for the form itself is usually under $50.
What happens if my insurance provider cancels my policy while I have an SR-22?
If you have an SR-22 filing in another state, you will need to maintain it for the required amount of time, which means keeping current insurance. Insurance companies must give advance notice before terminating a driver’s policy. If you have been notified that your policy is going to be cancelled, you’ll need to find a new carrier before the cancellation date to provide the SR-22 form to the state. Failing to do so and letting the SR-22 lapse could be your license will be suspended.