Contrary to how most states operate, Pennsylvania is one of eight states where SR-22 insurance is not required. In most states, drivers who are found guilty of committing a serious traffic violation like reckless driving, driving under the influence or driving without insurance can be required to obtain a SR-22 certificate to prove that the driver has sufficient liability coverage. While SR-22 insurance in Pennsylvania is not mandated, there are still insurance laws that drivers in the state will need to know. It’s important to understand insurance requirements in the state, as even without SR-22 requirements, Pennsylvania mandates minimum levels of coverage that drivers need to meet.

What is “SR-22 insurance?”

The term “SR-22 insurance” is somewhat misleading. An SR-22 is not a form of car insurance; rather, it is a certificate that your car insurance company files with your state on your behalf that proves you meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements. In many cases, you must procure an SR-22 in order to reinstate a suspended license. However, Pennsylvania does not require drivers to file SR-22 forms after a driving infraction.

Just because Pennsylvania SR-22s are not a requirement does not mean you can get around the state’s car insurance laws. 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.

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SR-22 Pennsylvania insurance costs

In states that require SR-22 filings, your insurer will likely charge around $50 to cover the cost of filing the SR-22 certificate with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent governing body. Because PA SR-22 insurance is not applicable in the state, drivers would not need to pay an additional fee to prove coverage. However, if your license was suspended in Pennsylvania, you may need to pay other reinstatement fees in order to get it restored.

If you incur a driving infraction that would necessitate an SR-22 in another state (like a DUI, for example), there are other costs to take into account. Major moving violations generally increase your car insurance costs, and once the dust settles, it may be worth your time to search for a cheaper deal. It may be a little more difficult with a less-than-spotless record — some of the best car insurance companies do not write policies for high-risk drivers — but it can be done.

Frequently asked questions

    • SR-22s are not needed in Pennsylvania. But, in states that do require them, drivers tend to carry the form for about three years. Additionally, drivers who need an SR-22 will also need to maintain an active insurance policy; a policy lapse could result in a license suspension.
    • If you’re caught driving without insurance in Pennsylvania, you could face severe penalties. These consequences typically include fines, license suspension, vehicle registration suspension and potential vehicle impoundment. There is a minimum fine of $300 for driving without insurance in Pennsylvania, and restoring your license and registration typically costs $79 for each.
    • If you receive a DUI in Pennsylvania, you can face serious legal consequences, typically including fines, license suspension, mandatory attendance at driver safety school, potential installation of an ignition interlock device and potential jail time — particularly for repeat offenses or aggravated circumstances such as causing injury or property damage while driving under the influence. Fines range from $300 to $10,000. Additionally, your auto insurance rates are likely to increase substantially, and you may face challenges in obtaining insurance in the future.