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- An SR-22 is not insurance but rather a certificate of insurance that is required for drivers who have committed certain offenses in Tennessee, such as driving without insurance or a DUI.
- The cost of SR-22 insurance in Tennessee may be higher than regular insurance, but it varies depending on your driving record and the length of time you are required to have it.
- Tennessee does not offer alternatives to an SR-22, but drivers from other states may have similar requirements, such as an SR-19 or SR-22A.
- It may be possible to fulfill an SR-22 requirement by getting non-owner insurance, which could be a more affordable option for those who do not own a car but still need insurance to keep their license.
If you live in Tennessee, you may receive a letter from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security informing you that you need to file an SR-22. If you aren’t familiar with this requirement, you may be caught off guard and unsure what to do. SR-22 insurance in Tennessee is typically required for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI, driving without insurance or another violation. To get back on the road legally, your insurance company must file an SR-22 certificate with the safety department on your behalf to prove you have the appropriate car insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
What is SR-22 insurance?
An SR-22 is proof of insurance. It is not insurance by itself. It is often required after such offenses as:
- Driving without insurance
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Too many at-fault accidents within one year
- Too many speed violations within one year
SR-22 insurance in Tennessee
In Tennessee, an SR-22 can be demanded by either Tennessee’s safety department or by a court. Regardless of who makes it a requirement, it is your insurance provider that will fulfill the obligation on your behalf by sending an SR-22 to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. There is no form for you to fill out. Your only obligation is to tell your insurance provider that you need an SR-22 sent.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in TN?
If you already have an insurance provider, you simply need to speak with a representative and tell them you need an SR-22. If you don’t have a provider, you first need to find an insurance company that is willing to insure drivers who need an SR-22. Such drivers are sometimes classified as high-risk. Most national providers do this without issue. You may have problems with smaller companies, though, so before you fill out an application with a local provider, you should first confirm that it offers SR-22 certificates.
Here are a few companies that may offer SR-22 insurance in TN:
Learn more: Cheap auto insurance for high-risk drivers
How much is SR-22 insurance in Tennessee?
Your insurance provider may charge you a higher rate for having an SR-22 requirement. The good news is that if your driving record is relatively clean, the cost difference shouldn’t be that much. Of course, if you have long lapses in coverage, or have also been recently convicted of a DUI, the increase may be significantly more.
For reference, the national average cost of car insurance for drivers with clean records is $2,014 per year for full coverage and $622 per year for minimum coverage. Fortunately for Tennessee drivers, insurance tends to be cheaper with average rates of $1,429 per year and $371 per year, respectively. However, rates vary based on several factors personal to you, and the average cost can increase between 18 and 103 percent in Tennessee for drivers with speeding tickets, DUIs and other infractions.
There are also filing fees involved with an SR-22. Your provider may charge you a one-time filing fee to send certification to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Costs vary with each provider, but expect this fee to be between $15 and $35.
How to find cheap SR-22 insurance in Tennessee
The best way to find cheap SR-22 insurance in Tennessee is by shopping around. There are many national insurance providers, as well as regional options, that accommodate drivers who need SR-22s. You can contact insurance carriers by phone or potentially through their websites for quotes. For the most accurate estimate, you’ll typically need to provide detailed information about you and your vehicle.
According to Bankrate’s research, Geico, Grange and Erie are among the cheapest insurance providers in Tennessee that may offer SR-22 insurance. As such, it could be worthwhile to start your search for coverage by getting quotes from all three.
SR-22 Tennessee alternatives
Tennessee does not have any alternatives to an SR-22. However, if you’re coming from another state, you may still have obligations that you need to fulfill. Some of them are similar to an SR-22, while others are not.
|Required insurance minimums
|All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma
|Standard liability; click here for a full list of each state’s minimum insurance requirements.
|Florida, Georgia, Indiana
|Georgia, Texas, Missouri
|Standard liability, but 6 months of insurance must be prepaid.
- SR-19: Texas and California both currently use SR-19s, but the functions in each state are different. In Texas, it’s a payment agreement between an at-fault driver without insurance and the injured party. It is a legally binding document kept on file with the DMV. In California, it’s confirmation that an at-fault driver does not have insurance. This form is needed for the injured party to receive uninsured motorist coverage.
- SR-21: A form verifying that you had insurance before an accident where there was bodily injury, death or physical property damage totaling more than $1,000.
- SR-22A: Often required after repeat DWI offenses. Similar to an SR-22, but it requires six months’ worth of payments at a time instead of a standard monthly payment.
- FR-44: Like an SR-22, FR-44s show financial responsibility, but unlike SR-22s they often demand the driver have double liability coverage.
- SR-50: Used in Indiana, an SR-50 shows financial responsibility and is requested after a driver has had too many moving violations within the same year, an accident report has been filed with the DMV or the driver has been convicted of a DWI after a moving violation.
It’s possible to fulfill your SR-22 requirement by getting non-owner insurance. This is a good option if you don’t own a car but have been ordered to get insurance to keep your license. Typically, a non-owner policy is cheaper than a regular policy because you’re not actually insuring a car.
If you frequently rent or borrow someone else’s car, and you’ve been ordered to get an SR-22 certificate, a non-owner policy will potentially enable you to both keep your license and save money on car insurance.
SR-22A in Tennessee
Though Tennessee does not administer SR-22As, it’s possible you could still have the requirement after you’ve moved to Tennessee from another state.
An SR-22A has a lot of similarities to a regular SR-22. Both the SR-22A and SR-22 show current and future financial responsibility, and both are required after committing a driving offense, such as a DWI or DUI.
An SR-22A differs from a regular SR-22 in that it is most often used for repeat offenders. If you’ve been caught driving without insurance multiple times and have failed to comply with a previous court judgment, a judge may effectively give you a second chance with an SR-22A instead of revoking your license. The drawback, however, is that you must prepay six months of insurance at a time for three years.
Frequently asked questions
It depends on your offense. It’s possible you might have an SR-22 requirement for up to five years. However, after you’ve had it for three years, you may call the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and ask to have it removed.
Remember: SR-22s are not insurance but are instead certificates of insurance. The only cost you need to be concerned about is the filing fee your insurance provider will charge you to send an SR-22 to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. These range between $15 and $35. Of course, having an SR-22 requirement means your driving history has recently obtained one or more negative entries. If you were recently convicted of a DUI, for example, the cost of a car insurance policy may rise significantly.
Unless you are able to obtain a new insurance provider, both your license and vehicle registration will typically be revoked if your insurer cancels your insurance policy.
Yes, the SR-22 requirement remains in effect for three to five years, depending on the sentence. If you fail to maintain minimum insurance, your license and vehicle registration will typically be revoked no matter where you live.
The best car insurance in Tennessee depends on the type of coverage that you need, as well as what you value and how much you’re comfortable spending. The best car insurance for someone with a clean driving record may be different than the best insurance for someone with a DUI. On average, auto insurance in Tennessee costs $371 per year for state-mandated minimum coverage and $1,429 for full coverage.