Key takeaways

  • 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.
  • 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.

Tennessee drivers who have been convicted of a DUI or other serious moving violation may be required to submit an SR-22 with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS). Although this is often referred to as SR-22 insurance, it’s not actually a type of insurance. Instead, it is a certificate provided by your insurance company that states that you meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team reviews what you need to know about SR-22 insurance in Tennessee.

What is SR-22 insurance?

Even though SR-22 certificates are often referred to as SR-22 insurance, it’s not actually a type of insurance. An SR-22 can more accurately be called proof of insurance. Not all Tennessee drivers are required to have SR-22 insurance. Its use is limited to those who have been convicted of a driving offense. 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

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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 Tennessee:

How much is SR-22 insurance in Tennessee?

An SR-22 certificate itself is not expensive. Your provider may charge you a one-time filing fee to send certification to the TDOSHS. Costs vary with each provider, but you can usually expect this fee to be between $15 and $35. The real cost of an SR-22 is its impacts on your insurance premiums. Not all carriers are willing to offer coverage to drivers who need SR-22s, and an insurance company will likely charge you higher rates based on the offenses you committed to need an SR-22.

In general, Tennessee drivers pay less for their insurance than the national average. Drivers in the Volunteer State who have a clean driving record pay an average annual cost of $464 for state-mandated minimum coverage, while full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance, has an average yearly cost of $1,806. In comparison, the national averages are $740 for minimum coverage and $2,542 for full coverage. Your own rate will vary from the averages, however, because it is based on a handful of factors that are unique to you and your situation, such as your age, location, driving record and credit rating, as well as your car’s age, make and model.

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.

Can I get a non-owner SR-22?

It’s possible to fulfill your SR-22 requirement by getting non-owner insurance. This may be 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. However, just like with standard insurance policies, your personal rating factors, including high-risk driving offenses, will impact your rate.

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.
    • Although there are no alternatives to an SR-22 in Tennessee, you may have different obligations if you come from another state. For example, Texas and California use a similar form called an SR-19, although it functions differently in each state. Georgia, Texas and Missouri use an SR-22A form, which is often required after repeat DWI offenses. Florida and Virginia have an FR-44 document, in addition to an SR-22, which requires the driver to purchase higher liability limits than the standard state minimum. If you move to Tennessee from out of state, you may still need to fulfill these obligations.
    • 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.
    • Finding the best coverage for your needs will be easier if you consider your priorities. Are you looking for cheap SR-22 insurance in Tennessee? Then you may want to look at companies known for writing affordable high-risk policies in the state. Are you more concerned with high-quality customer service? Look at companies that score well with J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ranking. If you are retired or work from home, the best company may be one that offers low-mileage insurance. A good benchmark to remember is Tennessee’s average annual rates: $464 for minimum coverage and $1,806 for full coverage insurance.