If you have had multiple problems with traffic violations, driving under the influence or were involved in an accident without car insurance, you may be required to get SR-22 insurance. Technically, SR-22 is not actually insurance but refers to a form that is required by the State from your insurer for you to be able to drive legally. This insurance form is required by law and it will need to be filed with the State you live in before you are allowed behind the wheel back on the public roadways.
An SR-22 is frequently required of those who have been charged with a DUI or some other alcohol or drug related traffic violation. When an SR22 is required by the court, it allows the offending driver to have his or her license reinstated as long as they have proof that they keep their car insurance policy in force.
The purpose of the SR-22 form is that it acts as an agreement between the State and the insurance company and establishes that if the insured’s coverage stops for any reason, that the company will immediately notify the State’s licensing agency, and the driver’s license will be immediately suspended. Even a one day lapse in the policy coverage will be reported to the department of motor vehicles and the license will be cancelled.
A fee (or fees) is usually required by the department of motor vehicles to get your license reinstated. If you have had your driver’s license cancelled due to outstanding parking tickets or tickets for moving violations, they will need to be paid in full before being allowed to get an SR-22. Also, if your license is revoked because of a lapse of coverage, any necessary fees will need to be paid again.
Because SR-22 auto insurance is for individuals who are considered to be high-risk, the auto insurance premiums are going to be considerably higher than it would be for a driver who does not have a similar record. That’s more of a by-product of the underlying driving violations than it is the actual form itself. This insurance is also available for those who do not own the car they are going to be driving, and that is called non-owner SR-22 insurance filing. However, if a court has required that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your car, then this option is not available to you.
Every State has different laws that need to be observed when filing your SR-22 insurance. The insurer may notify the department of motor vehicles directly (possibly even the same day), or it may give the forms to the person seeking the SR-22 to take to the department of motor vehicles themselves. At present, there are eight States that do not use the SR22 system. These States include: Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Kentucky, Delaware, North Carolina, New York and New Mexico.
An SR-22 requirement will typically last for a period of one to three years, but some States, such as Alaska, may require that it be in place for up to five years. If the insured’s policy lapses during that period, most States require that the probation period start over again, meaning that the driver will need to keep on paying high risk rates during that time.
If you have been required by your State to file the form SR-22, you certainly do not want to go out and buy the first policy offered to you. Car insurance companies offer high risk coverage at a wide range of cost – if they offer it at all. This means that by simply taking a little time to shop around, compare car insurance quotes, you can find the most affordable auto insurance policy for your specific situation.