Say you have an accident and receive a DUI. You then receive a notification that the state now requires you to carry an SR-22. But what is an SR-22 and how do you get one?
What Does an SR-22 Do?
Often called SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 is proof that you carry car insurance. An SR-22 is not insurance. It simply shows the state or court that you carry the required amount of car insurance to drive legally. An insurance company will typically file an SR-22 for you. When you file an SR-22 through your insurance agency, any violation of the SR-22 goes straight through them to the court that issued it.
An SR-22 is required when your license is suspended due to certain driving or traffic violations. Incidents that cause an SR-22 requirement include:
- Multiple traffic or speeding tickets
- Driving without insurance
You must carry an SR-22 for around 2-3 years after it’s issued depending on the state and type of violation. In Georgia, you must carry an SR-22 for 3 years after a DUI.
Can an Insurance Company Drop You for Having an SR-22?
An insurance agency won’t necessarily drop you for having to purchase an SR-22. Some insurance agencies specialize in nonstandard or “high-risk” drivers. This means they may offer you better rates than insurance agencies that only cater to standard drivers. Your insurance agency may drop you if you violate the SR-22, however. It’s crucial to find an agency that specializes in nonstandard drivers and to follow the regulations set by the court that issued your SR-22 requirement.
How Much Does an SR-22 Cost Per Month?
There is no monthly cost for an SR-22. The cost of filing an SR-22 varies per state but generally costs $15-$25.
Is SR-22 Insurance Expensive?
Car insurance for drivers with an SR-22 can be expensive. This isn’t due to the SR-22 itself, but the accident that caused the court to issue an SR-22 requirement. Drivers with DUIs may pay 80% more a month for car insurance. This is over $1,000 a year more than average. Those whose license is revoked due to multiple speeding tickets won’t see as drastic of a jump in their rates. On average, you may pay $2,610 a year for car insurance with a DUI while other violations cost an average of $1,170-$1,800 a year.
How Do I Get Car Insurance Without a License?
Even when your license is suspended, you need to carry car insurance. This is to ensure that, should you get behind the wheel, other people on the road will have coverage in case you cause an accident. It’s possible to purchase car insurance while you’re working to reinstate your license. Insurance companies may file an SR-22 for you but not provide you with insurance.
What is the Difference Between an SR-22 and Proof of Insurance?
Some people may think simply providing the court with proof of insurance is enough to keep up SR-22 requirements, but this isn’t true. You need both proof of insurance and an SR-22. An SR-22 is a specific form the court requires drivers with suspended or revoked licenses to carry.
To summarize, in order to get an SR-22 you should:
- Shop among insurance agencies that specialize in nonstandard drivers
- File for an SR-22 through your insurance agency
- Purchase and maintain the correct amount of liability insurance required by the court and state
It’s difficult to find car insurance after an SR-22, but it’s not impossible. Be sure to maintain the minimum requirements and drive safely. The sooner you reinstate your license, the easier the process will be.