If you commit certain moving violations, chances are that you'll be required to have an SR-22. But what exactly is an SR-22, and why do you need to maintain it?
What Is An SR-22?
An SR-22 has many names. Known as SR22 insurance, a Certificate of Insurance or a Financial Responsibility Finding, an SR-22 is a statement that proves a driver carries the required amount of car insurance to drive legally after certain traffic violations. An SR-22 is not a type of car insurance.
Do I Need An SR-22?
A state or court may require a driver to carry an SR-22 if the driver has committed any one or more of the following:
- Driving uninsured or unlicensed
- Causing an accident while uninsured
- Several tickets or traffic violations
- Revoked/suspended license
How Long Do I Have To Carry An SR-22?
The length of time that you must carry an SR-22 may vary per state. In Missouri, the required period is 1-3 years, but many states may require three years or longer.
How Much Insurance Do I Need For An SR-22?
The amount of liability insurance required may vary per state. In each state, you must carry a certain amount of liability insurance for bodily injury or death of other people. You must also carry liability insurance for property damage. These insurance options provide coverage for the other victims when you crash. In Missouri, the requirements are:
- $25,000 bodily injury or death for one person
- $50,000 bodily injury or death for two or more persons
- $10,000 property damage
- $25,000/$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist
How Much Does An SR-22 Cost?
Filing for an SR-22 typically costs around $15-$25. Contrary to popular belief, an SR-22 typically doesn't affect your car insurance rates. The violations that lead to the requirement for an SR-22, however, will most likely result in higher premiums. Premium rates also depend on the amount and types of violations on your record typically for the last five years. Speak with your Auto Insurance Discounters agent about your driving record and how it may affect your premiums. Some insurance companies are known to insure more high-risk drivers than others.
Can I Avoid An SR-22?
If you have already been issued a statement from the state or court stating that you need an SR-22, it's unlikely that you can avoid it. Even if you stop driving for the time you'd be required to hold an SR-22, you may still be required to have the certificate in place when you do choose to drive again. Your DMV will have more information on your policy’s specific requirements.
What Is The Difference Between An Insurance Card And An SR-22?
Most states will not take an insurance card as a replacement for an SR-22. You must be able to provide an SR-22 at the end of the required time in order to get your license back, and you need insurance before you can get an SR-22. Insurance carriers will file an SR-22 for you and send both you and the state's motor vehicle department a copy. This way, any lapses or violations you make will go through the insurance agency directly to the state's motor vehicle department.
How Can I Make Car Insurance Cheaper If I Have An SR-22?
If you have a bad driving record, your car insurance is most likely going to be expensive. But there are ways to make it cheaper. You can purchase the minimum amount required, although the liability insurance will only cover other people in an accident, and not yourself. You can also drive an older or paid off car. Be sure to check with multiple insurance agencies, as some will provide cheaper rates to drivers with a bad record or bad credit.