Are Driving Violations Keeping You from Buying Insurance?

The SR-22: Are Driving Violations Keeping You from Buying Insurance? 

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What is an SR-22? It may sound unfamiliar and complicated, but an SR-22 is a certificate that shows proof of auto insurance. Whether you know about SR-22s or not, now is the time to learn, especially if you have any driving violations. If you already have an SR-22 certificate and want an auto insurance quote, contact us today at 1-800-INFINITY!

a young woman who looks sad because she was pulled over by a police officer with a clipboard 

Your Guide to SR-22’s 

So, what is an SR-22? 

Let’s face it, drivers make mistakes – sometimes big ones. An SR-22 form is used when someone must prove they have insurance in order to obtain, keep or reinstate their license, usually for one of the reasons below: Let’s face it, drivers make mistakes and sometimes big ones. An SR-22 form is used when someone must prove they have insurance to obtain, keep or reinstate their license, usually because of one of the reasons below: 

  • Major convictions like DUI or reckless driving 
  • Conviction for driving without having insurance 
  • Failure to pay damages for an at-fault accident 
  • Underage drinking conviction 
  • Causing a car accident 
  • An accumulation of multiple violations in a certain period of time 

Although the insurance endorsement is sometimes referred to as SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 itself is not an insurance policy. It is simply a certificate that provides proof that you meet the minimum auto liability insurance coverage in your state.  

The SR-22 certificate is the state’s way of guaranteeing drivers will meet their minimum requirements for liability insurance once someone has shown themselves to be a high-risk driver. It is a certificate of financial responsibility developed by the insurance industry and each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This form lets the DMV know that a given individual has automobile insurance. If a driver has a violation, they must file for SR-22 insurance to reinstate their license to get back on the road.  

The idea behind the SR-22 is actually a good one: making sure that people are covered for vehicle accidents is in the best interest for everyone involved! 

An SR-22 is ordered by a court or your state. If it's court-ordered, the judge will let you know at the hearing. If it's state-ordered, you'll typically receive a letter from your state's department (or bureau) of motor vehicles. SR-22 helps ensure that people are covered for vehicle accidents, making it in the best interest of everyone involved! 

a man being pulled over and blowing into a breathalyzer in his car while a police officer watches

There are three different types of SR-22s: Operator, owner and operator/owner. Depending on the nature of your violation, you will be required to file an SR-22 that falls into one of these categories: 

  • Operator: An operator’s certificate is for drivers who borrow or rent a car, but don’t own a car. This is sometimes used with a non-owner car insurance policy. 
  • Owner: An owner’s form is for people who own and drive their own car. 
  • Operator/Owner: An operator/owner form is a combination form for individuals who own their own car, but also borrow or rent one to drive occasionally. 

As you can imagine, violations stated previously can make it very difficult for you to get insurance for a vehicle. Some insurance companies consider drivers who require an SR-22 to be too much of a risk to insure. . . but don’t be discouraged! Try other insurance companies until you find one that accepts SR-22s. 

Your insurance agent can help you out with this. Learn how an SR-22 can help you get back on the road. 

Okay, that makes sense! How do I get an SR-22 form?  

If your insurance company offers SR-22 form filings, all you must do is call their customer service number and they may be able to take care of it. Insurance companies can add an SR-22 endorsement to your existing policy and file the SR-22 insurance document with the state that requires it. 

Not all insurance companies will file automatically for their customers. It’s best to ask your auto insurance agent to help file the SR-22 or call the customer service number of your insurance company. 

Get a quote now for an affordable SR-22 filling! 

The filing specifics of your SR-22 form will vary based on your violation and the state where it occurred. Some states don’t use an SR-22 certificate.  

These states are:  

  • Delaware  
  • Kentucky  
  • Minnesota  
  • New Mexico  
  • New York 
  • North Carolina 
  • Oklahoma  
  • Pennsylvania 

These states have their own requirements and forms that you’ll need to fill out to be compliant with each state’s laws. For example, Florida and Virginia require an FR-44 certificate to reinstate your license after a DUI or DWI. Other states have different proof of insurance forms that can be used for an accident or traffic violation. For example, the SR-21 certificate is specific to Arkansas and the SR-50 certificate is specific to Indiana. These forms are different from the SR-22 but the concept remains the same. 

Once you’re all set, don’t let your SR-22 coverage lapse during your mandated period! Your insurance company is required to inform your state’s DMV if you miss a payment. Otherwise, you could lose your driver’s license or face other consequences, depending on what state you live in. 

Making timely payments will keep your policy from being canceled and prevent your insurance provider from sending an SR-26 to the state, canceling your SR-22.  

What is an FR-44? 

An FR-44 is a document of financial responsibility required in Florida and Virginia to prove that you carry auto insurance after you’ve been charged with a DUI or another major offense such as driving with a suspended license.

a man in a suit sitting at a desk while they hold a gavel 

An FR-44 is like an SR-22 form. It proves that a driver has active liability insurance that meets or exceeds a state’s minimum coverage requirements. However, an FR-44 may have higher liability requirements than state minimums or SR-22 minimum coverages. The main difference with an FR-44 is that you’re required to have coverage that is significantly higher than the state’s minimum for the next three years. 

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or need an SR-22/FR-44, speak to an insurance agent.  

How much does an SR-22 cost? 

  Having an insurance company file an SR-22 for you may require a small fee. Note that the fee amount depends on the state you file in. However, the violation that caused you to apply for an SR-22 will likely cause your premium to increase significantly. Remember, insurance companies must manage risk. 

For example, the SR-22 in Indiana has the following insurance minimums: 

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person 
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people 
  • $10,000 for property damage These prices are standard for most states but rates can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. As such, it’s important to do some research on your specific situation and requirements. 

These prices are standard for most states but rates can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. As such, it’s important to do some research on your specific situation and requirements. 

Strive to minimize risk. The safer you drive, the more likely your premiums will be less expensive.  

How long do I need an SR-22? 

Once you receive your SR-22, you will be required to keep up with your state’s SR-22 insurance requirements throughout a mandated period of time. Most states require drivers to file an SR-22 for a minimum of three years but this can range anywhere from one to five years based on your situation. 

If a driver remains violation-free during that time, they are no longer required to have an SR-22 on file after the period ends. However, if a driver commits another serious violation, their SR-22 filing period could be extended. Your insurance company will be required to notify your state if the insurance policy is canceled, so make sure you stay up to date with your payments! 

It’s vital to maintain your SR-22 insurance during this time and not to let it lapse. As soon as you cancel your coverage or it expires, your insurance provider, by law, must inform the state and the DMV. If this happens, the insurance company will send an SR-26 form to the state to cancel the SR-22 insurance, which can result in fines, losing your license, or other serious consequences. 

What if I move to a different state? Will I still need an SR-22? 

a moving truck filled with boxes and furniture outside of an apartment building 

If you move to another state, you will still need to meet the requirements of the SR-22 in the state where the offense took place. If you change insurance providers, you still need to keep up with your SR-22 insurance requirements. This applies to those who move to another state that doesn’t require their driver to hold an SR-22 certificate as well.  

In short, if you move, you will still need to maintain the requirements of the state where you originally obtained the SR-22.  

Make sure your new insurance policy still meets the minimum liability requirements of your state. Failure to keep up with these requirements will count as a lapse in your SR-22 insurance, which can result in fines, losing your license, or other serious consequences. This means it will take even longer to complete your SR-22. 

Get back on the road. Contact an insurance agent today! Call us at 1-800-Infinity to learn more!

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