After a Suspended License: How Much Will It Cost You?
What Is SR22 Insurance?
If you’re in need of an SR22 insurance quote, you may feel like you’re in over your head. Contrary to popular belief, SR22 insurance is not technically an insurance policy. An SR22 is a certificate issued to drivers who may have had a suspended license, been in a major auto accident, or convicted on an OUI. This certificate of financial responsibility is required by most states prior to reinstating a suspended license.
SR22 is a certificate of financial responsibility required by most at risk operators.An SR22 addendum provides proof from your insurance company of your financial responsibility and ability to meet state requirements. This information must be submitted to the DMV in order to reinstate a restricted or suspended license that has been revoked after a traffic offense.
How do you know when you need an SR22?In most cases, you will be well aware that you need an SR22 to regain your license because it will be court ordered.
An SR22 is most often required after a serious traffic violation like:
Driving without insurance
If you have committed one of the violations listed above, a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, such as an SR22, will be mandated by court or the DMV in your state.
The unfortunate truth is that driving drunk is a common occurrence
At the very least, if you get pulled over and charged for a DUI,You will face hefty court penalties, a marred driving record, and potential jail time. You may also need an SR22 form prior to the reinstatement of your driver’s license.
Another driving infraction that could merit an SR22, is reckless driving
If your driver’s license has been suspended, you will likely have to appear in court to receive charges and plead your case.
Make no mistakeCarrying regular car insurance won’t be enough to reinstate your license after suspension. A separate SR22 form must be filed through your car insurance company. The form will then be submitted directly to the DMV before driving privileges are restored.
What to Do When You Need SR22 Insurance
If your driver’s license has been suspended, time is of the essence.It’s important to contact your car insurance company as soon as possible to request an SR22 form. Your insurance agent may submit the form directly to the DMV for you, or you may be required to file it yourself in person.Many states require that an SR22 form for a suspended license is kept on file for 2 to 3 years on average. Depending on the state, you may have to pay a fee when submitting an SR22. Your SR22 form will need to be updated if you switch insurance companies or move to a different state.
States that don’t require an SR22 form on file with the DMV are:
To file an SR22 certificate efficiently and correctly, the following steps must be taken:
Contact your insurance company to obtain an SR22Keep in mind that filing this form through your insurance company qualifies you as a high-risk driver, and your insurance rates will increase accordingly. Some insurance companies may not provide SR22 insurance, meaning that you may need a new insurance provider before you can drive legally again.
Plan to wait a minimum of 30 daysAn SR22 form will be issued after it has been paid for through your insurance company. From there, your insurance provider will submit it to the Secretary of the State, which could take up to 30 days to process. Driving privileges will not be reinstated until the SR22 form is processed.
Your SR22 form must be kept in your vehicleAfter an SR22 certificate has been submitted and processed through the DMV, you will be required by law to keep it in your car at all times. If you are ever pulled over, you must show the SR22 form to the police officer, along with your proof of insurance.
Your SR22 form must be kept currentYour license will automatically be suspended again if your SR22 insurance lapses or is canceled at any time. If you no longer carry valid SR22 protection, your insurance company must notify the DMV of this infraction by law. Failure to comply with SR22 insurance requirements means a newly suspended license. An SR22 form should be renewed a minimum of 15 days before it expires. It is important to make sure your coverage does not lapse!
In addition to an SR22 form, it is a must to meet minimum state car insurance requirements.To provide this proof of insurance along with an SR22 certificate to the DMV, you must have bodily injury and property liability car insurance coverage, and any other state minimum requirements. This insurance coverage must remain current, together with your SR22 form on file.
With the exception of the six states listed above, your state is likely to require an SR22 on file with the DMV or DPS to restore a revoked license after a traffic accident, judgment, or conviction.In the state of Texas, for example, an SR22 form must be filed with the DPS and kept current for a minimum of two years from the date of conviction. The Texas DPS will not accept a valid insurance card in lieu of an SR22 form.
Steps to obtain the SR22 when attempting to reinstate a revoked license:
Request an SR22 from your insurance company.
Pay a required reinstatement fee, if applicable.
Submit an SR22 form to the DPS or DMV.
Maintain a valid SR22 with minimum liability insurance.
How Much Will an SR22 Cost You?
Since an SR22 form classifies you as a high-risk driver, it is going to cost you.The average cost of an SR22 is around $15-$25. If an insurance company does not quote a direct filing fee, the cost may be lumped into your new policy premium. These charges do not account for license reinstatement fees that may start at $25 or more. A penalty for filing an SR22 could cost as much as $250, depending on the state. Last but not least, don’t forget that you will have to pay for court costs associated with your judgment, as well as increased insurance rates.
If you are concerned about steep insurance rates, it may be worth your while to shop around.A number of car insurance companies specialize in high-risk driving policies that require SR22 forms. You may be able to find more competitive rates from another provider, even after obtaining an SR22 certificate.
If your SR22 insurance is canceled at any time, the DMV can revoke your driving privileges.
What Happens When You Drop an SR22?
If you choose not to meet the necessary requirements and file an SR22, or if you allow your coverage to lapse at any time, you could be facing further legal repercussions.
If you opt not to meet state minimum driving and liability insurance requirements, it may result in:
Fines ranging from $150-$500