What Is SR-22 Car Insurance Coverage?

Last Updated on November 12, 2022

SR-22 insurance is a certificate verifying you have minimum insurance liability coverage. When you have SR-22 car insurance, you meet the minimum car insurance requirements in your state.

The SR-22 is not technically insurance. It’s a certificate verifying you have met your state’s minimum auto insurance liability requirements. You may need to file an SR-22 after getting a DUI, for example, or causing a serious at-fault accident.

What is SR-22 car insurance coverage? How does SR-22 car insurance coverage work? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about SR-22 car insurance coverage.

How SR-22 Insurance Works

The SR-22 is a certificate verifying you have met minimum car insurance requirements in your state. When you buy SR-22 insurance, your insurer files the SR-22 to the state DMV on your behalf.

The SR-22 certificate verifies your financial responsibility. It’s a certificate proving you meet minimum car insurance requirements in your state, which means you’re financially responsible for any accidents you cause.

After receiving your SR-22 certificate, the DMV verifies you have met or exceeded minimum car insurance requirements in your state, and the DMV reinstates your license and driving privileges.

You may need to carry SR-22 insurance for one to three years, depending on your driving record.

If you need an SR-22 certificate, the DMV will notify you. Typically, you need an SR-22 certificate after being convicted of a DUI, committing multiple or serious traffic offenses, causing an accident without insurance, or having your license suspended or revoked for other reasons.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?

You may need to obtain SR-22 car insurance coverage if you:

You should hear about your SR-22 requirement during the court hearing for your driving offense. Or, the DMV may notify you by mail.

How Long Do I Need to Carry an SR-22?

SR-22 terms and requirements vary between states and drivers. Generally, you should expect to file the SR-22 certificate for around three years, although some states have longer requirements:

  • Most states require you to carry the SR-22 certificate for three years
  • If your policy lapses or expires during this period, your insurer will notify the state DMV, and you may face further penalties (like suspension of driving privileges or license)
  • Failing to comply with the terms of your SR-22 could lead to suspension of your license
  • After carrying the SR-22 for three years (or any other specifically mandated length of time) and abiding by all other SR-22 requirements, you can typically rejoin the ordinary insurance market

What Does SR-22 Insurance Cover?

SR-22 insurance provides minimum liability insurance in your state. It meets minimum insurance requirements for your state, allowing you to legally drive on public roads.

Specific insurance coverage limits and types vary by state. However, SR-22 insurance generally includes:

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: If you injure someone while driving, you may be liable. Bodily injury liability coverage protects pedestrians, other drivers, and other passengers from damages you cause while driving. It can cover medical bills, ambulance expenses, pain and suffering, and other costs people experience after an accident you caused.

Property Damage Liability Coverage: Property damage liability coverage protects others’ property from your actions. If you crash through a neighbor’s fence, for example, or collide with another person’s vehicle, then your property damage liability coverage covers the cost of repairing this damage to pre-loss condition.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If your state requires uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, then your SR-22 insurance will include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Other Minimum Required Coverage Options: States have different insurance requirement options. If your state requires personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage (MedPay), and other unique insurance coverages, for example, then your SR-22 will include all of these coverage options.

Additional Coverage Options with SR-22 Insurance

Depending on your state and insurer, you may be able to buy additional coverage options with your SR-22 insurance. Some insurers let you buy full coverage car insurance with collision and comprehensive coverage, for example, while others only let you buy minimum liability insurance.

Additional coverage options may include:

Can I File an SR-22 Without a Car?

If you caused a serious accident, then you may not have a car, yet you may still need to file an SR-22 to reinstate your license and driving privileges.

In this case, you need to file a non-owner SR-22 to reinstate your driving privileges. Or, if you don’t plan to drive at all for the next three years, then you can avoid this requirement.

If your license has been suspended or your driving privileges have been revoked, then you cannot drive any vehicle until those restrictions are lifted – including vehicles from friends or family members.

How Do I Get SR-22 Insurance Coverage?

You get SR-22 insurance coverage from any ordinary insurer. Most major insurers offer SR-22 insurance, and insurers like Allstate, GEICO, The General, State Farm, USAA, Liberty Mutual, AAA, Farmers, Nationwide, and Progressive can all file the SR-22 certificate on your behalf.

However, if you are a particularly high-risk driver, then you may need to buy auto insurance from a high-risk auto insurer. Some insurers specialize in insuring high-risk drivers that require SR-22 certificates, for example. If ordinary insurers have declined your business, or if their rates are prohibitively expensive, then you may need to work with a non-traditional, high-risk insurer.

If you already have insurance, then you may be able to file the SR-22 with your current insurer (assuming they did not cancel your policy):

  • If you already have car insurance, then your insurer can file the SR-22 certificate with the state. You pay an SR-22 filing fee of around $25, and your rates will rise. Not all insurers offer SR-22 certificates, so you may need to switch insurers.
  • If you do not already have car insurance, then you need to buy car insurance from the marketplace. During the car insurance application, you must notify the insurer of your SR-22 requirements. Your new insurer will file the SR-22 on your behalf for a filing fee of around $25. Some insurers let you request SR-22 car insurance quotes online, while others require you to work with an agent.

Remember, thousands of drivers across the United States require SR-22 insurance. Most insurers completely understand how SR-22 requirements work, and it should be easy to request an SR-22 insurance quote from any insurer offering SR-22 insurance.

Types of SR-22 Insurance Coverage

Depending on your situation, you may need one of several types of SR-22 insurance coverage. The three main types of SR-22 certificates include:

Owner: If you plan to drive a vehicle you own, then you need an owner SR-22 certificate. The insurance company will submit this certificate on your behalf, allowing you to resume driving your vehicle.

Non-Owner or Operator: A non-owner or non-operator SR-22 allows you to resume driving other cars, including borrowed or rented vehicles. If you do not own your own vehicle but want to reinstate your license and driving privileges, then you may need a non-owner or operator SR-22.

Owner-Operator: An owner-operator SR-22 is a certificate for someone who owns a vehicle but also occasionally drives cars they do not own – like a friend or family’s members vehicle or a rental vehicle.

How Much Does SR-22 Car Insurance Coverage Cost?

SR-22 car insurance is more expensive than traditional car insurance. You are a high-risk driver to insure, and insurers charge higher rates because of that higher risk.

Generally, you can expect to pay 60% to 200% higher auto insurance premiums with an SR-22 certificate. The average SR-22 driver in the United States pays around $2,234 to $3,413 per year for car insurance, which is much higher than the average annual full coverage car insurance cost of $1,450 per year.

However, by comparing rates and shopping around, you may be able to find cheaper SR-22 insurance options.

All SR-22 certificates also come with a filing fee. Generally, you can expect to pay around $25 to file the SR-22 certificate. Your insurer (like GEICO) may pay this fee, then pass the cost to you.

SR-22 vs. FR-44 Car Insurance Coverage

Different states have different SR-22 requirements. Some states use an SR-22 and FR-44 system for different types of financial responsibility. Other states have no SR-22 requirements whatsoever.

In Florida and Virginia, for example, you may need to obtain an FR-44 instead of an SR-22. The FR-44 functions similar to the SR-22: it’s a certificate proving you have valid car insurance. Like the SR-22, the FR-44 is required for a period of three years.

Indiana uses a document called the SR-50. The SR-50 verifies that you currently have insurance and will still have insurance in the future.

Final Word on SR-22 Coverage

SR-22 car insurance coverage provides minimum liability insurance to allow you to resume driving. With SR-22 car insurance, you can legally drive on public roads and reinstate your driving privileges and license.

To request an SR-22 car insurance quote, compare rates online today with major insurers in your area. By shopping around, you can ensure you get the best possible SR-22 car insurance coverage.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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