An SR-22 is a special certificate that must be held by certain drivers. How long does an SR-22 last? How long will you continue to pay higher insurance rates? Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the length of an SR-22.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility”, or CFR. It’s not a type of car insurance (although many drivers mistakenly refer to it as “SR-22 insurance”). Instead, an SR-22 is a document that proves you’re maintaining car insurance liability coverage – the bare legal minimum required to drive on roads.
SR-22 forms are required by your state. You could receive an SR-22 if you have numerous traffic offenses or were caught driving without a license. In these situations, your car insurance carrier will file an SR-22 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state.
Who Needs an SR-22?
An SR-22 form is typically submitted when you were involved in a serious vehicle incident and were unable to show financial responsibility.
The most common situation where you need an SR-22 form is when you were caught driving without car insurance. Many drivers will also have an SR-22 form after a DUI offense. Here are some of the other reasons you might need an SR-22:
- You received a DUI, a DWI, or any other serious moving violation.
- You were involved in an at-fault accident while driving without insurance
- You’ve received a lot of tickets in a short period of time
- You have a revoked or suspended license
How Much Does an SR-22 Cost?
The SR-22 form itself is relatively cheap. It costs $15 to $25 to file an SR-22 form in most states.
The real cost of an SR-22 form, however, can be found when you shop for car insurance. Drivers shopping for car insurance with an SR-22 form will pay significantly higher rates than drivers without an SR-22 form. A driver with an SR-22 form is considered to be significantly riskier to insure.
Obviously, you don’t want to pay these high costs for long. So how long can you expect to keep paying for your SR-22? For how much longer do you need to keep your form? Keep reading to find out.
How Long Does an SR-22 Last?
Most state DMVs require drivers to carry SR-22 insurance for 3 years.
During that time, you must maintain continuous insurance over your vehicle. If your car insurance lapses or is canceled, then your car insurance company is legally obligated to report the lapse to your DMV. At this point, your license will be suspended.
If you go 3 years without a violation or incident, then you’ll likely be able to re-enter the standard insurance market without an SR-22 form.
If you have an incident or violation within that 3 year period, however, then you may be required to file your SR-22 again, extending your deadline.
How to Obtain an SR-22
If you’ve been told that you need an SR-22, then you’ll need to contact your car insurance provider. All insurance companies that file with the state can issue SR-22 forms.
Contact your insurance company and tell them you need an SR-22 certificate. In some cases, your insurance company will no longer be able to cover you. The moment you receive an SR-22 form, your risk factor gets changed to “high”. You may have to find a new insurance provider. In other cases, your car insurance company might be able to cover you – but they’ll charge significantly higher rates than what you paid on your previous policy.
The important thin to remember is that you cannot file an SR-22 form on your own. You need to work with a car insurance company willing to do it for you. This is designed to enhance the authenticity of the SR-22 form: the form acts as certified proof that you have and will continue to hold the legally mandated car insurance limits. An SR-22 form must come directly from your car insurance company to guarantee authenticity.
What about when moving between states? If you have an SR-22 in one state but move to another, then you’ll need to fulfill the SR-22 requirements for your former state. You’ll also need to meet the minimum insurance requirements – including the liability and coverage limits – in your former state.
Final word on Sr-22’s and how long they last…
An SR-22 form or SR-22 insurance is a requirement for drivers who have had their licenses suspended. If you have an SR-22 form, then you’re required to hold it for a 3 year period. If you commit a violation within that period, then you may be required to renew your form and extend that 3 year period. If you remain violation-free for 3 years, then you’ll lose the SR-22 requirement and be eligible to re-enter the standard insurance market.