Question: What is an SR-22 form?
Answer: The basic definition of an SR-22 form is a document that must be filled out and filed by an insurance company with the state (normally with the Department of Motor Vehicles) verifying that certain auto liability insurance coverages are in effect for a particular individual.
SR-22 insurance requirements and forms vary from state to state.
The SR-22 itself is sometimes mistakenly thought to be a type of insurance, but it isn't. Instead, it's proof that a driver has certain types of insurance. What is required will be based upon the financial responsibility laws of your state.
The reasons why the SR-22 form may be required also varies by state. Many times it's mandated by the state after an individual was in an accident or was convicted of a traffic offense and was unable to show financial responsibility, but in some states a judge can order that a SR-22 must be filed. Typical reasons a SR-22 form can be required to be filed include:
- DUI or DWI or any serious moving violation
- At-fault accidents while driving without insurance
- Repeat traffic offenses or getting too many tickets in a short time period
- License suspension or revoked license - the SR22 is required as part of the reinstatement process
- Driving without insurance (sometimes referred to as SR-22a, SR-22s, SR-26, or other variations by state)
We continually get asked if the SR-22 is really just a form and not a type of insurance. Yes, it's simply a form showing that you're carrying a certain type of liability coverage, but it must be filed by a car insurance company.
You cannot fill out and file the form on your own. Your auto insurer needs to be the one to verify that you have the mandated insurance coverage, and that is at the right limits for the SR-22 or FR-44 (similar to the SR-22 but requires higher limits).
Another common question is what the S and R stand for in the SR-22. Many states say it's nothing, just a form number, but some agents say stands for State Requirement.
Most companies can provide immediate proof of insurance via e-mail or fax. Processing of SR-22 requests depends mostly on whether your state accepts filings electronically.