It depends upon state laws but in general a SR-22 is required to be held for 3 years. The state requiring you to obtain the SR-22 form is the one that determines how long you must hold it for.
The SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility is not required by an insurance company but by your state. In general the normal amount of time that one must carry the SR22 form is 3 years however state laws vary and even in a state the time can vary depending upon the reason that the SR-22 is required.
To be required to obtain and maintain the SR-22 normally you have been convicted of certain offenses or need to reinstate your license after a suspension or revocation. State laws typically require you to carry this type of insurance and certificate of financial responsibility (SR-22) and an insurance company helps you get this done by filing the SR-22 for you.
The SR22 itself is a form that shows that you have financial responsibility on your vehicle through auto insurance. While each state has their own reasons or circumstances that require a motorist to obtain and maintain the SR-22 here are some general reasons a state might require you to file an SR-22 form:
- DUI or DWI (drunk driving or under the influence of drugs)
- serious moving violations such as reckless driving
- compiling too many DMV points in a short period of time
- being termed a habitual traffic offender
- convicted of driving without insurance
- causing an accident while uninsured
- reinstating your license after a suspension or revocation
To find out under what circumstances your specific state requires the SR-22 and for how long you must carry this as part of your car insurance, if you have already been notified that it is required, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicle.
We have found that many users end up needing an SR22 longer than 3 years because they don't keep it for the consecutive 3 years. They allow their policy to cancel and then have to start the 3 year period again. If you do need an SR22, it is important to keep the policy active and not allow it to cancel or forget to renew it.
If you are required to file a SR-22, you can shop with us to see if we can fulfill your needs. We offer an SR-22 through Direct General Insurance Company, Esurance, Safeco Insurance, and/or Unitrin Direct.