If you’ve been involved in serious traffic incidents, such as driving without insurance, causing multiple accidents, or a DUI, DWI or OWI conviction, you may need an SR-22 certificate. This form confirms that you meet your state’s minimum auto liability requirements. 

Learn more about how an SR-22 works, why and when it is required, how and where to get an SR-22 and more.

Key Highlights
  • An SR-22 certificate is needed if you have significant violations on your driving record, including driving without insurance, a driver’s license suspension, driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicants and reckless driving.
  • Your insurance company files an SR-22 form on your behalf, but not all insurers offer SR-22 certificates.
  • Most SR-22 certificates are valid for three years; your carrier should inform you when the certificate expires.

What is an SR-22 and why is it required?

An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that your insurer must file with your state’s motor vehicle department if you have been involved in a serious traffic violation. This certificate is not insurance but a document demonstrating proof of financial responsibility to your state’s DMV. It verifies that you have the required minimum car insurance coverage in place.

“An SR-22 certificate is a way for your state to verify that you have sufficient coverage intact. If there is a lapse in your coverage, your insurance company will notify your state that the SR-22 is no longer active, effectively telling the state you no longer have coverage,” says Benjamin Foxx, owner of Foxx Insurance.

Currently, 38 states and Washington, D.C., require an SR-22 certificate for high-risk drivers, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“The exceptions are Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia,” says Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute.

Violations that lead to SR-22 filings

Friedlander says that drivers with the following types of violations on their motor vehicle records are usually required to have their carrier file an SR-22 certificate with their state:

  • Driving without insurance
  • Unsatisfied judgments
  • Falsifying insurance certification
  • Driver’s license suspension after being convicted of various offenses, including voluntary manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicants
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving while your driver’s license has been forfeited for conviction, or a finding of “not innocent” in the case of juvenile
  • Violation of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance similar to the above.

“Note that in Florida and Virginia, a different certificate – an FR-22 – is required for drivers who have the most serious types of infractions, such as a DUI or reckless driving,” Friedlander says. “Also, three states – Georgia, Missouri and Texas – separately issue what’s called an SR-22A certificate, which is primarily for low-level driving offenders, such as those who fail to carry their state’s minimum liability coverage.”

How do I know if I need an SR-22?

Typically, a court will order you to obtain an SR-22 certificate to be allowed to drive with a valid driver’s license after you have been cited for a violation that categorizes you as a high-risk driver.

“You may also be notified by your current auto insurance company if they are aware of your need for an SR-22 certificate,” says attorney Barry Goldberg, principal of Goldberg Injury Lawyers. “You can also contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent agency, which will inform you of the specific requirements based on your driving history and violations.”

What is the process to get SR-22 insurance?

If you’ve been notified that you need an SR-22, follow these steps:

  1. Do not attempt to drive until you obtain and file an SR-22 certificate.
  2. Request quotes from different insurers that offer SR-22 certificates. You can try your existing carrier, but you might find a better deal with a different insurer, so it pays to shop around.
  3. Purchase an auto insurance policy that meets your state’s minimum coverage requirements.
  4. Ensure that your carrier will file the SR-22 certificate on your behalf.
  5. Pay a fee if your insurer charges one (typically $15 to $25).
  6. Receive a copy of your SR-22 certificate after it’s been processed and filed and keep this copy in a safe place.

Where to get an SR-22 certificate

An SR-22 certificate is available from insurance carriers that offer it in your state. But be forewarned: If you’ve been designated as a high-risk driver and ordered to get an SR-22 certificate, it could be challenging to find affordable auto insurance.

“Many standard auto insurers will not underwrite drivers who have been charged with a DUI or reckless driving. As a result, you may need to seek out carriers that specialize in high-risk drivers, and you may need to pay a very high premium,” Friedlander. says “On average, your insurance premium will rise 50% to 100% with an SR-22 certificate in place, depending on the severity of the infraction.”

Learn more about how to get SR-22 car insurance without a license

Which insurance companies provide SR-22 certificates?

Major companies of note that offer SR-22 certificates include State Farm, Farmers, Travelers, Nationwide, Allstate, American Family, Geico, USAA, Progressive, United Auto, Gainsco, National General, Infinity, Dairyland and Bristol West.

“Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 certificates, so it’s essential to shop around and find one that does,” Goldberg says.

Check out which companies have the cheapest SR-22 car insurance near you

How do I find out when my SR-22 expires?

Most SR-22 certificates are valid for three years. Your carrier will inform you when this certificate expires, according to Friedlander.

How long will you need to have an SR-22?

“The duration of the SR-22 requirement will vary by state and offense. But it typically ranges from one to three years,” Goldberg says.

Learn more about how to cancel an SR-22

Final thoughts on checking your SR-22 status

An SR-22 certificate is an important document that holds drivers accountable for driving records and serves an important purpose.

“This certificate is an essential tool in our collective efforts to create safer roadways and protect the well-being of everyone who shares them,” Goldberg says. “It serves as a reminder that public safety is a shared responsibility, and it holds higher-risk drivers accountable, encouraging more responsible driving behavior.”

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

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Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

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Contributing Researcher

Erik J. Martin is a Chicago area-based freelance writer whose articles have been published by AARP The Magazine, The Motley Fool, The Costco Connection, USAA, US Chamber of Commerce, Bankrate, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications. He often writes on topics related to insurance, real estate, personal finance, business, technology, health care, and entertainment. Erik also hosts a podcast and publishes several blogs, including Martinspiration.com and Cineversegroup.com.