If you’re considered a higher-risk driver due to traffic violations, getting a DWI/DUI or other reasons, you may be required to get an SR-22 certificate. This is a form, also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, is filed with your state’s division of motor vehicles and confirms you are meeting your state’s minimum auto liability requirements.

If you're required to carry an SR-22 but don't own a vehicle, you need to buy a non-owner car insurance policy. While it may sound counterintuitive, you can get auto insurance when an SR-22 certificate is required, even if you don't own a car or drive a vehicle regularly.

Curious how non-owner insurance works? Want to learn how to get non-owner SR-222 insurance? Seeking the cheapest non-owner SR-22 insurance? Read on for more information and advice from the experts.

Key Highlights
  • SR-22 is the form you file to verify financial responsibility, and a non-owner policy is the type of insurance you may need if you don't own a car.
  • States can mandate non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility.
  • Non-owner SR-22 insurance covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
  • The non-owner policy doesn't offer the physical damage coverages of a collision or comprehensive policy.

What is non-owner SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22 form is a car insurance company’s guarantee that a driver is carrying the insurance coverage that their state requires.

Typically, the need for a non-owner policy arises because:

  • The state mandates a person to obtain an auto insurance policy, but that individual doesn't have a car.
  • Someone who doesn't own a car wants car insurance coverage when they occasionally operate non-owned vehicles, such as a rental car.

Car insurance companies offer non-owner policies because the industry is aware that there are certain situations where a person may need to carry auto insurance but doesn't have a vehicle to place on the policy.

If you have been convicted of a DUI or other serious traffic violation, a state regulatory entity often requires an insurer to certify that you can pay future auto accident claims (up to the certain mandated limits) by means of an SR-22 form being filed.

Who should get non-owner SR-22 insurance and why?

Note that an SR-22 safety responsibility certificate is not in itself an insurance policy. If you are obligated to file for an SR-22 certificate in your state but don’t own a vehicle, you’ll need to obtain a non-owner SR 22 automobile insurance policy.

A non-owners policy is only for drivers who occasionally borrow a vehicle – not for vehicle owners or for drivers who have quick access to a vehicle.

When is an SR-22 required?

According to Andrew Head, Certified Financial Planner and professor at Western Kentucky University, "the SR-22 is a certificate of insurance."

Some of the reasons your state may require an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  • Failure to carry liability insurance on your vehicle
  • A conviction for driving without insurance
  • Driving uninsured and being involved in a motor vehicle accident
  • DUI, DWI or other major alcohol offense convictions
  • Serious moving violation (such as reckless driving) convictions
  • Accumulating too many DMV points
  • Being termed a habitual traffic offender
  • Needing to apply for a hardship or probationary permit (while license is suspended)
  • Reinstating your license after a suspension or revocation

Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida, says that three states – Georgia, Missouri and Texas – separately issue what’s called an SR-22A certificate, which is different from an SR-22 certificate.

Mark Friedlander Director - Corporate Communications at III
Mark Friedlander
Director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida

“An SR-22A certificate is primarily for low-level driving offenders, such as those who fail to carry their state’s minimum liability coverage,” says Friedlander.

“Your insurer issues an SR-22A certificate and files it with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, just like an SR-22.”

Being required to file an SR-22A could adversely impact your auto insurance rates depending on why you need the certificate, although your premium likely won’t jump as high as it would if you need an SR-22 certificate.

Check out our detailed guide on What is SR-22 Insurance and How Much Does it Cost?

How does non-owner SR-22 car insurance work?

Technically, there is no such thing as "non-owner SR-22 insurance."

An SR-22 is the form you file to verify financial responsibility, and a non-owner policy is the type of insurance you may need if you don't own a car. Still, the result is that you have insurance and state-mandated forms to comply with the laws for such a situation.

States can mandate non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility. That's because state agencies are aware that it's possible for these individuals to be negligent and harm other people and their property while driving, even if they don't own the car they're operating.

Expert Advice
Mark Friedlander Director - Corporate Communications at III
Mark Friedlander
Director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida

“Be aware that not owning a vehicle may make it more difficult to obtain an SR-22 certificate,” Friedlander says.

“You will need to furnish proof of insurance to earn the certificate. If you don’t own a vehicle, you should apply for a non-owners auto insurance policy before filing for an SR-22 certificate.”

What does non-owner SR-22 insurance cover?

Some believe this policy type is the magic bullet of coverage; it's not. A non-owner policy only covers liability up to the limits purchased, and this coverage is usually secondary to that of the auto insurance policy of the actual car owner. So, if you borrow a friend's car to drive, the car owner's policy will be primary.

A non-owner policy will typically include:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability

Depending upon the state in which you live and the car insurance company you're using, you may also be able to include on the policy other types of car insurance coverage, including:

  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury

What is not covered under a non-owner insurance policy?

A non-owner policy doesn't offer the physical damage coverages of collision or comprehensive policies, so if you drive a car and damage it, that won’t be covered by your non-owner policy.

Each state is different, but, as a general rule, a non-owner car insurance policy won't cover you for a vehicle registered to you or your household or a vehicle provided for your regular and frequent use. So, don't purchase a non-owner policy if any of these scenarios apply.

Non-owner policy inclusions and exclusions can differ from state to state, so make sure you’re familiar with your state’s SR22 non-owner requirements.

Rick Estrella - Director of operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami
Rick Estrella
Director of Operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami

“Non-owner insurance does not include personal injury protection coverage in Florida,” says Rick Estrella.

How much does non-owner SR-22 insurance cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, being required to have an SR-22 certificate can increase your average annual auto insurance premiums by a minimum of 50% to a maximum of 400% above your current rate, based on the severity of the infraction and the risk assessment by your insurer.

Consider that the current average rate for a non-owner car insurance policy is $474 a year, while the average cost of a non-owners policy with an SR-22 for one DUI conviction is $1,752, based on a rate analysis by CarInsurance.com.

However, if you are filing an SR-22 for a traffic conviction other than a DUI – for instance, a license suspension or driving uninsured – it may be less. An SR-22 filing will also change your status from that of a preferred customer to a non-standard risk customer.

Non-Owner State Minimum Liability Only
StateAvg. Annual PremiumMax. Annual PremiumMin. Annual Premium
AK$239$987$86
AL$368$1,573$43
AR$235$663$42
AZ$388$1,472$62
CA$323$1,012$88
CO$337$1,153$45
CT$511$1,620$134
DC$477$1,015$155
DE$732$3,192$147
FL$800$3,967$176
GA$377$1,840$47
HI$407$663$116
IA$196$489$61
ID$190$434$20
IL$391$3,127$53
IN$267$735$30
KS$287$735$57
KY$541$3,356$1
LA$367$1,252$148
MA$421$1,471$102
MD$358$1,732$84
ME$235$615$61
MI$574$5,662$71
MN$263$752$49
MO$315$1,464$111
MS$351$889$79
MT$298$1,104$70
NC$926$2,837$207
ND$228$589$67
NE$247$1,071$52
NH$303$771$96
NJ$1,029$3,267$238
NM$308$910$106
NV$426$1,443$74
NY$594$5,623$95
OH$232$848$26
OK$222$958$66
OR$504$1,522$170
PA$337$3,222$30
RI$578$1,878$146
SC$445$1,808$93
SD$174$569$30
TN$303$1,162$35
TX$413$1,312$117
UT$450$1,442$71
VA$337$992$103
VT$292$709$79
WA$394$1,809$96
WI$247$1,206$80
WV$296$882$114
WY$215$524$84

How to get non-owner SR-22 insurance

The best way to get cheap SR-22 non-owner insurance quotes is to do what you would to find a low-cost standard policy – compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.

Expert Advice
Mark Friedlander Director - Corporate Communications at III
Mark Friedlander
Director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida

“Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around,” Friedlander says.

“Get at least three price quotes from national and regional carriers. You can obtain multiple quotes via online comparison tools, on the phone directly from insurers, or through a local insurance agent that represents a single company or multiple insurers.”

If you are buying a new auto insurance policy, be sure to ask if the company files SR-22 forms before you spend time getting a quote. Even though you’ll pay more for coverage attached to an SR-22, you can still save by comparison shopping.

Which companies sell non-owner SR-22 auto insurance?

The following companies sell non-owners policies, both with and without an SR-22. So, this is an excellent list to start with:

  • State Farm
  • Dairyland
  • The General
  • Safe Auto
  • Direct
  • Infinity
  • Allstate
  • Progressive
  • Geico

Who has the cheapest non-owner SR-22 insurance?

Here are some of the lowest annual rates we found from the insurance companies surveyed:

  • Geico: $311
  • State Farm: $408
  • Progressive: $576
  • Allstate: $638

What can I do to avoid needing SR-22 non-owner insurance?

According to Certified Financial Planner and professor Andrew Head, there are some simple ways to avoid needing an SR-22.

Andrew Head Associate Professor of Finance
Andrew Head
Associate Professor of Finance at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green,KY

"Recognize first that the requirement of an SR-22 is no trivial thing; the state requires this 'super verification' of coverage because you have been deemed very high risk. This most often involved driving in a way that puts other people's lives in jeopardy,” Head says.

While an SR-22 may be required for a driver who was being safe but just didn't have auto insurance, it is essential to realize that this, too, is reckless. Even the safest drivers among us are prone to mistakes, and even little ones can result in devastating consequences to others.

Expert Advice
Andrew Head Associate Professor of Finance
Andrew Head
Associate Professor of Finance at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green,KY

Andrew Head offers some advice: Maintain adequate auto insurance coverage and drive responsibly. But if you are already in this situation, use it as an opportunity for a second chance at responsible driving.

“Simply choosing to drive at all always poses a risk to others – doing so without insurance can mean adding possibly ruinous financial hardship to an innocent person already reeling from an injury,” he says.

“Think of an SR-22 as a second chance instead of a punishment. The state is allowing you to drive, despite a past mistake."

In other words, to avoid being in a situation that will require SR-22 insurance, take your responsibility as a driver very seriously.

How to cancel a non-owner SR-22?

If at any time during your policy period, you purchase a car, then you'll need to alert your car insurance carrier immediately so that you can cancel your non-owner auto insurance policy and get a standard auto insurance policy.

Expert Advice
Rick Estrella - Director of operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami
Rick Estrella
Director of Operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami

“You simply replace your non-owners auto insurance policy with a regular auto insurance policy that has your SR-22 certificate attached,” Estrella says.

Be careful here: If you fail to inform your auto insurer of the change and you're in an accident, coverage under the non-owner policy may be denied.

The process for canceling the SR-22 certificate itself varies by state.

“We recommend you contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to confirm the process in your state,” Friedlander says. “In many states, you can get an SR-22 removed from your driving record after three years by notifying your auto insurer, which will cancel the SR-22 filing with your state.

However, if you cancel early, penalties can include getting your driver’s license being suspended.”

Also Read on How to cancel SR-22?

FAQs: Getting SR-22 insurance without a car

Fortunately, an SR-22 certificate, as well as your non-owner auto insurance policy, will cover any vehicle you drive, including a rental car.

But the vehicle must not be titled in your name and you should not have regular access to it. Your non-owner policy should stipulate that you are only driving an unspecified vehicle occasionally, so you can’t borrow your mom’s car to drive to work every day.

To purchase a non-owners policy, you must first meet certain conditions. An insurance company will generally require that:

  • You have a valid driver's license.
  • You do not own a vehicle.
  • Some insurers also require that no one in your household owns a vehicle and that you do not have regular access to a vehicle.

Next, you would shop for a non-owner policy the same way you would for a standard policy. However, not all carriers offer non-owner coverage.Then the insurance company will have an SR-22 filed on your behalf.

Auto insurance companies can only file an SR-22 after you have obtained at least the state-mandated coverages as part of your non-owner car insurance policy.

Once you have the SR-22 filed, you'll need to maintain the related insurance coverage for the state-mandated period. The time period varies, but most commonly, it's three years.