If you got pulled over for reckless driving or DUI, you might need an SR-22 form to get insurance coverage. An SR-22 can be required if you’re convicted of a driving-related charge – usually, DUI, driving without insurance or reckless driving. Drivers required to get an SR-22 are typically considered high-risk drivers.
The SR-22 form by itself doesn’t raise your insurance rates. Rather, the conviction triggers the requirement for an SR-22 that causes your premiums to soar.
- The average cost of car insurance with an SR-22 is $4,291 per year or $358 per month.
- SR-22 is a form the state can require after certain driving-related convictions to guarantee that you have the required car insurance coverage.
- SR-22 is not a type of car insurance but a form you’ll file with your insurance company.
- Driving-related convictions, like a DUI, requiring an SR-22 can result in a 116% insurance rate increase.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 form is a car insurance company’s guarantee that a driver carries the insurance coverage required by their state. But while some people think the SR-22 is an auto insurance policy, that’s not the case — the SR-22 is the form itself.
“An SR-22 is not itself an insurance policy, but rather exists as a convenient way to communicate insurance info between insurance companies and the states,” says Anthony Martin, founder & CEO of Choice Mutual, an insurance agency based in Reno, Nevada.
The SR-22 form, usually filed electronically, provides the driver’s state with proof of responsibility by showing that you have the required insurance coverage in effect. The state-mandated coverage may be the same as your state minimum liability requirements, or they may have higher limits. The exact auto insurance policy requirements differ by state.
How much does car insurance cost with an SR-22?
For illustrative purposes, the average cost for a 40-year-old male driver with full coverage and an SR-22 with one DUI insuring a Honda Accord LX in 2022 was $4,291 with an SR-22 and $1,986 without – a difference of $2,305, which is 116% higher than a standard auto insurance premium.
The biggest issue for some is the cost associated with an SR-22, which can be fairly expensive, and “isn’t even car insurance,” says Bradley W. Lane, Ph.D., a transportation expert and associate professor at the University of Kansas.
See the table below for car insurance rates in each state with and without an SR-22.
“The extra cost burden is particularly troublesome for low-income people, who already live near a level of ‘transportation poverty’ since quite a bit of transportation expenses are constant across incomes,” Lane says.
The added cost of car insurance may force some into abandoning driving for public transit, which sometimes offers little to no accessibility, Lane says.
“Commuting to work becomes a more time-consuming and more expensive chore, which puts further pressure on the time and monetary budgets of these people and makes it additionally difficult to advance out of a low-income living situation,” Lane says.
Which companies have the cheapest SR-22 insurance quotes?
Not all insurance companies file SR-22s, but many large carriers provide policies and file the forms with state or legal entities on your behalf, including the insurance companies in the table below.
Are there different types of SR-22 forms?
There are three main types of SR-22 certificates, and your insurance company can help you determine which one you need.
- Owner SR-22 certificate: Covers cars you own
- Owner-operator SR-22 certificate: Covers any car you drive, regardless of the owner
- Non-owner SR-22 certificate: Covers you when you do not own a car but are required to have an SR-22
How do I get an SR-22?
To obtain an SR-22, you must go through an auto insurance company that offers the filing (not all do) and buy a policy with the minimum limits that the state requires you to carry. Once the SR-22 is filed, you must maintain the related insurance coverage for the state-mandated period. The period varies, but most commonly, it’s for three years.
The form must be filed with the state as a certificate of financial responsibility to verify that you have the mandated insurance coverage and limits. Your car insurance company sends you a copy of the SR-22 to keep as proof.
However, most states have it stored electronically in their records so that law enforcement or the Department of Motor Vehicles can look it up if needed.
What are the requirements by state for an SR-22?
There are currently only eight states that do not require an SR-22:
- Delaware: Requires an FR-19
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
All other states require an SR-22 and some have additional requirements.
- Florida: Requires SR-22 and FR-44 insurance
- Maryland: Requires SR-22 and FR-19
- Virginia: Requires SR-22 and FR-44 insurance
To determine under what circumstances your specific state requires the SR-22, contact your DMV.
How long do I have to carry an SR-22?
In most states, you must carry the SR-22 for three years, but the period varies from one to five years. In some places, the period varies by the offense.
The start date varies by state, and the DMV can tell you how long you need to carry the SR-22 and the starting date. The clock may start with the offense date, conviction date, suspension date or the date of your driver’s license reinstatement.
Don’t cancel an SR-22 before your filing period is up or your state may penalize you. If insurance associated with an SR-22 is removed or canceled, the insurer must file an SR-26 that informs the state of the cancellation.
FAQ: SR-22 insurance cost
What will happen if I do not carry an SR-22?
If you do not carry the required insurance coverage with an SR-22, your insurance company must notify the DMV, which could suspend or revoke your license – and you may be required to pay fines or penalties.
What is the difference between an SR-22 and an FR-44?
The FR-44 also provides proof of financial responsibility but mandates that you carry higher liability limits. The FR-44 is used only in Florida and Virginia and is required instead when convicted of certain alcohol-related offenses.
Do I have to inform my insurance company about my SR-22 requirement?
Yes, you must tell your current insurance company about the need for the form so that it can file it for you. Even if you already have coverage that meets or exceeds state-mandated coverage, the state can still require you to file an SR-22, which allows the state to ensure you maintain car insurance.
How much insurance must I buy if I have an SR-22?
You need to purchase insurance coverage that the state mandates. This requirement varies by state. It may be your state’s minimum or higher liability coverage (especially if you need an FR-44 instead).
The car insurance coverage purchased that is associated with the SR-22 form is rated according to all the factors that normally go into rating a policy, regardless of the SR-22 form filing.
Is an SR-22 tied to my driver’s license?
Yes. Similar to how demerit points can be added to your driver’s license if you receive traffic violations, an SR-22 is also tied to your driver’s license. The DMV uses your driver’s license number to extend or revoke your driving privileges.
What is the timeline for getting an SR-22?
The process to file an SR-22 can take up to 30 days. If you need one, be sure to start the process at least 30 days in advance of your need date.
How can I check the status of my SR-22?
Most of the time, the best option is to call the insurance company that filed the SR-22 on your behalf. In some states, however, you can call the Department of Motor Vehicles.
It is best to practice safe and responsible driving and avoid needing this insurance form. But if you end up in that situation, compare insurance quotes to see where you can get your best deal.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Systems in 2022 to provide rates for a 40-year-old male with full coverage and an SR-22 with one DUI insuring a Honda Accord LX.
– Penny Gusner contributed to this story.