Driving without insurance is risky. In addition to putting you in financial jeopardy and risking losing your driving privileges, you may also be issued an SR-50 in Indiana if you drive without auto insurance.
When an SR-50 is issued, your auto insurance company must verify you have current coverage with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
Learn more about what an SR-50 in Indiana includes and how it impacts you and your ability to drive.
What is SR-50 insurance in Indiana?
SR-50 insurance is a form in Indiana that provides proof of current insurance. It’s not a car insurance policy. An SR-50 certificate of compliance validates that you carry the minimum liability coverage required in Indiana.
Brian Martucci, the Minneapolis-based finance editor for Money Crashers, says you can be required to file an SR-50 certificate if you’re:
- Caught driving without minimum auto insurance coverage in Indiana.
- Involved in an auto accident reported to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
- A recipient of three moving violations within 12 months.
- Charged with a driving-related crime (misdemeanor or felony).
- Charged with a moving violation while driving with a license suspension for lack of proof of financial responsibility.
“In most cases, an SR-50 certificate filing is necessary only if you receive a notification from the state informing you of this requirement,” says Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida.
He adds that Indiana is the only state that requires the filing of an SR-50 form (with the SR standing for “safety responsibility”).
SR-50 insurance requirements in Indiana
If Indiana requires you to file an SR-50 document, it must be attached to your current auto insurance policy and filed by your auto insurance company on your behalf with the BMV. The document indicates your insurance policy’s effective and expiration dates.
“An SR-50 is typically only required for the current insurance period — which usually means six months, at minimum. But the length an SR-50 is required to stay in effect is at the discretion of the BMV,” Friedlander says.
The filing of an SR-50 is a one-time event. You don’t need to re-file it every year or over a certain number of years.
“But you will need to file it again if you are involved in another situation that requires it — such as being charged with a different or repeat driving violation,” Martucci says.
You must have a current valid automobile insurance policy with sufficient coverage limits to drive legally after being notified that you must file an SR-50 form. The required liability coverage limits, which are the same for other drivers in Indiana, are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
While there is no cost to file an SR-50 form, you may be obligated to pay a reinstatement fee of $150 to $300 to have your driving privileges restored by Indiana.
SR-50 auto insurance quotes
If you’re required to file an SR-50 certificate, you will be classified as a high-risk driver. High-risk auto insurance is costlier.
“Your insurance rates will be much higher than standard auto insurance rates: potentially 50% higher or more,” cautions Friedlander.
The good news is that Indiana has one of the lowest average car insurance rates. The average car insurance cost in Indiana is $1,256 for full coverage and $442 for minimum coverage.
Many factors can affect auto insurance costs. Several factors apply to SR-50 drivers, so Martucci says it’s impossible to determine how an SR-50 filing in Indiana will increase your premiums.
The bottom line? High-risk auto insurance costs more. That’s why it’s a smart idea to shop around and request coverage quotes from different carriers after you’re notified that you need to file an SR-50 certificate.
“Shopping for auto insurance with an SR-50 certificate requirement is no different than seeking coverage without it. You can speak with any licensed insurance agent in Indiana about obtaining necessary coverage,” Friedlander says.
“Many national and regional carriers offer insurance for SR-50 drivers. The Insurance Information Institute recommends obtaining at least three quotes to see who offers the best coverage at the most affordable price.”
To help reduce your premium costs, ask about possible discounts, which may be available. Here are some tips:
- Bundle home and auto coverage with the same insurance company.
- Increase your deductible.
- Decline optional collision and comprehensive coverage on older vehicles.
- Complete a virtual driver safety program.
- Use telematics apps/devices that allow your carrier to monitor your driving habits.
- Differences between SR-22, SR-16 and SR-50.
- An SR-50 isn’t the only document issued by Indiana to certain drivers.
Two others include SR-22 and SR-16. Here are the differences:
An SR-22 certificate serves as proof of insurance with the legal minimum coverage for a specific period into the future (typically three years).
An SR-22 filing is required when you’re:
- Convicted of driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) or driving without insurance
- Being involved in an accident without insurance
- Being involved in too many at-fault accidents or violations
An SR-16 certificate is used by the courts to notify the Indiana BMV that a driver has been convicted of, failed to appear for or failed to pay a citation for violating a motor vehicle law.
This document also notifies the BMV if any of these orders have been rescinded.
“The SR-50 and SR-22 certificates are similar. The biggest difference is that the SR-22 filing requirement is ongoing — usually for three years — whereas the SR-50 filing requirement is a one-time occurrence,” Martucci explains.
The BMV can request both an SR-50 and an SR-22 from a driver.
“The failure to provide either or both of these certificates could result in the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
If you are convicted of a violation and don’t have proper insurance, you will likely have your driver’s license and registration suspended for one year and be subject to a fine up to $300,” says Friedlander.
Also, not owning a vehicle could make it more difficult to file an SR-50. That’s because you’ll need to furnish proof of insurance to earn the certificate.
“If you don’t own a car but want to drive, you should apply for a non-owners auto insurance policy before filing for an SR-50,” Friedlander says. “Non-owner car insurance typically costs less than a standard policy because it does not provide protection for physical damage to your vehicle.”
State of Indiana. “What are some common suspension and reinstatement forms.” Accessed December 2022.
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “Proof of Financial Responsibility.” Accessed December 2022.