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Learn what an SR-22 requirement is, how it affects your car insurance rates, and what options you have.

What is SR22 insurance?

What is SR22 insurance?

SR22 insurance is not a type of car insurance. An SR22 is a certificate of financial responsibility required by the state that verifies that you are carrying at least the state-mandated amount of car insurance. By filing this form, the insurance company is guaranteeing to the state that you're maintaining coverage and are financially responsible for any accidents, and it will let the state know if you do not.

Why is SR22 insurance required?

Common circumstances that result in an SR22 insurance requirement include the following:

  • DUI or DWI or other major alcohol violation conviction
  • Serious moving violation conviction, such as reckless or negligent driving
  • Several traffic offenses in a short time period
  • Driving without insurance conviction
  • Being involved in an accident while driving without insurance
  • Being caught by the state not carrying car insurance on your registered vehicle
  • A requirement for you to obtain a hardship or probationary license
  • A requirement to reinstate your driver's license after a suspension or revocation

Why is SR22 insurance required?

Many associate the need for an SR22 form with drivers who have a DUI on their record. If this is the case for you, read about DUI insurance. In reality, the SR22 can be required for a variety of reasons, depending on where you live.

Meeting the SR22 requirement can help you get your license and/or registration reinstated and thus get you back on the road. You'll know it's required when you're informed by the court or state. The notification should inform you why an SR22 is required, the insurance requirements and how long the SR22 form must stay on file with the state.

A form called the FR44 is similar to the SR22 but requires drivers to carry much higher liability limits. It is currently only required in Florida and Virginia for drivers who have been convicted of certain alcohol-related violations.

How do I get an SR22 form?

The only way to obtain an SR22 form is from a car insurance company after you purchase a car insurance policy. You cannot obtain an SR-22 any other way.

If you have an existing auto policy, you may be able to have the SR22 added on and filed with the state. If your insurance company doesn't file the form, or you're uninsured, you'll have to shop for a new policy. Learn how to buy SR-22 insurance first so there are no surprises.

How much does SR22 insurance cost?

SR22 insurance companies can charge a one-time filing fee, generally it is $25, and that is the standard SR22 insurance cost.

However, the violation that resulted in an SR22 requirement will affect your auto insurance premium. In short, it’s your infraction -- not the SR22 -- that will hike up your rates. Your rate will jump by an average of 89% for an SR22 filing with one DUI, or about $1,300 more, a year, according to a rate analysis by Insurance.com.

State Average Rate SR-22 Rate Percent Increase Dollar Increase
North Carolina$1,170$5,563375%$4,393
North Dakota$1,123$2,00378%$880
New Hampshire$1,156$2,00874%$852
New Jersey$1,419$3,851171%$2,432
New Mexico$1,498$2,73583%$1,237
New York$1,214$1,85453%$640
Rhode Island$2,011$3,62780%$1,616
South Carolina$1,353$2,37976%$1,026
South Dakota$1,250$2,24780%$997
West Virginia$1,467$2,76789%$1,300

With either an SR22 or FR44, the car insurance company will make sure you buy the appropriate amount of coverage to comply with your mandated insurance requirements.  If these are higher than the limits you usually carry, then expect to pay more.

Also, be aware that your state, or insurer, may require you to pay in full when your car insurance policy includes an SR22 or FR44 filing. 

How long is SR22 insurance required?

The good news in all of this is that the SR22 requirement doesn’t last forever, just one to five years.

The length varies by state, and in some states according to the offense. Commonly the SR22 is required for three years. When the clock starts on your time period also varies by state; it may begin with the offense date, conviction date, suspension date or the date when you reinstated your license.

Make certain you know how long the SR22 is required because if you cancel your car insurance policy before that time is up, the insurer will inform the state and you’ll be punished. Your license and/or registration may be suspended or revoked and the clock could start again on how long the SR22 must be maintained.

Another bit of good news is the offense that resulted in the SR-22 being required, and that raised your rates, won’t haunt you forever. When the violation falls off your driving record, your car insurance rates will go down as well.

What is a Non-owner SR22 Insurance?

If you do not own a car, but are required to carry an SR22, non-owner car insurance is an option to fulfill your SR22 filing requirements.

Getting non-owner car insurance with a SR22 can save you money. If you need a SR22 insurance and your current insurer doesn't offer it, then sometimes you can buy a SR22 non-owner policy with a second company. Your original policy would be your primary and your SR-22 policy would allow you to get your required SR22 filed with the state -- but without switching your primary insurer. Your non-owner policy would not cover any vehicles since it would come with an exclusion for any owned autos and autos regularly used and thus is not duplicate coverage. The SR22 insurance provider would require you to buy the same limits of liability that are on your primary policy.  

If you have a primary insurance provider that you don't want to lose due to your need for a SR22, because you have bundled coverage or other reasons, buying a separate non-owner policy to comply with the SR22 requirement can be a smart move.

What if you move or are required to carry SR22 insurance in another state?

Not every state uses an SR22 certificate of financial responsibility. The SR22 filing is not used in:

  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

Of the states that do not use an SR22, each has its own version of the form and insurance requirements.

If you have an SR22 in one state and move to another state, normally you’ll still be required to meet the requirements of the SR-22 state where the offense was committed.  That means you’ll need to look for an out-of-state SR-22 filing from a nationwide auto insurance carrier.

If you live in a state that doesn’t use SR-22 filings but are mandated to carry an SR-22 in another state, normally you’ll be unable to obtain an SR-22.  In this situation, you’d need to work with the requesting state to get permission to provide, in lieu of an SR-22, certified documentation showing that your car insurance policy meets or exceeds the limits you’re being required to carry.

SR22, SR-22, SR 22, SR22 form: Is it all the same?

Yes. All of those are name variations of the same certificate of financial responsibility. Whether it is called an SR22, SR-22, SR 22 or SR22, the meaning and the requirements are the same.

SR22 insurance companies: Which companies offer the cheapest SR22 insurance quotes?

If the violation is serious, which most on the SR22 list are, you can expect your car insurance rates to go up drastically. That doesn’t mean you can’t shop around – in fact, the rates for drivers like you can vary by thousands of dollars – but you will need to compare car insurance quotes from companies that offer SR22 filings. The cost of SR22 insurance can be more expensive if you don't shop around.

You'll see in the chart below that the increase to your rate varies by quite a bit among companies. For example, you might pay up to 194% more for a Geico SR22 policy than you would for standard car insurance without the SR22 requirement. The average base rate here is for a driver of a 2017 Honda Accord with full coverage carrying a $500 deductible on comprehensive and collision.

Cheapest SR22 Insurance Companies

CompanyAverage base rateRate with SR22 with DUIAverage increase
State Farm$1,186$1,88959%

Not all companies will file an SR-22 certificate. And many companies may not want to insure a driver with a major infraction on his or her record. You need to compare car insurance quotes and select a car insurance company.

But the good news is that many major carriers are SR-22 insurance companies, meaning they will provide you with a policy and file the form with the state or legal entity on your behalf. This isn’t a complete list, but will give you a spring board if you are researching SR-22 insurance companies.

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

Once you select a company, they will file the SR22 certificate on your behalf.

If you don’t own a car or have access to one, we can sell you non-owner car insurance that will satisfy SR22 requirements. Call Insurance.com to compare quotes at 844-520-1574 and let a licensed agent provide you quotes from multiple top carriers.

You can get proof of insurance almost immediately by e-mail, and the car insurance company you choose will file an SR22 or other required state filing on your behalf if you need it.

Frequently asked questions about SR22 insurance

Why do I need an SR22?

You may not require an SR22 if you have had a clean driving record. But the most common reasons for needing one are reckless driving and being convicted of DUI or other traffic violation that results in license suspension by the state.

What is the difference between an SR22 and an FR44?

An SR22 and an FR44 may be the same in many ways, but there are some major differences that those affected should know about. One of the differences is that minimum liability car insurance coverage for an FR44 will be significantly higher than usual when compared to the SR22.

Also, FR44 is only required in Florida and Virginia in place of SR22 if you are found guilty of any alcohol related violation.

Is there a fee associated with an SR22/FR44?

How much is SR22 insurance? States require a fee for filing an SR22/FR44 form and the cost of SR22 insurance is between $15 and $25. This is just a onetime payment that will be charged when filing an initial application with your insurance provider; you will not have to make any payment upon annual renewal.

This low-cost requirement gives people with bad driving records and high rates on their insurance policies an opportunity to save money by getting back into good standing with the state.

How will an SR22 affect the cost of my insurance?

Your car insurance rates may go up after an SR22 because you would be considered a high-risk driver.  You could end up with much higher premiums than if you were considered a safe driver, and some companies may ask you to pay upfront so they can avoid any potential losses, non-payment or lapse in coverage.

How do I get my SR22 removed?

When purchasing an SR22, it's important to know that the document will not be automatically removed from your insurance policy.  You'll need to ask for its removal from your insurance policy and it is not guaranteed that your insurance rates will go down after filing an SR22 form. If you cancel or lapse during this period, then the DMV gets notified and it may result in your license suspension.

Does SR22 cover any car I drive even if I don't own it?

SR22 may cover cars that you don't own only if you have non-owner coverage SR22.

Do I have to tell my insurer about my SR22 requirement?

Yes, you should inform your insurer about your SR22 requirement. Your insurance company needs a heads up so they can file the SR22 form on your behalf. Filing an SR22 is a necessary step to ensure you meet the state's minimum requirements for insurance coverage.

You can't skip telling your current insurer about needing an SR22, but also buy a separate policy without informing them. State will not allow the purchase of a fake or duplicate car insurance.

Do I still need an SR22 if I have a suspended license?

Yes, SR22 insurance is often a requirement when someone's license has been suspended. In order to regain driving privileges, a driver needs an SR-22. This is often required by the department of motor vehicles when reinstating someone’s suspended license, but it doesn't allow them to drive while their suspension remains in effect.

How do I check the status of my SR22?

You can contact your insurance company to know your status on SR22. However, it may happen that your insurer will ask you to coordinate with the department of motor vehicles for status updates on an SR22.

Can I get an SR22 today?

The process of filing an SR22 can be time-consuming. The average wait is 30 days, which means you will need to start the process at least one month in advance if you want your car back on the road as quickly as possible.

Is an SR22 tied to my driver's license?

Yes. An SR22 is tied to your driver's license, just like demerit points added to your driver's license for any driving offences.

Do I need SR22 insurance in California?

If you are citizen of California, you may be asked to file an SR22 if you have been found guilty of certain traffic violations like speeding or DUI.

How do I get an SR22 Form?

You can get an SR22 from an insurance company. However, not all the companies offer SR22, you need to find the one that can file an SR22 form for you. After filling the form, you will need to make sure the related insurance coverage is maintained for a certain amount of time. The term varies but most commonly it lasts 3 years.

Are there different types of SR22 forms?

There are three different types of SR22 forms, and your insurer can help you choose one:

  • Owner: Owner certificate covers the car you own.
  • Owner-Operator: It is for those who owns a car but at times rent or borrow someone else' car.
  • Non-owner/Operator: An operator’s certificate is an option you can choose if your only vehicle ownership is via renting or borrowing vehicles.

Will my insurance rates go down when I am no longer required to carry an SR22?

SR22 requirements can be removed after fulfilling the financial obligations. For other more severe violations like DUI convictions it may take longer for your rates to go down but there is no guarantee how long they will stay high or when you'll see any relief from them.

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