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What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Many individuals who need SR-22 insurance have never heard of it until they need to submit the certificate. If you’re in this category, here’s a quick explanation of what this insurance is and why it’s important.

To begin with, we should clarify that although the term “SR-22 insurance” is used, this isn’t actually any type of auto insurance. It’s a certificate that verifies that a driver has insurance. A certificate of financial responsibility, also known under this name, is a document issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles that demonstrates that the driver currently maintains the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage requirements.

What is The Point of SR-22 Insurance?

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SR stands for “safety responsibility,” which is an appropriate description of the document. The insurance company issues an SR-22 bond, also known as a certificate. This insurance is sometimes referred to as the “CFR” which means a certificate of responsibility.

The form is only required of those who have certain traffic law infractions or criminal charges. If your auto insurance policy is canceled, the state requires that you obtain an SR-22 certificate. The insurance provider must inform the state of your cancellation as soon as possible. If you don’t pay your insurance premiums on time, they’ll also inform the state of that. The insurance company files an SR-26 form, which cancels out the filing. As a result, your license may be immediately suspended by the state.

You can renew this by paying the renewal fee and completing the form found here. If you’re currently a regular driver, the SR-26 filing won’t result in any license suspension. However, if you were previously insured and your policy was canceled or terminated, you are not required to file this form. The filings are usually no longer required unless another significant infraction takes place.

Laws

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The requirements for SR-22 certificates vary by state. Some states may not need SR-22 documents at all. When your application is accepted by the DMV is entirely a state issue. As soon as you’ve been convicted of a driving offense, you’ll need to file this form. In some states, an accident or license suspension must be reported as soon as possible. In addition, there are several states where the driver is not required to submit the SR-22 form until after they have their license reinstated and can resume driving.

If you have any questions about your state’s SR-22 requirements, contact your Department of Insurance.

Is an SR-22 Actually Insurance?

Because this form isn’t insurance, it won’t cover you if you were in an accident or charged with a driving infraction. This form tells the state whether a motorist has liability insurance. In other words, you can’t drive without having the required amount of financial responsibility coverage, which is usually your liability insurance. To put it another way, if an insurance company calls the state to notify them that your liability insurance policy has been canceled, the DMV acts immediately. Because the government does not want uninsured drivers on the road, it frequently suspends or revokes licenses.

In some states, motor vehicle insurance is required by law. If this is the case in your state, you must notify the DMV that you have met all required coverage when you submit an SR-22 form. Collision and comprehensive insurance are no longer required as a part of the filing, although drivers may still have it.

If you’re involved in an accident, your ability to file a claim is not affected by this certificate. Even if you have a filing obligation, insurance should be purchased in order to safeguard yourself.

When Do You Need This?

If you’ve been charged with any of the requirements that necessitate the filing of an SR-22 form, your court or insurance provider will notify you. Any of the following acts or omissions, if committed in a driving capacity, would result in needing SR-22 insurance:

  • At-fault for a collision with no insurance
  • DUI or DWI
  • Suspended license
  • Reckless driving offenses
  • Several points on driver’s license

This auto insurance filings are not only for individuals who have had traffic infractions or driving infractions. If you do not pay child support, you may be required to submit this form.

How Long is This Required?

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Normally, SR-22 insurance is required by law for three years. For serious infractions, the motorist may anticipate waiting months rather than weeks for an SR-22. Depending on the state, a DUI conviction may result in the need to fill out a form for 5 or more years.

Where are SR-22s used?

SR-22 forms are not utilized by every state. Some states, like the FR-44, demand the filing of a comparable form. Other states have their own approaches to monitoring driving infractions and motor vehicle insurance. The following states do not use the SR-22 form:

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

Unfortunately, you can’t stop filing an SR-22 form by moving to one of these states. All of these states have corresponding treaties requiring the SR-22. You must still fulfill the state’s requirements for filing an SR-22 form.

This Is For People Who Don’t Own a Car

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Your vehicle may have been damaged in the accident that prompted you to get an SR-22 filing, and you haven’t replaced it. Maybe you don’t own a car, but you do have access to one and use it on a regular basis. Different rules apply if that person is a member of your family, but you’ll still need coverage and an SR-22 filing if they’re offering you a vehicle as a friend. If you’re going to rent before buying, it’s important to think about what will happen if something goes wrong. Most insurance companies will require your name on the policy if you borrow a vehicle from a family member, such as a parent.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com

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