What is SR-22 Certification? And When is it Necessary?

A Statement Responsibility or SR-22 (sometimes referred to as a certificate of insurance or a financial responsibility filing) is commonly mistaken for auto insurance. However, it is a certification form that provides proof that you are carrying the state-mandated amount of car insurance. The certification form also shows that your insurance company guarantees that you are financially responsible for any accidents and that they will, therefore, inform the DMV of a ticket or accident if you do not.

The SR-22 form proves that you have liability coverage from your insurance provider, meaning your insurance will cover any damage or injury done to others if you are in an accident. However, it may not cover injury or damage done to you or your property.

When an SR-22 Is Required

Drivers with a suspended or revoked driver’s license must file an SR-22 form with their insurance provider. Among the violations are DUI, DWI, OWI, and DUID; however, the requirement is not limited to drug and alcohol-related offenses. Being caught driving without insurance, being responsible for multiple violations, such as excessive speeding or reckless driving in a short period, and being accountable for an accident that has caused severe injury or death are reasons the DMV may require you to maintain an SR-22.

Filing a Form

How to go about filing a form will depend on your insurance. Some insurance companies will enroll you in a “bad driver” program and submit the SR-22 form on your behalf. Other insurance companies might cancel your current coverage or choose not to renew your policy if you are considered a high-risk driver. If your case is the latter, you must contact a new insurance provider. Depending on the severity of your offenses, it is likely that you will work with an insurance agent to create a new policy that incorporates the SR-22 certification.
Once you arrive at a policy that works best, the insurance company will then file an SR-22 form. The process could take 30 days or more, and during that time, your license will be flagged as restricted, suspended, or revoked. It is wise to figure out an alternative transportation arrangement during the time your new insurance is going into effect to avoid further consequences.

How Long Is A SR-22 Required?

While it varies by state, and the severity of your driving offenses, the average amount of time you will need to carry an SR-22 form with your insurance is three years. Your insurance agent should be able to provide you with a more refined timeline once they have the chance to look at your driving offenses.

Are There Different Types of Forms?

Yes. There are three types of forms. The first is the owner; this is for those who drive their vehicle exclusively. Next is operator-non-owner; this form will help protect the policyholder and not the car. The third is operator-owner; this is for drivers who own a vehicle and rent or borrow cars on occasion.

Expiration

The SR-22 form will expire automatically, and the DMV or your insurance provider will inform you when the period is about to end. It is encouraged that during this period, you contact your insurance provider to go over your new insurance options. This is also an excellent time to confirm the date for which it expires and inquire how your coverage and rates might change.

Allow yourself at least 15 days, but typically you want to allow 30 days to renew your insurance policy. This way, you will avoid any lapse in coverage. If a lapse occurs, the DMV will be notified, and this could not only cause you to become an uninsured driver, which will automatically revoke your license, but license reinstatement fees, court fees, and even jail time could be the result.

The best way to navigate the legal process is to inform yourself and prepare yourself. Allowing ample time for your insurance provider to file a form is a must. You also must use discretion and practice patience and discipline if you need to wait a certain amount of time before you are legally able to operate a vehicle again. These measures will help prevent any further problems that come as a result of being forced to comply.

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