You can be required to file one of several SR-22s in California based on your driving situation if you violate state driving laws in a major way, like driving under the influence. Although the SR-22 doesn’t cost much in itself, expect to pay a higher premium for three to 10 years to offset any extra risk for your car insurance company.
What's in this guide?
- How much does an SR-22 cost in California?
- California SR-22 car insurance rates
- How do I file an SR-22 in California?
- Compare California SR-22 insurance
- How long will I need an SR-22 in California?
- How does an SR-22 work in California?
- Do I need SR-22 insurance in California?
- What if I don’t have a car or license?
- What if I’m from another state?
- What's the difference between an SR-22 and a SR-1P?
- Bottom line
How much does an SR-22 cost in California?
Once you’ve purchased or renewed a policy, most providers will file an SR-22 for a fee of $20 to $50. But it’s not the fee that’s most expensive when you’re required to file for an SR-22 — you’ll also typically see higher premiums than you’re used to.
SR-22s are often required after a driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or a DUI. After a conviction, you’re considered a “high-risk” driver by the state and most providers.
Talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase. And make sure you understand your role in maintaining your insurance and your SR-22. A lapse or nonrenewal could set you back a lot of money and time.
Providers might expect you to pay the annual premium up front to protect them from future risks of nonpayment. After driving without insurance or a DUI and getting an SR-22 , you’re considered a high-risk driver by the state and most providers. Once labeled high-risk, you’ll likely pay more than low-risk drivers until you can prove you’re a safer driver.
The impact of an SR-22 on future car insurance rates
After driving without insurance or a DUI and getting an SR-22 , you’re considered a high-risk driver by the state and most providers. Once labeled high-risk, you’ll likely pay more than low-risk drivers until you can prove you’re a safer driver.
How do I file an SR-22 in California?
- Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if they can issue SR-22s in California. If not, find a provider that can.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. If your insurer is filing your SR-22 for you, you’ll pay a processing fee.
- Make sure you have minimum liability coverage. You could see the coverage listed as 15/30/5 in insurance documents.
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
- Wait for claim confirmation. You won’t be able to legally drive in the state until your SR-22 is filed and processed.
Compare California SR-22 insurance
Find the best rates from insurance providers near you or learn more about state minimums and other requirements in the comprehensive guide to California car insurance.
How long will I need an SR-22 in California?
In California, most court-ordered SR-22s result in a coverage requirement of up to three years. However, more serious convictions can result in carrying SR-22 insurance for up to 10 years.
If your driver’s license is suspended, keep in mind that your SR-22 won’t begin until after the suspension is over.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Once you no longer need an SR-22, or if the SR-22 period expires, your auto insurance company files a SR-26 form to end the coverage. Your insurer can do this automatically with an electronic form to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
If you don’t buy or renew your car insurance, your provider will file an SR-26 with the California DMV, resulting in the suspension of your license until you file for an SR-22. If you want to cancel your policy and find a new provider, you have 45 days to submit proof of coverage to the DMV.
If you allow your coverage to lapse, you’ll reset the clock on your SR-22 coverage. Say you’re required to file for an SR-22 for three years and you forget to renew your policy after two years. In this case, you effectively reset the clock back to a three-year requirement. Don’t allow negligence to negate the money and time you’ve put into your responsibility.
How does an SR-22 work in California?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles may mail a notice that your license or registration will be suspended and an SR-22 proof of insurance is required. Typically, you need an SR-22 form if you violated California’s insurance or registration laws. For DUI violations, you may also need an ignition interlock to prove you’re not drunk before getting behind the wheel.
Types of SR-22s in California
California can require one of three types of SR-22 forms:
- Operator’s Policy Certificate. For drivers that don’t own a vehicle.
- Owner’s Policy Certificate. For drivers who intend to drive their own cars.
- Broad Policy Certificate. Coverage for all cars you might drive, whether you own them or not.
Do I need SR-22 insurance in California?
Your state DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. In California, you may need to file for an SR-22 if:
- The state restricts or revokes your license.
- You’re convicted of a DUI or DWI.
- You’ve racked up a lot of points or unpaid tickets on your driving record.
- You’re responsible for an accident and fail to pay for damages.
- You had a wreck while you were uninsured.
- You don’t pay your court-mandated child support.
What if I don’t have a car or license?
You’ll still need to file for an SR-22 to legally get behind the wheel in California. If you lose your license because you’re caught driving without insurance, the court could order you to carry non-owner insurance to reinstate your license.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, you must maintain it while driving in California. Your SR-22 is likely sufficient in California, but it’s best to verify coverage with the DMV and your insurer.
What’s the difference between an SR-22 and a SR-1P?
While the SR-22 is usually filed by your insurance company and proves you have insurance, the SR-1P is a form provided by your insurance if you’re in a car accident. Your SR-1P will prove financial responsibility and that you had insurance at the time of the accident.
You may be required to take out one of three types of SR-22 insurance in California if you’ve faced a DUI or other serious driving convictions. Making insurance payments on time and meeting filing deadlines can help you avoid resetting the clock on your mandate.
Though you may still be considered a high-risk driver for some time after the SR-22 mandate ends, it’s possible to find insurance. Be sure to compare providers to find the one that best suits you.
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