If you’ve gotten in trouble behind the wheel in Colorado, you could be ordered by the court to file for an SR-22.
However “SR-22 insurance” isn’t insurance at all. Rather, it’s a document your insurance company files with the state to prove you’re covered by the minimum car insurance required to legally drive.
Here’s a look at how you can get and maintain an SR-22 in the Centennial State.
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Do I need SR-22 insurance in Colorado?
Your state DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. In Colorado, you may need to file for an SR-22 if:
- You’re convicted of a DUI.
- The state restricts or revokes your license.
- You’ve acquired 12 or more points on your driving record within the previous 12 months.
- You’re responsible for an accident and fail to pay for damages.
- A judge orders a mandatory insurance supervision.
There are three types of Colorado SR-22 certificates:
- Operator’s certificate. For drivers who don’t own a vehicle.
- Owner’s certificate. For drivers who intend to drive their own cars.
- Operators–owners certificate. Coverage for all cars you might drive, whether you own them or not.
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 Colorado. Ask your insurer about how you can get an operator’s certificate.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, you must maintain it while driving in Colorado. Your SR-22 is likely to be sufficient in Colorado, but it’s best to verify coverage with the DMV and your insurer.
How much does an SR-22 cost in Colorado?
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 file for an SR-22: You’ll also typically see higher premiums than you’re used to.
How do I file an SR-22 in Colorado?
1. Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if it’s authorized to issue SR-22s by the state of Colorado. If not, find a provider that is.
2. Pay the SR-22 fee. To finalize your SR-22, you’ll pay your insurer a fee for the filing convenience.
3. Verify minimum liability coverage. If you’re already insured, call your provider to make sure your policy includes at least:
- $25,000 for injury or death to one person.
- $50,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $15,000 for damage to property.
These are the minimum coverage requirements for the state of Colorado. You may see this coverage listed as 25/50/15 in insurance documents.
4. Submit your SR-22. Ask your insurance agent to file your SR-22 for you, or mail it to the Colorado DMV in Lakewood.
If you mail your SR-22, you may need to include an Application for Reinstatement form if your license was suspended.
How long will I need an SR-22 in Colorado?
In Colorado, most court-ordered SR-22s result in a coverage requirement of three years.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Your insurance company will notify the Colorado DMV if you let your coverage lapse when the SR-22 is still required. Should this happen, your license will be suspended.
It’s incredibly important for you to keep up on your SR-22 insurance and renew it annually until the mandate ends.
The impact of an SR-22 on your car insurance rates
SR-22s are often required after driving without insurance, a DUI or other serious driving convictions. As a result, the state and most providers consider you “high risk.”
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.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Avoid penalties by confirming that your mandate is completely finished before canceling or changing your policy. Once you’ve contacted your local DMV to establish it’s done you can go about shifting to a different insurance plan without fear of penalties from the court.
One of three types of SR-22 certificates may be required if you have a serious enough driving conviction, even if you don’t own a vehicle. By renewing your coverage every year can prevent an extension of your mandate, and get you back to the regular market faster.
A mark on your record may follow you for a while, but there are still options available. Compare insurance carriers to get a policy that meets your needs at a reasonable rate.