The National Motorists Association found that Florida issues the most moving violations in the US. So if a partly cloudy driving record requires you to get an SR-22 in the Sunshine State, you aren’t alone.
What’s commonly called “SR-22 insurance” is actually a document filed with Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles by your insurance company. This document proves that you’re covered by the state’s minimum liability coverage, making you legal on the road.
Getting and maintaining an SR-22 in Florida doesn’t have to be frightening. Here is an overview of the process.
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Do I need to file an SR-22 in Florida?
You may be required to get an SR-22 in Florida if:
- You’re involved in an accident while uninsured.
- You have a judgment filed against you in connection with an accident.
- Your license is revoked.
- You’re under court supervision for driving violations.
What are the different types of SR-22 forms Florida requires?
Florida requires three types of SR-22 forms, depending on your conviction:
- A standard SR-22. Typically required for three years after a suspended license or accident while uninsured.
- Six-month noncancelable SR-22. Typically required for two years after a ticket for driving without insurance.
- SR-22/FR-22. Typically required after a DUI conviction to certify increased insurance coverage.
What is an SR-44?
Also called an FR-22, and SR-44 is a document required for drivers convicted of a DUI. Florida is one of only two states that requires one. You’re also required to pay for your annual policy in full, rather than in monthly installments.
An SR-44 comes with higher liability requirements and more strict restrictions than an SR-22:
- $100,000 for one person injured or killed in an accident.
- $300,000 for two or more people injured or killed in an accident.
- $50,000 for damage to property.
What if I don’t have a car or license?
Even if you no longer have a license or vehicle, Florida requires you maintain insurance as a condition of eventually having your license reinstated.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance is different from typical coverage:
- It doesn’t cover a vehicle, including any owned by other members of your household.
- It covers you for occasional or unplanned driving of someone else’s vehicle.
- It must be switched to an owner SR-22 plan if you purchase a vehicle.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, your insurer will need to certify in writing that your policy complies with Florida law and that they’re licensed to do business in Florida before you can legally get behind the wheel.
How much does an SR-22 cost in Florida?
Filing for an SR-22 requires a nominal fee of $15 to $25. The bigger cost, however, is the higher policy premiums that will likely result from an SR-22’s impact on your driving record.
Marks on your driving records typically place you in a high-risk pool of drivers, which increases your monthly premium. Insurers may also require you purchase a year’s worth of coverage up front, rather than pay monthly.
Check with your insurance provider to determine how much your rates are likely to rise, and ensure that you maintain coverage.
How do I file for an SR-22 in Florida?
If you’re required to file for an SR-22, you’ll follow a few simple steps:
- Contact your insurance provider. Let your provider know that you require an SR-22. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to purchase a policy.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. Ensure that your policy’s coverage is at least:
- $10,000 for one person injured or killed in an accident.
- $20,000 for two or more people injured or killed in an accident.
- $10,000 for damage to property.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Only your provider can file an SR-22 on your behalf, and that service nearly always comes with a fee.
- Wait for confirmation. After your provider files your SR-22 with the Florida Secretary of State, you’ll need to wait for confirmation that it’s accepted before you can legally drive in the state.
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How long will I need an SR-22 in Florida?
In most cases, Florida requires that you maintain your SR-22 for three years. Six-month noncancelable SR-22 filings are required for two years.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
If your SR-22 lapses for any reason, perhaps due to failing to make a policy payment, the state can suspend your license until your policy is renewed.
To ensure no lapses in coverage and the additional costs that come with, pay your premium as early as possible in your billing cycle. Most insurance agencies are required to notify the state if a policy is not renewed within 15 days of expiration.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Once your mandate ends you’ll be able to cancel your current policy without reprimand from the courts and move to something new. It may be worth talking with the DMV before making any insurance changes to verify that you’re clear to switch away from your SR-22 approved plan.
A serious driving conviction can lead to your needing one of three SR-22 forms, and you may need to switch to a different one throughout the period if your circumstances change. Keep on top of your payments, annual filings and any required changes to help avoid extending the mandate.
Your premiums may suffer, but there are still options available. Take your time and compare providers before rushing into a new plan.