In need of SR-22 insurance? It can be confusing to know where to start, but you’re not alone. Many drivers require an SR-22 because they’re considered high risk due to a past DWI or DUI, driving without insurance or multiple traffic convictions. Needing one is a short-term issue that’s simple to clear up and move on from.
While it’s often called “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 isn’t actually insurance at all. Your insurance files an SR-22 document with the state for a small fee for you to prove you have an active insurance policy that meets minimum liability requirements. This is your official proof of insurance to legally drive.
You might be wondering how to find the cheapest insurance after getting an SR-22, and what happens to your insurance and driving record after the three or five years you’ve maintained your SR-22 coverage. But an SR-22 isn’t the end of the world for your driving career. Understand the details of an SR-22 and find out how to get the best deal on your SR-22 coverage.
Who needs an SR-22?
Your state DMV will notify you after a major driving incident if you need to get SR-22 coverage. Depending on your state’s laws, you could be required to file an SR-22 if:
- You are convicted of a DUI/DWI.
- You are found to be driving while uninsured.
- You are involved in an accident that causes an injury.
- You have a lot of points on your driving record.
Any of these marks on your record can mean that you’re considered a risk in the state you drive in. To obtain traditional insurance is not enough — instead, you must provide extra proof that you are meeting the mandated requirements and will do so for a specified period of time.
Is SR-22 insurance expensive?
In the grand scheme of things, no. An SR-22 typically costs from $25 to 55 for the certificate. But because of your driving history that requires the SR-22, you may find yourself paying higher insurance premiums.
Insurance costs are based on risk, and needing an SR-22 places you in a high-risk category. Some mainstream companies will require a full year of payments up front in order to insure you, but that’s not always the case. You’ll find many companies that work with high-risk drivers. But rates vary by company, so it’s best to shop around for the best deal.
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Tips for saving money on SR-22 car insurance
Even with a DUI or SR-22 on your record, you can still save money on your car insurance. Consider these factors that affect your car insurance rates for SR-22 insurance.
- Severity of incident. DUI conviction and accident will cost more than traffic violation like speeding tickets.
- Number of incidents. Several incidents in the span of three years will cost more in insurance than one.
- Age. The youngest drivers will find the worst insurance costs with a driving under the influence charge.
- Time. Car insurance providers typically look at your driving record from the past three to five years, but a DUI could stay on your record for up to ten years.
- Provider. Some companies penalize you more for problems with your driving record than others.
How long will I need an SR-22 for?
How long you’ll need an SR-22 will vary by state and situation. Most states require an SR-22 for three years. During those three years, you’re required to pay for and file a new SR-22 each time you renew your policy.
If in those three years you commit any dangerous driving offenses, you could be required to extend the length of time you need an SR-22. If you’ve remained free of accidents, you can forfeit the certificate and get back to purchasing regular, low-risk insurance coverage.