If you’ve lost your license in Iowa, you may have to file for SR-22 insurance in order to get your license back.
SR-22 insurance isn’t actually insurance. It’s a certificate that verifies you have the minimum liability insurance required by law in Iowa.
Here’s a look at how you can get and maintain an SR-22 in the Hawkeye State.
Why do I have to file an SR-22 in Iowa?
You might be required by law to file an SR-22 if:
- You’re convicted of an OWI or DUI.
- You’re convicted of reckless driving.
- You’re found driving without insurance.
What if I don’t have a car?
If you don’t own a car but you intend to drive, you still need to file for an SR-22. You’ll need to purchase a non-owner or operator insurance policy to get your license reinstated.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, maintain it while driving in Iowa. Call the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine whether your SR-22 is sufficient in Iowa.
If you move from Iowa and want to apply for a license in another state, you still need to meet Iowa’s SR-22 requirements. You and a driver’s license official need to complete an Iowa Residency Statement form.
Once it’s completed, mail it to:
Iowa Department of Transportation
Office of Driver Services
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204.
How much does an SR-22 cost in Iowa?
Once you’ve renewed or purchases a policy most providers will file an SR-22 for a fee $20 to $50. However, it’s not the filing fee that’s most expensive when you’re required to file an SR-22 — you’ll typically see higher premiums than you’re used to.
The impact of an SR-22 on your car insurance rates
SR-22s are often required after a driving conviction, such as a OWI or reckless driving. After such a conviction, you’re considered a “high risk” driver by Iowa and most insurance providers — which typically results in higher insurance rates. Still, you’ll find providers out there that specialize in high-risk drivers.
Talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
Make sure you understand your role in maintaining your insurance and your SR-22. A lapse or nonrenewal could cost you a lot of time and money.
How do I file an SR-22 in Iowa?
- Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if it issues SR-22s in the state of Iowa. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to find a car insurance company that does.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Your insurer will charge you a processing fee for filing the SR-22 on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. Iowa’s minimum insurance requirements are:
- $20,000 bodily injury for one person.
- $40,000 bodily injury for more than one person.
- $20,000 uninsured and $40,000 underinsured motorist coverage.
These are the minimum coverage requirements for the state of Iowa that you might see listed as 20/40/20 in insurance documents.
- Submit your SR-22. Your insurance agent will file your SR-22 with the Iowa’s DOT Office of Driver Services.
- Wait for confirmation. You’ll receive a letter from your insurer and the state of Iowa that your SR-22 is accepted.
Find out how to get an SR-22 with top car insurance providers
How long will I need an SR-22 for in Iowa?
In Iowa, you usually need to keep SR-22 for two years once your license is reinstated.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Your license and registrations are suspended if your SR-22 insurance lapses. A lapse can occur if you end your current SR-22 policy before being fully covered by a new one, expiration or cancelation. Getting your license suspended again means having to pay any reinstatement fees again as well.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
After your filing period ends you’ll be able to change your policy without having to deal with SR-22 certification anymore. Confirm with the Iowa DOT before you end your coverage. Doing so can help you avoid suspension of your license and registrations.
You’ll need to keep up your SR-22 filing for two years after the mandate is passed. Staying on top of your payments, filing by your deadline and maintaining a spotless driving record during this time can help you avoid additional fees and losing your license again.
Compare your insurance options before you settle. Your premiums will likely be higher, which makes it all the more important to get the best deal available.