If you’ve gotten in trouble behind the wheel in Louisiana, you could be ordered by the court to file an SR-22.
While commonly called “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 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 Pelican State.
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Do I need SR-22 insurance in Louisiana?
Your state DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. You may need to file for an SR-22 if:
- You have a safety-responsibility or unsatisfied-judgment license suspension.
- You’re convicted of a DUI.
- You’re found driving without insurance.
- The state restricts or revokes your license.
- You’re under mandatory insurance supervision.
What if I don’t have a car or license?
You’ll still need to file for an SR-22 to legally drive in Louisiana. If you lose your license because you’re caught driving without insurance, you might be required 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, maintain it while driving in Louisiana. Call the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) and your insurer to make sure your SR-22 is sufficient in Louisiana.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
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. SR-22s are often required after a driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or a DUI conviction. With such severe convictions on your driving record, 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.
The impact of an SR-22 on your car insurance rates
SR-22s are often required after a driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or a DUI conviction. With such severe convictions on your driving record, 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.
How do I file an SR-22 in Louisiana?
- Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if it issues SR-22s in the state of Louisiana. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to find a car insurance company that does.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Finalize your SR-22 by paying a fee to your insurer to process and file the form on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. If you’re already insured, call your provider to verify your policy includes at least:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $25,000 for damage to property.
You might see listed as 15/30/25 in insurance documents.
- Submit your SR-22. Your insurance agent will file your SR-22 with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety.
- Wait for confirmation. You’ll receive a letter from your insurer and the Louisiana DPS that your SR-22 is accepted.
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How long will I need an SR-22?
You’ll be required to maintain SR-22 coverage for at least three years. If you don’t want to maintain the SR-22 filing for that long, and you can afford it, Louisiana will also accept a deposit of $30,000–$50,000 in cash or securities.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
A lapse in your coverage can come in one of several ways. Failing to file on time, ending your coverage with a provider or your insurer canceling your policy due to continually late payments are just a few reasons you may have a gap.
Your license will likely be suspended in the event of an SR-22 lapse. To earn your license back you’ll need to renew your coverage and pay a $60 SR-22 cancellation suspension fee.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Once you’re through the entirety of your filing period, you’ll want to confirm with the OMV that you’re clear before you change plans to avoid getting your license suspended. Your insurer will be the next agency to contact. You can discuss your current policy, what’s available to you and if needed you can then change to a different provider.
A serious driving conviction takes time and money to deal with, but it can be done. To make the journey as smooth as possible it’s important to keep a clean record during your filing period, keep up on insurance payments and renew your insurance early or on time.
You’ll still have options when it comes to insurance providers, even with a mark on your record. Compare various insurers to get the full scope of what’s available to you, and get a plan that fits your needs.