If your license is suspended in North Dakota, you might be required to file an SR-22 — or certification of financial responsibility.
It’s one of those things you might not know about until you need one. But an SR-22 is a form produced by an insurance provider that verifies you have the minimum car insurance coverage required by North Dakota. It must be filed on your behalf before your license can be reinstated.
Here’s what you need to know about obtaining and maintaining an SR-22 in North Dakota.
Do I need to file an SR-22 in North Dakota?
North Dakota law may require you to file an SR-22 if you’re convicted of:
- Driving under the influence.
- Driving without a valid license.
- A death as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
- A felony involving a car.
You might also need one if you’re in an accident and don’t have insurance.
What if I don’t have a car?
For the state to reinstate your license, regardless of whether you own a car, you’re likely required to file an SR-22. In this case, you’d purchase a non-owner or operator insurance policy.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, you must maintain it to legally drive in North Dakota.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
The fee your provider charges for filing the SR-22 should be $20 to $50. But it’s not the filing fee that’s most expensive when you’re required to file an SR-22 — you’ll also typically see higher premiums than you’re used to. To avoid surprises, talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
The impact of an SR-22 on your car insurance ratesSR-22s are often required after a serious driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or reckless driving. After such a conviction, you’re considered a “high-risk” driver by North Dakota and most providers — which typically results in higher insurance rates. Still, you’ll find providers out there — like the General — that specialize in high-risk drivers.
To avoid surprises, talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
How do I file an SR-22 in North Dakota?
It’s easy to file for an SR-22 in North Dakota, whether you currently have insurance or not.
- Notify your insurer. If you already have insurance, let your provider know that you need to file an SR-22. Most are equipped to file this form.
- Find an insurer. Not all providers will insure you if you’re required to file an SR-22. If your current provider won’t, find one that will.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Insurers charge a minimal processing fee for filing the SR-22 on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. Make sure your policy covers you at the minimum required by North Dakota:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability coverage: $25,000 per accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist covering $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident.
- Basic no-fault insurance covering $30,000 per person.
- Submit your SR-22. North Dakota typically allows for electronic filing. Ask for confirmation that your provider’s submitted yours before you get back behind the wheel.
Find out how to get an SR-22 with top car insurance providers
How long will I need an SR-22 for?
In North Dakota, you’re required to maintain an SR-22 for one year from:
- The date your driving privileges are reinstated.
- The date a temporary restricted license is issued to you.
- The date of the motor vehicle accident in which there was no insurance in effect at the time of the accident.
Make sure you understand your role in maintaining your insurance and your SR-22. A lapse or nonrenewal could set you back significant money and time, possibly resetting the time you’re required to carry one.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Part of maintaining your SR-22 certification is renewing at least 15 days prior to your insurance expiring. A failure to do so, an expired policy or a canceled one can result in your license being suspended. The suspension will remain until your coverage is renewed and any reinstatement fees are paid.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
Once you’re able to fulfill the year of continuous coverage you’ll be able to change your policy without having to worry about your license being suspended. Simply contact the North Dakota Department of Transportation to confirm that the mandated filing period is over to prevent any additional frustration.
While it can be a hassle to keep on top of your filing for a year, it’s certainly less of a pain than having a suspended license. Make your payments on time, renew your coverage early and be sure to drive within the law to avoid further penalties.
Take advantage of the resources you have available and compare your options. With higher premiums it’s especially important to shop around for the best deal.