If you’ve gotten in trouble behind the wheel in Vermont, you could be ordered by the court to file for an SR-22.
Even though most people call it “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 isn’t insurance. 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 Green Mountain State.
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Do I need SR-22 insurance in Vermont?
Your state DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. In Vermont, you may need to file for an SR-22 if:
- You’re found driving without insurance.
- You’re at fault in an accident and don’t have insurance.
- You’re convicted of a DUI or DWI.
- You’ve acquired too many points on your driving record.
- The state restricts or revokes your license.
The state of Vermont only accepts SR-22 certificates from insurance companies. An independent insurance agent may not file an SR-22 on your behalf.
What if I don’t have a car or license?
You’ll still need to file for an SR-22 to legally drive in Vermont. 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, you’ll need to maintain it while driving in Vermont. Call the DMV and your insurer to determine whether your SR-22 is sufficient in Vermont.
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. 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 ratesSR-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 Vermont?
- Find an insurer. Ask your insurer if it issues SR-22s in the state of Vermont. 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 processing and filing the form on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. If you’re already insured, call your provider to confirm your policy includes at least:
- $25,000 for injury or death to one person.
- $50,000 for injury or death to more than one person.
- $10,000 for damage to property.
These are the minimum coverage requirements for the state of Vermont that you might see listed as 25/50/10 in insurance documents.
- Submit your SR-22. Your insurance agent will file your SR-22 with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Wait for confirmation. You’ll receive a letter from your insurer and the Vermont DMV that your SR-22 is accepted.
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How long will I need an SR-22 for?
In Vermont, you must carry an SR-22 for three years from the date of the event that led to your SR-22 requirement.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Your insurer is required to immediately report a lapse in your insurance to the Vermont DMV. A break in your SR-22 coverage could result in your license being suspended until your insurance is renewed and any reinstatement fees are paid.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
A call to your local DMV office may be in order before any sweeping changes to your insurance are made. After you confirm with the state that your mandated filing period is over you can talk with your insurance agent about the next best steps for your policy.
You’re completely responsible for maintaining your SR-22 coverage for the length of your mandated filing period. As such, you can save yourself a good deal of potential grief by following traffic laws carefully, keeping up on your insurance premium payments and renewing your policy early.
Though you’ll be faced with higher premiums, you still may be able to find a plan that fits both your needs and your budget. Carefully compare your options to find the right provider for your situation.