If you’re convicted of a crime in Virginia that results in the state revoking your driver’s license, you might be required to file an SR-22 certificate.
An SR-22 is certification of financial responsibility. It confirms to the state that you’re covered by car insurance meeting Virginia’s minimum requirements. This form must be filed before your license can be reinstated.
Here’s what you need to know about obtaining and maintaining an SR-22 in Old Dominion.
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Do I need to file an SR-22 in Virginia?
Virginia law may require you to file an SR-22 if your license is suspended due to:
- Unsatisfied judgments.
- Driving without insurance.
- Failing to provide proof of insurance associated with insurance monitoring.
- Falsifying insurance certification.
- Operating a for-hire car without a license.
- A driving conviction for an accident resulting in death or injury.
- Any crime punishable as a felony by the state.
What if I don’t have a car?
Even if you don’t own a car, you’re required to file an SR-22 if you want to get your license reinstated. You’ll likely need to 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 while driving in Virginia.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
The fee your provider charges for filing the SR-22 should be around $20 to $50.
But the filing fee isn’t what’s most expensive when you’re required to file an SR-22 — you’ll also 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 serious driving conviction, such as driving without insurance or reckless driving. After such a conviction, the state considers you a “high-risk” driver, as will 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.
Talk to your provider about how much you can expect your rates to increase.
How do I file for an SR-22 in Virginia?
Here’s how to file an SR-22 in Virginia:
- 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 someone who is required to file an SR-22. If yours doesn’t, it’s easy enough to find one that will.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Your insurer will charge you a minimal processing fee for filing the SR-22 on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. Make sure your policy includes Virginia’s minimum insurance coverage:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death of two or more people
- $20,000 in property damage
- Submit your SR-22. In Virginia, your insurance provider will typically electronically file the SR-22 on your behalf. Ask for confirmation before you get back behind the wheel.
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How long will I need an SR-22?
In Virginia, you’re typically required to maintain an SR-22 certificate for three years.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
Your insurance provider is required to report any lapse in coverage. If your policy is canceled due to missed payments or you’ve failed to renew it, the state will be notified immediately. This gap in coverage could lead to your license being suspended again.
A suspension can only be lifted by paying the reinstatement fees and renewing your insurance. You may also have the clock reset on your filing period. In other words, if you were two years into your three-year period you would have to carry the certification for three years from the point of your license reinstatement instead of two.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
You may want to contact the DMV once you think your mandated filing period is over. Once you confirm with the state that it’s fulfilled you can work with your insurance agent to find out what the best plan is for you moving forward.
Virginia has steep reinstatement and uninsured motor vehicle fees that you may be able to avoid paying more than once if you properly maintain your SR-22 certification. Drive safely and legally, keep up on your insurance premiums and renew your policy early to avoid potentially getting your license suspended again.
Fees aren’t the only cost you’ll face. Be sure to shop around and compare providers to find insurance that covers what you need at a rate you can afford.