If you’re convicted of a crime in Wisconsin that results in the suspension of your license, you might be required to file an SR-22 certificate. Sometimes referred to as SR-22 insurance, it’s actually a form filed with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
An SR-22 certifies that you have at least the minimum liability insurance required by Wisconsin law, and it must be filed before the state will reinstate your license.
Here’s what you need to know about obtaining and maintaining an SR-22 certificate in Wisconsin.
Do I need SR-22 insurance?
Your state’s DMV will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. You might be required to file an SR-22 in Wisconsin if your license is suspended or revoked for:
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence.
- Reckless driving.
- Multiple accidents or speeding tickets.
What if I don’t have a car or a license?
If you don’t own a car but plan to drive, you’re required to obtain non-owner insurance and file an SR-22. During the period your license is suspended, you don’t need to acquire insurance or file an SR-22 if you don’t intend to drive.
What if I’m from another state?
If you have an SR-22 from another state, you must maintain it while driving in Wisconsin. Your existing SR-22 is likely sufficient enough in Wisconsin, but verify coverage with the WisDOT and your insurer to be sure.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
The fee your provider charges for filing the SR-22 can range from $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 also typically see higher premiums than you’re used to. After such a conviction, you’re considered a “high-risk” driver by Wisconsin and most insurance 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.
The impact of an SR-22 on your car insurance ratesSR-22s are often required after serious driving convictions, such as driving without insurance or driving under the influence.
After such a conviction, you’re considered a “high-risk” driver by Wisconsin and most insurance 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 an SR-22 in Wisconsin?
If you’re required to file an SR-22 in Wisconsin, first contact your insurer. Or find one willing to file on your behalf.
- Contact your insurer. If you already have car insurance, contact your agent and advise them of your need to file an SR-22. Most providers are equipped to file one.
- Find an insurer. If you don’t already have insurance, you’ll need to find a provider. Not all insurance companies insure those who need an SR-22. If yours doesn’t, find one that will.
- Pay the SR-22 fee. Your insurer charges you a minimal processing fee for filing the SR-22 on your behalf.
- Verify minimum liability coverage. Confirm that your policy includes at least the minimum liability coverage amounts in Wisconsin:
- $10,000 for property damage.
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person.
- $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person.
- Submit your SR-22. In Wisconsin, how your SR-22 is filed depends on your provider. Most insurance companies mail your certificate directly to WisDOT. Some, however, will give you the SR-22 or file electronically with WisDOT. Electronically filed SR-22s are typically added to your driver record within a few business days
Find out how to get an SR-22 with top car insurance providers
How long will I need an SR-22?
In Wisconsin, insurance must be filed for three years from your license reinstatement eligibility date or for three years from the court entry date of a damage judgment.
Make sure you understand your role in maintaining your insurance and your SR-22. A lapse or nonrenewal could cost you a lot of unnecessary time and money.
What happens if I let my SR-22 lapse?
At any point if your coverage is canceled or you fail to renew it, your insurer is required to report the lapse to WisDOT. Your license may then be suspended, at which point you’ll need to pay any reinstatement fees and renew your policy in order to legally drive again.
What happens when I don’t need SR-22 coverage anymore?
You can confirm with WisDOT that your coverage is no longer needed once you’re at the end of your mandated filing period. From there you can contact your insurance provider to discuss the next steps for changing your policy as necessary.
Three years can feel like a long time to maintain a certification, but staying on top of it can help you stay behind the wheel and save some cash. Stay current on your premium payments, renew our policy early and drive safely within the laws to keep ahead of the curve.
You’re likely going to face higher premiums, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to settle. Take your time and compare providers to get one that will offer you the coverage you need at a rate you can afford.