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SR-22: What You Should Know

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Do you need an SR-22 but don't know who to contact or what information you need to provide? Contacting your insurance agency will get you started but here is some information about SR-22s that you should know before you call.

• What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a document used to monitor financial responsibility of drivers who have had violations. In other words, it is a way to assure that drivers with past violations are carrying car insurance. There are a few reasons that you would be required to obtain an SR-22:
- Getting into an accident that is your fault while driving without car insurance
- Having your license suspended or revoked
- A history of traffic tickets, or receiving a large number of tickets in a very short period.
- A DUI, DWI, or any kind of serious moving violation
• How long will I be required to use an SR-22?
Being required to use an SR-22 can be compared to being on probation for committing a crime; you will likely be using it for a long time, typically around three years. During this time, you will have to demonstrate that you are continuously carrying the proper car insurance coverage that is required by state law. If at any time you decide to cancel your coverage or let it lapse, your car insurance company will be required to notify state authorities and your license will be suspended.
• How do car insurance companies handle an SR-22?
Your car insurance company will file the SR-22 for you after you contact them regarding it. Once the insurance company files this form with your state department of motor vehicles to prove that you are currently carrying car insurance, your license will be valid and you will be able to drive again.
• What if I move to another state while requiring an SR-22?
You will need to continue the SR-22 for the state in which you resided during the violation until it is expired, and your insurance coverage needs to meet the new state requirements. If you move to a state that does not require an SR-22, you still need to carry your SR-22 until it expires. States not requiring an SR-22 include Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
Some states require that you pay a fee for your SR-22 filing. Check with your car insurance company to see if this fee applies to you.