Drivers with poor driving records may be required to offer a certificate of insurance to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. This certificate is called an SR-22. An SR-22 acts as proof of auto insurance from your insurance provider. It is not an insurance card that you carry with you when driving. However, it is your insurance provider that issues the certificate that proves you have the minimum insurance required by your state.
Why Does the DMV Require an SR-22?
The great majority of drivers never have to give an SR-22 to the state. However, drivers found guilty of major traffic offenses or accidents may have to provide the state with an SR-22 form. Following are some of the reasons for the need to file an SR-22.
- A serious at-fault accident
- Conviction of a DWI, DUI or OUI
- A number of traffic offenses
- Caught driving without insurance
- Caught committing a felony while driving
- Other offenses
Getting an SR-22
Many car insurance providers offer what they call SR-22 insurance. Usually, this kind of auto insurance policy comes with a higher premium than your existing policy. If your existing insurer decides to keep you as a customer, they may charge a higher premium than before your SR-22 requirement. Unfortunately, a number of car insurance providers may not write insurance for folks who have had their license revoked or suspended. Insurers that will write such a policy may charge a higher premium, as their risk is greater with customers who are proven to be risky drivers.
What Happens When You Fail to Keep an SR-22 for the Full Period of Time Ordered?
Nothing good. In most states, the clock begins all over again. Citizens with a suspended or revoked license can only have their licenses restored by having their auto insurance provider file an SR-22 on their behalf. In most states, this requirement is in force for at least three years from the time your insurance provider submits your SR-22. However, you’ll be told how long you’ll need to maintain SR-22 coverage, which depends on the severity of your infraction. DUIs and DWIs are not taken lightly considering the risk involved with that behavior.