People are sometimes confused by the unusual terms that get bandied about in the insurance world. One particularly ominous term is "SR-22", which refers to a specific type of insurance document. While this particular document is usually not good news, it is a necessary part of the insurance world, and if you need one, you’ll be happy to get it.
An SR-22 is a document that shows proof of financial responsibility. Not everyone is required to carry one. Most states require you to carry and SR-22 if you are caught driving without insurance coverage or are otherwise unable to show proof of financial responsibility. You might also need to carry one if you are charged with a DUI or DWI, cause a fatal accident or get your license suspended. The idea behind it is simply that it provides continual proof to the state that you are properly insured.
To get an SR-22, you would go through your normal insurance provider. You have to have insurance to get the document, so you must purchase insurance immediately if you don’t already have it. Unfortunately, someone seeking SR-22 insurance documentation is by definition a high risk driver, so the premiums will tend to be higher than for a normal driver, sometimes considerably higher. Then there would also usually be a nominal fee, often $15 to $25 for the document itself.
The time you’re required to carry an SR-22 can vary from state to state, but it is often about three years. During that time, you would be required to carry continuous insurance coverage–any lapse in your policy would cause your license to be suspended. Your carrier would be required to report such a lapse in coverage to the local police if you were to cancel or stop paying on your policy. The state will inform your insurance carrier when the time is up and you are no longer required to keep an SR-22 on file with them.
If you are caught driving without insurance or have another serious driving violations, getting SR-22 insurance documentation can be stressful. One thing you can do is to make sure that you’re getting the best possible rates on your coverage. You can do this by visiting our website, which offers live comparative quotes by zip code on auto insurance, so you can see immediately what your best possible rate is and where to get it.