If you’ve recently heard the term SR22, we assume you have a suspended driver’s license. When you need an SR22 filing, your insurance status changes to “high risk.” As a result, the state will require you to attach an SR22 form to your auto insurance policy.
As if getting automobile insurance isn’t a big enough hassle, right? Now you also have to figure out how to add the SR22 filing! Do you know what it is? Do you know how to get it? You may have heard that filing an SR22 certificate means paying more for your auto insurance. At this point, do you feel like selling your vehicle and forgetting the whole thing? You could do that, but you don’t need to go that far. We’re here to help.
When you need a financial responsibility filing (SR22), contact professional agents at a trusted auto insurance agency like UltraCar Insurance. Please continue reading to learn more about SR22 certificates, how to get them, how they affect your insurance costs and other essential details.
What is SR22 anyway?
An SR22 isn’t an insurance policy but an addendum to an auto or non-owner insurance policy. It assures the DMV that the driver is financially responsible and meets the minimum liability requirements set by the state. Auto insurance companies file them for drivers who want to reinstate their driving privileges. Individuals cannot perform an SR22 filing themselves. And insurance carriers must notify the state if an SR22 policyholder falls behind on payments or cancels their policy.
Why is an SR22 Needed?
SR22s allow you to reinstate your driver’s license after revocation or suspension. Some people file an SR22 to get a probationary or hardship license. Other common reasons people need an SR22 certificate include:
- Negligent or reckless driving
- DUI/DWI convictions
- Causing an accident without a valid license or insurance
- Committing several traffic offenseswithin a brief period
- Unpaid child support
- Failure to appear in court
It’s good to know that an SR22 / FR44 requirement does not last forever. The state will remove the requirement if you keep your driving record clean for a specified time.
Acquiring SR22 Certificates in Virginia
If the state requires you to file an SR22 certificate, it will notify you through court order or by the state DMV. Then you’ll need to check with your current auto insurance provider to see if they can endorse an SR22 certificate to your policy and file it for you.
Sometimes insurance companies will not insure high-risk drivers. If that happens, you’ll need to find a reliable insurance company to write you a new auto or non-owner insurance policy and attach and file the SR22.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wants you to keep the following things in mind when filing an SR22 in Virginia:
#1- It Takes Time
Your insurance provider submits the certificate of financial responsibility to the DMV as soon as it processes your insurance payment, usually within 24 hours or less. The process can sometimes take up to a few weeks to process, depending on how backed up they are. It might not be possible to reinstate your license until this process is complete because your license is still technically suspended within the automated computer system.
#2- You Need to Carry Proof of Insurance With You at All Times
When you receive the SR22 certificate, your insurance provider notifies the DMV immediately to let them know you meet the state’s fiscal responsibility requirements. Your policy must remain active, and you should always keep a copy of your proof of insurance in the vehicle if an officer ever pulls you over.
#3- The State Will Suspend Your License if Your SR22 Policy Lapses
If your insurance policy lapses or if you cancel it, the auto insurance carrier is obliged by law to notify the DMV. Once the state is informed that you no longer meet the financial responsibility requirement, it will suspend your license.
The best way to avoid violating your SR22 requirement and prevent license suspension is to renew your insurance 10-15 days before your policy expiration date. That helps you avoid a coverage gap that could lead to another license suspension. If your insurance carrier chooses not to renew your policy, you’ll have time to obtain a new one.
Not properly following the steps to get an SR22 certificate could mean you’ll be driving on a suspended license. Driving without a valid license can lead to legal repercussions such as license revocation, hefty fines, and possibly imprisonment in certain states. Therefore, it’s best to contact an experienced broker at a reputable insurance agency to assist you. The professionals at UltraCar Insurance can find an affordable auto policy and walk you through the SR22 filing process.
While the state requires you to carry SR22 insurance, preventing your policy from lapsing is of utmost importance. Some insurance carriers will send you a text or email reminding you to renew your insurance policy on time so you won’t fall out of compliance. However, it’s ultimately your responsibility to renew your policy on time.
Getting an SR22 Certificate as a Non-Owner
While it’s possible to have a driver’s license without owning a vehicle, you can also have auto insurance without owning a car. Even if you don’t own a vehicle, the state DMV can require you to file an SR22 certificate to reinstate your suspended license or comply with a legal order. In that case, you’ll need to buy a non-owner insurance policy to pay any future claims if you cause an accident while driving a borrowed vehicle.
Non-owner auto insurance is typically inexpensive compared to a standard auto insurance policy. That’s because no vehicle is insured, and people who don’t own a car usually have less opportunity to drive.
Once your insurance agent files your high-risk certificate, they notify the DMV. You will once again be able to legally drive a borrowed vehicle without causing further complications on your driving record.
SR22 Versus FR44: The Differences
Don’t get confused between FR44 and SR22 insurance. Both certificates are proof of financial responsibility. However, Virginia requires an FR44 form if you have a motor vehicle violation involving alcohol or drugs. DUI and DWI convictions significantly increase the minimum liability requirements, which means your insurance policy will cost you more.
Get Insured, Save Money
Working with the right insurance agency is the key to saving money in the long run.
If you shopped around but could not find an insurance policy with a fair premium, check out the services offered by licensed agents at UltraCar Insurance.
Since the filing processes, fees, and penalties for SR22 and FR44 certificates vary from state to state, it’s best to leave the job in the hands of experienced professionals. UltraCar Insurance helps you resolve your insurance and licensing issues while remaining compliant with the state laws.
Many people in Virginia with various needs and requirements trust the UltraCar Insurance experts for advice. The agency has helped many drivers get state-compliant, affordable high-risk policies, including personal and commercial auto, non-owner, and motorcycle insurance.
This article was last updated on November 5th, 2022 by UltraCar Insurance