The process to reinstate your driver’s license can vary from state to state. The procedures and requirements also depend on the reason for the suspension and other factors. In some cases, drivers may be unsure what they need to do to start the process. We’re here to help you navigate the reinstatement process by describing the likely steps involved and familiarizing yourself with the required paperwork.
This article presents some basic information about license suspension and reinstatement. We’ll cover why states suspend or revoke people’s driving privileges, how long suspensions last, and what steps you must take to drive legally again. Additionally, we offer some practical tips about:
- Paying less for high-risk auto insurance
- Keeping and maintaining your license in good standing after you reinstate your driver’s license
- What actions to take if you relocate to another state while your SR22 requirement is still active
- What to watch for when choosing a high-risk insurance provider
How does a driver’s license get suspended or revoked?
These are some of the most typical reasons that states take away someone’s driving privileges:
- Too many demerit points on their driving record
- Failing to pay fines and fees
- Failure to appear in court
- Not making court-ordered child support payments
- Reckless driving
- Eluding a police officer
- A DUI or DWI conviction
- Driving a car without insurance
Steps to Reinstate Your Driver’s License
There are several steps drivers typically need to take to reinstate their license. Depending on your motor vehicle violation, you may have to complete all or some of these steps.
- Gather and complete all relevant documents the state requires concerning the violation that caused your suspension.
- Comply with court orders and law enforcement directives resulting from the offense.
- Pay the state-mandated fines and fees outlined in state statutes.
- Complete a driver improvement, driver safety, or alcohol education course.
Completing the reinstatement process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the circumstances and the state’s requirements. Getting another traffic violation before your license is reinstated (such as driving with a suspended license) will complicate matters. You may have to wait up to a year or longer to be able to reinstate your driver’s license.
SR22 Financial Responsibility Form
After completing the state’s above requirements, you must obtain an SR22 insurance financial responsibility form. (For DUI-related suspensions in Florida or Virginia, you’ll need an FR44 insurance filing). You can ask your insurance provider if they can provide and file an SR22 on your behalf with your state DMV. If not, UltraCar Insurance will be happy to assist you.
You can get a financial responsibility form with or without insuring a vehicle. If you don’t own a vehicle registered in your name, you’ll need non-owner SR22 insurance. For DUI-related license reinstatement in Florida or Virginia, you’ll buy non-owner FR44 insurance.
In most circumstances, you must maintain SR22 insurance for 3 consecutive years without interruption. If your policy lapses during this time, the state will suspend your license again. Another suspension means paying another reinstatement fee, obtaining a new policy, and filing another SR22 certificate. As you can see, paying your premiums on time is essential until your SR22 requirement ends.
How to keep your license in good standing
Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain your driver’s license in good standing after you reinstate your driver’s license.
First, pay your insurance premiums on time, and pay them in full when possible. Doing this saves you the most, and you’ll have less chance of forgetting to pay on time. The next best payment strategy is to set up an automatic bank account draft using a routing and account number instead of a credit card. Why? You won’t have to remember to change your card information if it expires, lose your card, or shut down your credit card account due to fraudulent activity. Finally, make sure the funds are available before the draft.
Can I wait out the SR22 timeline?
The short answer to this question is no. UltraCar Insurance has assisted several drivers who received the wrong information about this question. As a result, they spent several years not driving, thinking they could wait out the SR22 requirement and then get a new driver’s license. Unfortunately, they find out otherwise. When they contact us to purchase insurance for their car, they discover they must still get an SR22 insurance policy.
If I sell my car, do I have to keep SR22 insurance?
Many people lose their licenses unintentionally. In some cases, drivers may be unaware that they still need to maintain an SR22 insurance policy after they sell their vehicle.
If this is your case, what should you do? The first step is to inform your insurance provider that you plan to sell your vehicle, but you have an SR22 requirement that’s still active. First, you can ask if they offer non-owner SR22 insurance. Not all insurance companies offer non-owner high-risk auto insurance, so you must find a provider that does. You should buy a non owner SR22 insurance policy before canceling your SR22 auto insurance policy. A few days of overlap between them is advisable for a smooth transition.
Should I maintain SR22 insurance if I move to another state?
When you have an SR22 requirement, several things come into play if you move to another state. For example: Let’s assume you live in California and have a California auto insurance policy with an SR22 filing. Now you’re planning to sell your car and relocate to Oregon. You need to find an insurance company licensed in both states – the one you’re moving from and the one you’re moving to.
- Not all auto insurance companies can assist you with a cross-state SR22 filing. So work with an insurance provider that does.
- Before canceling your SR22 auto insurance policy, you must purchase a non owner SR22 filing in Oregon and a cross-state California SR22.
- You may cancel your California auto insurance policy after electronically filing a new SR22 with the California DMV.
Things to consider before purchasing SR22 insurance
Some insurance companies charge a brokerage or filing fee between $25.00 and $100.00, or even more. Brokerage and filing fees must be disclosed upfront. If the agent doesn’t mention this, ask if they charge a broker or filing fee before purchasing a policy. In some states, it’s illegal to charge an SR22 filing fee.
With UltraCar Insurance, you get affordable SR22 rates with no broker or filing fees – no hidden fees of any kind. Our agents have over a decade of experience helping thousands of customers reinstate their driver’s licenses, whatever the circumstances. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you reinstate your driver’s license. Call us for low rates on SR22 insurance in 34 states – or click the orange button to start an online quote today!
This article was last updated on June 3rd, 2023 by UltraCar Insurance