Being charged with a DUI, getting caught driving without insurance, or causing a serious-injury car accident does not mean the end of your days as a licensed driver. While these actions represent serious issues, you do have one option at your disposal when trying to re-apply or get your license reinstated: an SR-22.
The Purpose of an SR-22
An SR-22 certifies that you meet your state’s car insurance requirements. Drivers convicted of DUIs, drivers who have a lot of points on their driving record, or people who drive while uninsured must file an SR-22 before qualifying to re-apply for a license or get a suspended license reinstated.
When working to regain the use of a license, the state DMV informs drivers if they need to file an SR-22.
How to Fill Out an SR-22
Your car insurance company can help you fill out an SR-22 or do it for you. You need to provide the following information:
- Your full name
- Your mailing address
- Policy number
- Case number
- Driver’s license number
- Birth date
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- The vehicle make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- The state you are filing in
- Name of the car insurance company
- The car insurance company’s NAIC number
If you’re using the same car insurance company you had before the incident that caused you to get the SR-22, they probably already have all of this information. So check with the company to see if they can file the SR-22 for you. Also, before filing an SR-22, you must make sure you have the minimum amount of car insurance as required by your state.
Some states do not require you to file an SR-22 when you have a qualifying incident, such as a DUI. Keep in mind that if you move to a different state with different minimum insurance amounts, or no SR-22 at all, you must still follow the old SR-22 until it runs out. Most states in the U.S. require you to file an SR-22, except for the following:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
How to File an SR-22
To obtain an SR-22, you need to first call your car insurance company and inform them you need an SR-22. The insurance company more than likely will ask why you need an SR-22. Your insurance company then mails both you and the department of state in your area a completed SR-22 form, unless you fill out the form yourself.
Obtaining an SR-22 will almost certainly make your car insurance premiums go up due to your inclusion in a high-risk group of drivers. You car insurance company might even drop your policy if the company does not insure high-risk drivers. This means you need to find insurance with a company that does.
While the costs to file an SR-22 vary by state, expect on average to spend at least $25. In addition, many insurance companies require SR-22 holders to pay for the whole term of the insurance policy, either six months or one year, upon issuing it. Once you acquire an SR-22, expect to have it at least for three years before you don’t need it anymore.
Even if you have a DUI, are caught driving without insurance, or have a serious-injury accident, you can still qualify for insurance coverage by using an SR-22 form. While this often results in higher car insurance premiums, an SR-22 allows you to regain your license or apply for a new one and continue on with your life.