Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance in California

Non-owner SR-22s are available through your insurance carrier. To file, you need to pay a $25 fee and must hold coverage for 3-5 years.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by R.E. Fulton
background
If you need to file an
SR-22 in California
for license reinstatement but don’t own a car, you can purchase a
non-owner policy
through your auto insurance provider. 
  • Non-owner SR-22 certificates are only issued to drivers without a vehicle, or drivers that occasionally drive and can help with license reinstatement after a DUI or other serious traffic violation.
  • To get a non-owner SR-22 form, drivers will need to contact their insurance provider, who will file with the California DMV for a $25 fee. 
  • All non-owner SR-22 filings must be kept for 3-5 years.

How to get a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy in California

In comparison to a traditional owner’s SR-22, a non-owner SR-22 form is for California drivers who don’t own a personal vehicle and only drive occasionally. This could apply to either resident drivers, visitors, or newcomers.   
To get a non-owners SR-22 certificate and the proper insurance coverage, drivers will need to follow these steps: 
  • Contact a local car insurance provider to confirm that they offer non-owner insurance to drivers who are required to file for a non-owner SR-22.
  • Get car insurance quotes from at least three different insurers before committing to a policy.
    Comparison shopping online
    is a great way to find the best non-owner SR-22 insurance quotes at the lowest price.
  • Ask your insurer to file a non-owner SR-22 on your behalf. They will submit this form to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) to prove you have purchased insurance coverage. The fee for this service is generally $25. 
  • Maintain coverage. Do not let your coverage lapse while you have an SR-22 on file. Drivers must maintain their SR-22 filing for 3-5 years, and any lapse could result in fines, charges, or the restarting of your plan. 
SR-22s are not auto insurance policies. Rather, they are a declaration of financial responsibility, proving to the state that you hold California’s state minimum liability insurance. Therefore, you will need to have non-owners insurance before and after your conviction to obtain a non-owners SR-22. 
Insurance companies that offer non-owner insurance for high-risk drivers in California include
GEICO
,
Progressive
,
Esurance
,
State Farm
, and
The General
—and they also provide help with SR-22s. 
Most non-owner car insurance policies have bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, but this will not extend to the vehicle you are driving in the event of an accident. Rather, it will cover any costs associated with the other party involved.  

Who needs a non-owner SR-22?

You’ll likely need to file for a non-owner SR-22 certificate in California if you were convicted of a major traffic violation and don’t own a vehicle. 
Drivers convicted of the following infractions will most likely lose their driving privileges and be mandated to apply for an SR-22: 
While in all of these circumstances an SR-22 is required to reinstate your suspended driver’s license, you might not be able to get a non-owner SR-22 if anyone else in your household owns a vehicle. Instead, you might need to be added to that person’s insurance as a driver in order to satisfy the insurance requirements for your license reinstatement. 
Did you know? Once you apply for any type of SR-22, you don’t need to apply again as long as you make the allocated monthly auto insurance payments. But remember, SR-22s are considered a flag to most insurance providers, and your insurance premiums are likely to increase.
MORE: Penalties for driving without insurance in California

Does moving affect non-owner SR-22 insurance in California?

If you’re a California resident and decide to move states, be aware that your non-owner SR-22 will not be valid and you will need to restart the SR-22 process in your chosen state.
Each state has their own regulations and guidelines for SR-22s, and any SR-22 filed in California will become null and void. Therefore, you will need to obtain a new SR-22 from whichever state you move to.
However, it’s important to note that there are some states that don’t deal with SR-22s all together: 
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • Minnesota
  • Kentucky
  • Oklahoma
  • New York
  • New Mexico
When moving to one of these states, make sure to have your insurance agent or provider sign an affidavit stating that you will maintain your SR-22 in California. If you don’t follow these SR-22 requirements, your local DMV will count this as a lapse and the applicable fees will be administered. 
Pro-tip: Before moving, it’s best to communicate with both your new local DMV and the California DMV to ensure you’re following all of the proper procedures and policies.

FAQs

In California, your family members are allowed to drive your personal vehicle—however, it’s best for them to still obtain a non-owners insurance policy to meet state insurance requirements. 
Yes. Any type of SR-22 will increase your insurance costs—however, the total pricing depends on your insurance carrier, age, and infraction. To lower your soaring SR-22 insurance costs, try asking for discounts or compare free quotes across companies.
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