SR-22 in Washington: What You Need to Know

Find out if you’re getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No long forms · No spam · No fees
  • What is it?
  • Who needs it?
  • How to get it
  • The cost?
  • Insurance implications
  • Cheap insurance
Washington requires an SR-22 for three years for drivers considered high risk by the state’s Department of Licensing (DOL).
But not to get confused—an SR-22 isn’t insurance. Rather, it’s a form your insurer files with the state. It verifies that you have the minimum required liability coverage to legally drive in Washington.
Filing an SR-22 may sound like a complex process, but with help from your insurance provider and car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry, you’ll be back on the road safely in no time.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about an SR-22 in Washington.
RECOMMENDED
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

What is an SR-22 in Washington?

An SR-22 certificate proves to the DOL that a high-risk driver has at least the minimum required coverage in the event of an accident. Washington’s insurance minimums are as follows:
  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability
The alternative to having car insurance—a $60,000 bond—is a big gamble for most drivers, who can’t risk losing that much money in the event of an accident. But the option is there for those who can afford it.
Key Takeaway An SR-22 proves to the Washington DOL that high-risk drivers are covered by the minimum required car insurance in the event of an accident.

Who needs it?

High-risk drivers who’ve committed serious driving offenses will need SR-22 insurance. These offenses may include DUIs, being at fault for a car accident, and reckless driving, among other things.
You can be required to file an SR-22 if these infractions took place using your vehicle, even if you weren’t in the car at the time.
Other reasons for needing SR-22 insurance include:
  • Failing to pay financial judgments
  • Driving without insurance
  • Committing repeated traffic offenses and violations
Key Takeaway Drivers with a DUI, major car accidents, outstanding financial judgments, repeated traffic offenses, or who drive without car insurance may need an SR-22.

How to get it

An SR-22 form can only be filed by insurance companies approved by the state of Washington. But don’t feel pressured into going with the first insurance company you find—it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes to browse car insurance quotes online.
The DOL may require you to pay fines or fees prior to lifting a license suspension or otherwise restoring your driving privileges. If you aren’t sure, you may want to contact the DOL to ask if there’s anything else they need you to do.
Key Takeaway You’ll need to shop around and find an insurance company willing to work with an SR-22 driver. From there, the insurer will file your SR-22 paperwork—usually for a fee.

How much does it cost?

Most insurance companies charge a nominal filing fee for your SR-22 certificate—usually around $50.
Where you’ll end up paying significantly more is for your insurance coverage. While the actual increase varies from driver to driver, those with an SR-22 requirement typically have far higher insurance rates than those without.
RECOMMENDED
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

How an SR-22 impacts your insurance in Washington

The DOL requires you to maintain your SR-22 for a period of 36 months, starting on the date your driver’s license is reinstated. If your insurance lapses or if you commit new offenses in that time, this period can be lengthened significantly.
Getting insurance with an SR-22 can be significantly more expensive than without. And it won’t be as easy to swap one policy for another, since many insurance companies either aren’t authorized to file SR-22s or find it too risky to insure drivers who require them.

How to find cheap car insurance

With an all-but-guaranteed increase in your premium following an SR-22 requirement, saving money on your car insurance is more important than ever. Using Jerry to compare quotes can really save the day!
Signing up for the Jerry app is absolutely free and takes less than a minute. Once you’re registered, the app finds you competitive quotes from up to 50 top insurance companies and handles all the paperwork and phone calls so that you don’t have to stress about it.
This app deserves more than 5 stars Jerry is the new benchmark in app usefulness. Period. It is SO EASY and the results are SO GOOD, and they specifically point out that no one is going to start calling and emailing me all the time. I gave very little info, it pulled up all my existing insurance info, and showed me how to get the same insurance for less, lesser coverage for huge savings, or better coverage for about the same I currently pay. I’m saving around $1,400/year with my new insurance, and the entire process (including follow ups to sign the docs from the insurance companies) took less than an hour. If you make over $1,400/hour, this may not be worth your time. Otherwise, get the app and use it now!” —Jerry user
RECOMMENDED
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
avatar
Judith switched to Progressive
icon savingsSaved $725 annually
avatar
Alexander switched to Travelers
icon savingsSaved $834 annually
avatar
Annie switched to Nationwide
icon savingsSaved $668 annually

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free