Define SR22 Insurance

By Carly Kullman

  • Overview

    Imagine being pulled over and getting a ticket for driving under the influence, or being caught driving on a suspended license, or failing to have the proper insurance on your vehicle. You will soon find yourself looking for an SR22 to comply with the financial responsibility laws in each of the 50 states. Driving without auto insurance and getting caught by law enforcement puts you in a high-risk driver category where you will be paying higher insurance premiums as well as court cost and fines. An SR22 filing can help you get your license back after it has been suspended.
  • So you've gotten pulled over with no insurance

    If you are driving in a state where auto insurance is mandatory and are stopped by a police officer, you might find yourself in a bit of trouble if you do not have liability insurance. In some instances your car can be towed, you can be detained, and your driver's license can be suspended or revoked. If your license is suspended, the process of getting it back can be a lengthy battle. An SR22 filing can help you get your license back.
  • What is an SR22 filing?

    The term "SR22 insurance" is misleading. An SR22 is not insurance; rather it is form filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state that proves you carry at least the minimum amount of auto insurance required by state law. An SR22 filing is usually mandatory when there has been a citation or a moving violation issued to a driver who was not in compliance with the state's insurance law by either not having auto insurance or not carrying the minimum amount of auto insurance required.


  • How does an SR22 filing work?

    An SR22 filing is simple. You may receive a letter from a state agency that will inform you that your license has been suspended due to non-compliance with state minimum auto insurance requirements. You will have to find an insurance company that provides SR22 filings. Purchase your auto insurance and ask your agent to prepare the SR22 filing. The insurance company will give you a variety of options to pay for your insurance and the SR22 filing. Once you have paid, which is usually required to bind the policy, the insurance company will give you temporary insurance cards to show that you have auto insurance. The company will send proof of your financial responsibility by issuing an SR22 filing. This filing goes to the secretary of state to prove that you are in compliance with the mandatory auto insurance laws of your state. Depending on the state, the length of time that it takes for a SR22 filing to be produced will vary. It may happen in as little as 24 hours or it may take a week or more. The secretary of state will send you a letter stating that the terms of your suspension have now been met and you may get your license back.
  • How long do I need to show proof of insurance?

    How long you are required to show proof of financial responsibility will vary according to state law and it will also depend on the offense. If you have lapse in your insurance or if you have been caught driving without auto insurance, you may be required to carry an SR22 filing for several years.
  • What if my policy lapses?

    If your policy lapses and your SR22 is invalidated, then the insuring company must notify the secretary of state immediately. Your license may be subject to suspension. If you are caught driving without insurance and with a lapsed SR22 filing, you may have to carry the SR22 filing for a longer period of time. Some insurance companies may choose not to let you purchase coverage from them again if you have previously lapsed.. You may have to find a new insurance company and you may also have to pay a higher insurance rate.
  • What if I Do Not Own a Vehicle?

    In some states, you may be able to get an SR22 filing even if you do not own a vehicle. Speak with an insurance company and let them know that you would like to be insured although you do not own a vehicle. You can be issued an SR22 filing under an operator's certificate.
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