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If you have a history of traffic or driving violations, your state may require what’s commonly known as SR-22 insurance. In reality, an SR-22 isn’t insurance at all — it’s a form from your insurance carrier proving you have a policy that will cover your financial responsibility if you’re in an accident.

Here’s what you need to know about SR-22 insurance:

What is SR-22 insurance?

An SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance — it’s a form of proof that you carry sufficient car insurance. It’s also commonly known as a certificate of financial responsibility. Your insurance carrier provides the SR-22 insurance form to your state government to verify that you have the legally mandated insurance in your state.

Most states mandate that drivers carry bodily injury liability coverage of between $25,000 and $50,000 for a single person and $50,000 and $100,000 for multiple people injured in an accident.

In addition, most states require property damage liability coverage of between $10,000 and $25,000. Your SR-22 form will verify that your insurance policy meets the legal requirements for your state.

Is SR-22 insurance required by law?

SR-22 insurance may be required by a court or your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to prove that you have enough car insurance coverage to be financially responsible in the event of an accident.

Many states also require you to file an SR-22 to reinstate your license after it’s suspended or revoked, or after certain vehicle offenses, including:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving without insurance
  • Multiple offenses within a short time frame

You generally must keep the SR-22 on file for a minimum of one to three years, depending on your state.

Check Out: How Much Will My Insurance Go Up After a Speeding Ticket?

What is an FR-44?

The FR-44 is another proof of financial responsibility, but with stricter requirements. When you file an SR-22, you’re typically proving that you have the level of auto insurance coverage mandated by state law. With the FR-44, you must maintain coverage limits significantly higher — often double the legal minimums.

For example: In Virginia, drivers are generally required to carry at least bodily injury liability insurance in the amount of $30,000 for a single person and $60,000 for two or more. In addition, Virginia drivers must have at least $20,000 in property damage liability insurance. If you’re required to file the FR-44, your coverage limits will need to be at least twice as high as those state minimums.

Only two states currently use FR-44 forms: Florida and Virginia.

You may be required to file an FR-44 if you’re convicted of more serious crimes involving your motor vehicle, such as injuring someone while driving under the influence.

How does SR-22 insurance work?

If your state uses the SR-22 form, state law will spell out when it’s required — generally after specific driving offenses. If you’re convicted of one of these violations, the court will often order you to file an SR-22, or the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will notify you that you need to file one to maintain or reinstate your driver’s license.

To file an SR-22 form, contact your insurance provider and tell them that you need to file an SR-22, and the insurer will provide this to the state.

Good to know: If your insurance provider doesn’t offer coverage for people with SR-22s, you’ll need to buy a policy with a new carrier that does. Your insurance provider will often charge you an additional fee to file the SR-22. You may also face a higher rate, since an SR-22 is an indication that you’re a higher-risk driver.

When you have an SR-22, your insurance carrier will immediately notify the state if your coverage lapses or if you fail to renew your policy. You’ll typically be required to maintain the SR-22 for a period between one and three years, though some states require longer. If you have additional violations while you have an SR-22 order, your time may also be extended.

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Where is SR-22 insurance required?

Most states have some type of SR-22 requirement, though they’re not universal. Some states may require you to provide another type of proof of insurance after moving violations, such as photocopying your insurance card.

Check out the table below to see if your state has SR-22 requirements:

SR-22 Requirements by State
Has SR-22 requirements
Does not have SR-22 requirements
ArkansasNew HampshireLouisiana
CaliforniaNorth DakotaMassachusetts
District of ColumbiaOregonMinnesota
FloridaRhode IslandNew Jersey
GeorgiaSouth CarolinaNew Mexico
HawaiiSouth DakotaNew York
IdahoTennesseeNorth Carolina
IowaVermontWest Virginia

What is non-owner SR-22 insurance, and is it required?

Non-owner SR-22 insurance is for people who don’t own a vehicle but need to maintain an SR-22 with their state.

In most cases, your SR-22 will verify that you have the required insurance coverage on the car you own. If you don’t own a car, you can get a non-owner car insurance policy that includes an SR-22. This will cover you for any vehicles you drive, such as a friend’s car.

If your driver’s license has been suspended, your state will likely require you to purchase a non-owner car insurance policy with an SR-22 certificate to have it reinstated.

For other scenarios, check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to see what’s required.

Learn More: Can I Insure a Car That’s Not in My Name?

How much is SR-22 insurance?

The cost of SR-22 insurance can vary widely, but it’s generally more expensive than a standard auto insurance policy for drivers with a clean record.

Insurance carriers typically price their policies based on the perceived risk you pose. This takes into account your driving history (traffic violations and accidents), as well as your credit score, age, and where you live. If you’re required to file an SR-22, you likely have violations in your driving history that will significantly increase the cost of your insurance.

The average car insurance premium nationwide is $1,204 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. You can expect to pay significantly more than that if you have an SR-22.

You may encounter other fees and charges when dealing with SR-22 insurance. For instance, your state may require you to pay a fee to file the SR-22 form. Insurance carriers tend to charge a small fee as well — usually between $25 and $50 — to file the form with your state.

You’ll generally pay the SR-22 filing fee up front when you take out the policy. For some insurers, this is a one-time fee, while others may charge you at the start of each new policy term for as long as the SR-22 is required.

Who has cheap SR-22 insurance?

It’s always a good idea to shop around for car insurance, but this is even more important if you need to file an SR-22. One insurance carrier may offer significantly lower premium rates than its competitors.

Request rate quotes from multiple insurance carriers, and compare what prices and coverages you’re offered. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

Tip: Speak to an insurance agent to make sure that the rates you’re quoted include the SR-22. Not all insurance providers cover drivers who need an SR-22.

Keep Reading: How to Get Car Insurance Without a License

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About the author
Andrew Dunn
Andrew Dunn

Andrew Dunn is an award-winning mortgage and finance writer with a decade of experience covering the industry with articles published at Fox Business, LendingTree, Credit Karma, Axios Charlotte, and more.

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