An Overview of the SR-22 – What Is It And When Do You Need Them?

If you have committed driving and traffic violations, then perhaps you have encountered the term SR-22. But some people are confused about it. Just what is it really all about? Why do we need it? What is it for? For starters, SR-22 is not an insurance but a certificate that you will need to have your revoked or suspended license reinstated. It is also called Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as proof that you are maintaining liability coverage.

According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., an SR-22 is issued to individuals who committed driving violations resulting to the suspension of their license. If you were apprehended for driving without car insurance, you will be required to get SR-22. You might also need certification for the following situations:

  • DUI or DWI or other violations
  • At-fault driver while driving without insurance
  • Continuous offender or too many tickets in a short period of time
  • Revoked or suspended license

When required, you would need to carry the SR-22 for at least three years. The length would vary from one state to another and depending on the reason. It is usually issued by the state or a judge. While carrying the CFR and if you become free from any violations and incidents, you can become eligible to get a car insurance in the standard market.

Another version of the SR-22 is the FR-44. It performs a similar function as the SR-22 but will require the driver to have a higher level of insurance coverage. A driver will be required to get an FR-44 if they are not able to sustain their SR-22 requirement.

It is worth noting that you cannot file an SR-22 on your own. You need to inform your insurance provider about the SR-22 requirement. By informing your provider about the need for an SR-22, your insurance factor will change to high which could mean that your provider will not file the SR-22 for you as they do not provide coverage for high risk drivers. This means you will need to shop around for a new provider.

If you are carrying an SR-22 and plan to cancel an insurance policy, secure the certificate first before canceling. Insurance companies have the tendency to immediately inform the state about the cancellation so your SR-22 will be rescinded. If they do so, your three year requirement starts from the beginning. Most states will not count the previous years so set up the new policy with an SR-22 first.

Advantages of having SR-22

Driving under the influence (of drugs, alcohol, or medication) and being caught can have severe fines and jail time, mainly because it is considered a criminal offence is almost all states in the US. Along with the penalties, the driver’s license can also be suspended and revoked for a significant amount of time, which could spell hard times commuting on public transportation.

According to car accident lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., one option of reversing your revoked or suspended license is to file for an SR-22 bond. There are many insurance companies that often provide SR-22 bonds which allows their clients’ driver’s license reinstated sooner than the necessary time appointed by the court. This could be very beneficial especially if the client uses their vehicles every day.

Having an SR-22 means you have the financial capability to cover for possible expenses should an accident occur. An SR-22 is a high-risk insurance policy allowing problem drivers minimum insurance requirements. It is actually a protection for other motorists and people who could be at risk from the problem driver, allowing them to collect compensation straight from the insurance company.

A lot of states permit problem drivers to have their licenses reinstated provided they establish they are financially responsible through their SR-22 bonds. Having an SR-22 bond can also be the only way many problem drivers can have their licenses reinstated, and it can be troublesome because there are instances where licenses are revoked permanently, although many states can still reconsider their decisions. It may be a bit hard on pocket, but having an SR-22 can be the only way a revoked or suspended driver’s license will be reinstated.

So long as you keep paying your premiums, you can still keep your driver’s license using the SR-22 bond. Being offered to provide an SR-22 bond can be viewed as a second chance, because without this option it can mean losing your license altogether.