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 Insurance companies have the tendency to immediately inform the state about the cancellation so your SR-22 will be rescinded.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.