SR-22 coverage, commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, is a document filed with a driver's state of residence, verifying that the driver has at least the minimum car insurance coverage mandated by state law. The SR-22 document is filed by the driver's insurance company, and essentially is a guarantee from the insurance company to the state that the driver is properly insured. The insurance company is also legally required to inform the state if a driver cancels their insurance coverage or does not take financial responsibility for any accidents.
SR-22 coverage is required for drivers who are involved in an at-fault accident without proper insurance coverage, have been convicted of driving recklessly or negligently, have been convicted of a DUI or DWI, have had their license suspended or rescinded, or have committed several traffic violations or accrued many tickets in a short amount of time. SR-22's are not permanent requirements for drivers who have been involved in these infractions, with the length of coverage varying depending on the severity of the offense(s). Typically, the average time that most drivers need this certification is 3 years, with the length being extended if more infractions are committed.
Some insurance companies will not file an SR-22 document or insure drivers that currently have one. Companies that do insure drivers who need this certification will generally only offer coverage at significantly higher rates. Individuals who need this certification can expect to pay 2 or 3 times more than what they would normally have to pay for car insurance. Also, there is a one-time $25 expense for drivers who need an SR-22 filed for them. Drivers can also potentially file for auto insurance if they are having difficulty finding coverage through the private sector. However, these plans are typically much more expensive than typical insurance plans. One option for individuals who need SR-22 certification would be to get non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance is essentially a secondary insurance plan from another insurance company that allows an individual to obtain an SR-22. This is ideal for those who do not want to lose their primary insurance plan because they have different types of insurance plans with the primary company.
It is important to note that 8 different states do not use the SR-22 certification process, but instead utilize a unique system to ensure that the various at-risk drivers have the required minimum insurance coverage. If a driver currently resides in a state that doesn't require an SR-22 but is required to carry this certification because of infractions committed in another state, they most likely will be unable to get an SR-22. In this case, they must specifically request some acceptable type of certification from the previous state to let them drive in their current state of residence. Also, if a driver moves to another state, they will usually need to meet the minimum insurance requirements of the state where the offense(s) were committed. As a result, the driver will need to find a nationwide auto insurance company to file a new, updated SR-22 form.