My friend Marcos believes that stop signs are optional.
My friend Marcos has hit more parking meters than it’s humanly possible (I think he hits them on purpose by now. A way of liberating stress, maybe?).
My friend Marcos does not understand turn signals.
If you are like my friend Marcos, you need SR-22 Insurance.
Your state Department of Motor Vehicles may require you to file an SR-22 if:
- You’ve caused an accident while driving without car insurance
- You’ve been convicted of DUI, DWI or another serious moving violation
- You’ve had one or more traffic-related offenses
- You’ve gotten too many traffic tickets in a short time (three or more speeding tickets within six months)
- You are simply a reckless driver (like my friend Marcos)
But wait, isn’t SR-22 insurance? Not exactly.
An SR-22 Insurance or Certificate of Financial Responsibility is not an insurance policy, but rather a form that is filed with the state on behalf of people who’ve had traffic violations resulting in a suspended license. If this rings a bell, you are considered a high-risk driver and must follow state guidelines to have your driving privileges reinstated.
If you’ve been ordered to file an SR-22 form, you must have the minimum personal liability and property liability coverage required by your state, so the first thing you should do is talk to an insurance agent. If necessary, an insurance agent can assist you in processing a change in your insurance, as well as the SR-22 form. If you live in Florida or Virginia, you probably need to request an FR-44, instead.
After you fill out the form, be careful to not let your coverage lapse because the insurance company is legally required to inform the state, which could potentially cause you to get your driving license suspended or even revoked.
SR-22’s are usually required for a minimum of three years and—as noted above—you need to maintain your coverage. Some insurance companies may offer automatic renewals to ensure that your form remains active. Also, if you happen to commit another violation or are involved in a situation that might require filing an SR-22 form within the initial mandated period, you may be required to file your SR-22 for longer.
How much does an SR-22 cost? The simple answer is: it depends. Prices vary from state to state and from person to person. On top of that, each insurance provider will charge its own fees, but in most states you could be looking at a cost of $15 to $35 for filing and renewing your SR-22 form. The filing fee is a one-time charge so you won’t have to pay the filing fee for each renewal. However, you will have to pay more if you allow your policy to lapse.
Keep in mind that not all insurance companies are licensed to issue the SR-22 form or willing to issue a policy to high-risk drivers. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the different state laws and variables that can affect your premium and call several insurance companies for a quote. Also, you can find a full listing of the state laws with regards to the SR-22 by visiting your state DMV or insurance website, which will also detail how much insurance you must have in order to get the certificate in your state.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
Photo attribution: Tumisu (pixabay.com)