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SR-22 Insurance, Filing Fees, What to Do, & Misconceptions

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Updated November 15th, 2020

If you’ve been irresponsible with your driving and it resulted in one or more major traffic violations, you might be facing some pretty hefty penalties, including the suspension of your license.

When this is the case, a number of states require the offending driver to purchase SR-22 insurance and file the proper documentation with the DMV before their driving privileges can be regained.

However, many people aren’t familiar with what SR-22 insurance is at all or have the wrong idea about it, knowing only what they’ve heard through the grapevine. Separating fact from fiction is the very first step on the path to reinstating your driver’s license.

Before & After Illustration of SR-22 Filing & Auto Insurance

This graph shows how much your insurance goes up per month when a drivers files for SR-22 insurance through their state.

Note: Car insurance quotes from 5 insurance companies for a single female driver, married, no children, age 33, drives a 2014 Ford Focus. Normal driving was assumed, i.e. to and from work and regular daily driving habits. Minimum state coverage was used in the quotes.

SR-22 itself does not increase your rates but triggers insurance companies of moving violations committed by a driver. Most SR-22 expires after three years. States from 3 to 5 years, Alaska & Mississippi.

Note: Insurance rates increased 242 percent.

2nd Illustration

This is a second graph illustrating the amount of dollars spent over three years when a driver files SR-22 insurance through their state.

Note: This second illustration is to show the dollar amount over three years. The dollar amount increase over three years is $4,572.

SR-22 Insurance Satisfies Your Auto Coverage Requirement

One of the most common misconceptions about SR-22 insurance is that it takes the place of your regular auto insurance policy. SR-22 is actually an addendum to the minimum liability coverage your state already requires and is not, in fact, an insurance policy but just the form that your insurance provider submits on your behalf as proof of your financial responsibility. An existing and up-to-date policy must remain in effect along with your SR-22.

Who Needs an SR-22?

If required by the State, a driver needs to file an SR-22 when convicted of a driving offence and didn’t have the ability to show a current, non-lapse auto insurance policy.

Other Offences Which Require a Driver to File an SR-22

  • Suspended License
  • Repeat Traffic Offences
  • Too Many Points on Your License
  • DUI or DWI
  • At-Fault Automobile Accident Without a Current Policy

Graph – Affect of Auto Insurance & SR-22 Insurance

This graph illustrated how much premiums are raised by states when filing SR-22, after a speeding violation and a DUI plus a car accident.

Note: New York does not require a driver to carry SR-22 insurance on their policy. Since it has strict motor vehicle offence laws, New York is used as illustration of affect of minor & major traffic violations compared to other states which do require a SR-22.

Note: This is a comparison of a typical 35 Y/O Male, not married, driving a 2015 Chevy Pickup. Your rates will vary based on driving history and profile.

If You Move Out of State, You No Longer Need SR-22 Insurance

Just because you may move to a different state and get a new license doesn’t mean that your SR-22 order won’t still apply. If your relocation is within the time period that you are obligated to carry an SR-22, you will be held accountable for maintaining the same liability coverage limits that were mandatory in your former state as well as the SR-22 filing, even if your new state doesn’t have this requirement.

States Which Require to File a SR-22

ArizonaMaineRhode Island
ArkansasMarylandSouth Carolina
CaliforniaMassachusettsSouth Dakota
IllinoisNew HampshireWest Virginia
IndianaNew JerseyWisconsin
IowaNorth DakotaWyoming

You Can Get Cheaper Rates By Having Different Insurance Providers

Since you will be considered a high risk driver, causing insurance premiums to increase, it is advised that you shop around for the most affordable rates on policies that offer sufficient coverage.  

However, this doesn’t mean that you can have one insurance company provide your liability coverage while another files your SR-22. Having dual coverage is actually not legal and can result in further penalties. Whichever provider supplies your auto insurance must also be the one to submit your SR-22 form.

Top Auto Insurance Companies for SR-22 Filing & Insurance

RankInsurance CompanyFiling Fee
1Acceptance$20 - $40
2Allstate$15 - $25
3Direct Auto$20 - $50
4Esurance$15 - $25
5GEICO$15 - $25
6State Farm$15 - $25
7Progressive$15 - $25
8SafeAuto$20 - $40
9The General$15 - $25
10Titan$20 - $40

Note: Filing Fees are approximations and typical by insurance companies. The filing fees are only to file the SR-22 Form with the state you reside and/or required to file an SR-22. If required to file you will incur additional costs on top of the filing fee.

You Only Need SR-22 Insurance if You Own a Car

If you are trying to have your license reinstated and plan to do any driving, it’s necessary to obtain SR-22 insurance whether you own a car or not. This shows the DMV you have accepted the same financial responsibility that every driver is obligated to have. The difference is that if you don’t have a car in your name, you are eligible to apply for non-owner SR-22, which is cheaper while still offering adequate coverage.

Initial Proof of SR-22 Insurance is Enough

Once an SR-22 filing has been taken care of for you, you must still abide by the laws to ensure your license isn’t suspended again or revoked. This means continuing to carry SR-22 insurance for the full length of time that your state requires, which generally ranges from three to five years. Any lapse in coverage or failure to renew the policy will leave you right back in the same boat you were in without a driver’s license.

Find the truth in these and other SR-22 insurance misconceptions so that there’s no chance of you being cited for more violations.

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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