What in the world is an SR-22 ?!?
Most people have heard the term SR-22, but it seems that aside from being forced to have one, most people don’t know much about SR-22s. And that’s OK! I’m here today to answer your questions and address your concerns surrounding an SR-22.
What is an SR-22? An SR-22 is sometimes referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility but is most commonly known as SR-22 insurance. However, it is not a type of car insurance. An SR-22 is a state-mandated certificate, filed by your auto insurance carrier with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An SR-22’s whole purpose is to verify to the state that a person is maintaining (at a minimum) liability coverage with their auto insurance as required by law.
An SR-22 is required when someone who was in an accident or convicted of a traffic offense couldn’t show financial responsibility. You would need an SR-22 if you were caught driving without auto insurance, if you have gotten a DUI or DWI, had any serious moving violations, had an at-fault accident while driving without insurance, had repeat traffic offenses, had too many tickets in a short period of time or if you were caught driving on a revoked or suspended license. There could be several other reasons the DMV would request an SR-22 or that a judge may order you to have one.
Many people wonder how much a mandated SR-22 costs. It does vary by state but the auto insurance companies will typically charge a nominal fee of $0 to $25 for actually filing an SR-22 form each time your policy terms renews. If you need an SR-22, you will first need an auto insurance policy. Your auto insurance rate will be determined based on all the factors that normally go into rating a policy. An increase in rate premium is usually reflective of the fact that many auto insurance companies find people who are mandated to carry an SR-22 riskier to insure due to the violation that caused it. You can anticipate an increase in premium, however, be wary of the least expensive SR-22 insurance quotes. They may not be the best. You should always consider the company’s service, financial responsibility, and reliability when making an insurance purchase of any kind.
You’ll need to go through your auto insurance provider to obtain an SR-22 because only an insurance company that is filed with the state can issue a SR-22. In addition, if you have an SR-22 in one state but move to another, you’ll need to fulfill the SR-22 requirements for your former state and your new liability limits in your new state will need to meet the minimums required by law in the state you formerly lived in.
The State of Colorado, as with most other states, requires drivers mandated to have an SR-22 to carry SR-22 insurance for 3 years (In some cases the minimum could be longer or shorter depending upon what is mandated). Continuous auto coverage must be maintained the whole time. If there is an auto insurance lapse or cancellation, your auto insurance company is legally obligated to notify the DMV and your license will be suspended immediately. Even if you choose not to drive for 3 years to try and escape the SR-22 mandate, you may find that you are still expected to obtain a policy with an SR-22 for another 3 years in order to reinstate your license. This also varies state by state and sometimes case by case, so be sure to confirm with your local DMV exactly what they need from you to meet the requirements in your particular case.
You can avoid the complications and expenses involved with having to have an SR-22 filing by:
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