An SR-22 is a form that is filed with a state department to show that you are meeting your state’s minimum auto liability insurance requirements. An SR-22 may also be referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, or, in some states, an FR-44
An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that shows that you have the state mandated minimum auto liability insurance coverage to drive
Though it is commonly referred to as “SR-22 Insurance”, it is not an insurance. It is rather a form filed by your insurance provider with state licensing authorities - Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV), Bureau of Motor Vehicles(BMV) or secretary of state as applicable. This form indicates that you have the state required minimum motor liability insurance in case you are involved in an accident.
All states require drivers to carry liability insurance or some form of proof of financial responsibility to ensure that they have the ability to pay for property damages or bodily injuries resulting from accidents. Further, states require motorists who have certain driving related incidents - such as serious or repeat traffic offenses, multiple tickets, driving under the influence (DUI/DWI), at-fault accidents - to obtain “Certificate of Financial Responsibility”, commonly called “SR-22 Insurance”.
In the state of Florida and Virginia, a similar form is called an FR-44 .
When you need SR-22, your insurance company will directly file the SR-22 form with the state DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) or with other licensing authorities on your behalf guaranteeing the state that:
While every state has its own law on who and when one needs an SR-22, here are few common reasons why you might be asked to file an SR-22 by your state:
Most states require you to file an SR-22 even if you don’t own a car. In such cases you need a Non Owner SR-22 Insurance.
Length of time one needs to maintain SR-22 depends on various factors including state specific law and the reason for which you are required by the state to maintain the SR-22.
Although laws pertaining to SR-22 vary by state, in most cases the minimum duration one needs to maintain SR-22 is at least three years. As long as you pay the insurance premium in a timely manner the certificate remains valid. If you fail to pay the premium or let your insurance coverage lapse for any reason, your insurance company will notify this to the state. State may suspend your driver’s license and may require you to maintain SR-22 for a longer period of time in order to reinstate your driver’s license.
If you need an SR-22, it's important to know when the clock starts ticking - the period of time you are required to hold the certificate might begin on the day your license was suspended or in some states, it may not begin until the date you are eligible to reinstate your license. Please refer to your state DMVs website for more accurate information.