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SR-22 insurance explained

An SR-22 is a document that proves you carry the minimum car insurance required by your state. It is sometimes referred to as a "certification of financial responsibility." An SR-22 is normally required in order to restore a suspended license after a violation. Though you may have heard an SR-22 referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” it isn’t an insurance policy.

To make matters even more confusing, some insurance companies use the phrase “SR-22 insurance” as shorthand. An SR-22 is a certificate — a piece of paper or electronic document — your insurance company files on your behalf with the state after your license has been suspended.

Not everyone needs an SR-22. You might need to procure an SR-22 if you're found guilty of a serious traffic violation. Keep reading to learn more about how to find the best SR-22 insurance for you.

Key takeaways:

  • Drivers with a suspended license due to a serious violation often require an SR-22.
  • SR-22s are documents attached to your insurance policy proving you carry the state minimum required coverage. 
  • Car insurance companies file SR-22s for policyholders, though this process may incur a fee.

When do you need an SR-22 form? 

Drivers with serious infractions on their record, including drivers with a suspended license, will likely require that an SR-22 form be attached to their car insurance policy. This form is typically ordered by a judge. However, if you're not sure whether you need an SR-22, below we list common reasons the form may be required: 

If you are charged with any of these infractions, it will likely be very clear on your paperwork (or explained by a judge) that you must now hold an SR-22. Most states issue SR-22s if you are charged with any of the above infractions, but not all. Follow the requirements set by the state you were required to file the SR-22.


SR-22s and insurance: what's next?

Most states only require drivers to hold an SR-22 for three years, as long as they steer clear of major moving violations during that period.

If you already have car insurance but need to add an SR-22, simply call your insurance company and request they file the paperwork for you. Most states require your car insurance company to file the SR-22 directly. If your current car insurance company isn't willing to file the SR-22 for you, you may need to find a new auto insurance provider.

If you’re shopping for car insurance, be aware that your insurance policy may need to meet some extra requirements. Attention to detail is critical when looking for the best SR-22 car insurance, as some insurance companies charge an additional fee to file an SR-22.

certificate

How much does an SR-22 cost?

Filing for an SR-22 is relatively inexpensive. Most insurance companies will charge a filing fee of $15 to $35. The primary cost is associated with the car insurance consequences of an SR-22. To an insurer, a driver with an SR-22 — or a driver in need of one — is riskier than one without. If you’re a high-risk driver, you'll pay more based on that predicted risk.

Assuming you need an SR-22 because of a common driving violation, your premium increase could range from $348 to $1,218 per year.

Accident/Violation Average Annual Premium Increase vs. Clean Record
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH Over Limit $1,775 $348
At-Fault Accident - Greater Than $2,000 $2,115 $687
Driving with a Suspended License $2,367 $940
Reckless Driving $2,482 $1,054
DUI $2,520 $1,092
Racing $2,528 $1,101
Leaving Scene of an Accident — Hit and Run $2,645 $1,218

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SR-22 FAQs

What states don’t require SR-22s? Chevron down icon

Most states require an SR-22, with the exceptions being Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. If you move from a state that requires an SR-22 to a state that does not, you will typically still need to follow the requirements of the state that first required you to file an SR-22.

What happens if I have a lapse of coverage with an SR-22? Chevron down icon

In states that require SR-22s, you will need to maintain continuous insurance coverage with an SR-22 for two to five years depending on the state you reside in and the reason for the SR-22. If you have a lapse of coverage of any kind, your insurer is legally obligated to notify the DMV and your license will be suspended.

How much does an SR-22 form cost? Chevron down icon

An SR-22 certificate is typically available at a nominal cost — often $25. While the fee itself is small, the unfortunate reality is an SR-22 may increase the overall cost of your car insurance. If you're looking for more affordable insurance rates, use our auto insurance quote comparison tool to find the ideal policy.

What if I don't own a vehicle but still need an SR-22? Chevron down icon

You might find yourself in a situation in which you don't own a vehicle but the state requires you to obtain an SR-22. In this case, you'll want to purchase a non-owners insurance policy and attach an SR-22, just like you would a regular policy. Car insurance follows the vehicle, but a non-owners policy is akin to a basic state minimum policy that allows you to legally drive any vehicle. Not all companies offer this type of policy but plenty do.

For how long is an SR-22 certificate valid? Chevron down icon

SR-22 forms typically stay valid for up to three years. This may vary by state, so be sure to consult your local DMV to confirm. You may need to contact your insurance company to issue a new SR-22 certification if yours expires.

What's the difference between an SR-22 and an FR-44? Chevron down icon

Certain states require drivers to obtain FR-44 forms in place of SR-22s. To get an FR-44, you'll need to acquire and maintain an insurance policy with coverage totaling at least twice the state's minimum liability limit. States requiring FR-44 certifications include Florida and Virginia.

Is an SR-22 the same as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR)? Chevron down icon

Yes. An SR-22 form is the equivalent of a Certificate of Financial Responsibility — more commonly known as a CFR.


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RECENT QUESTIONS

Am I being overcharged for my insurance policy?

I'm sorry to hear about how you're being overcharged for your insurance! It is true that having an SR-22 will significantly impact your premium, but it sounds like you might be having issues getting a hold of your agent, as well. Feel free to shop around, if you'd like to look at other options.
Jul 21, 2022 Chico, CA

Can I get an SR22 when I don't own a car?

In the event that your state has suspended your license and requires that you have an SR22 then you will need to purchase an auto insurance policy. For people who do not own a car but are required to carry an SR22 then the solution is a non-owners insurance policy.
Mar 3, 2016 Terre Haute, IN

Can I drive off the lot with just an SR22 in California?

No, you need to have comprehensive and collision coverage to drive off the lot if you are financing the car. Comprehensive and collision coverage protects against physical damage to the car.
Jan 6, 2019 Stockton, CA

What do I do if I don't have a car but am required to have an SR22 and an ignition interlock?

You should be able to purchase a non-owners insurance policy and have an SR22 attached to that policy to meet the state requirement. It would be impossible to install an interlock device if you don't have a vehicle so I would recommend contacting your probation officer or attorney to discuss your options.
Apr 27, 2017 Leawood, KS

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
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