What is an SR-22?

What SR-22 insurance is, when you need it, and how much it costs.

SR-22 car insurance defined


An SR-22 is a certification of insurance — but not a replacement for an insurance policy. It is a specific document, verifying you carry insurance at your state's minimum required level. Requirements vary by state. Unless notified by your state's department of motor vehicles or ordered by a court, you do not need to apply for an SR-22. If you do need an SR-22, let’s assess the options.


What is SR-22 insurance?
  1. What is an SR-22?
  2. How to get an SR-22
  3. How much do SR-22s cost?
  4. Additional resources



What is an SR-22?


An SR-22 isn’t insurance. It is a certificate stating you have insurance. Depending on your circumstances, you might need an SR-22 for one of the following reasons:

  • DUI or DWI conviction
  • Driving without insurance (or while underinsured)
  • Excessive violations or at-fault accidents
  • Excessive violations within a specific time frame
  • Suspended license
  • Serious car accident

While it depends on your location and specific circumstance, an SR-22 is usually required for three years. This requirement may change if you commit a violation during that three-year window. Because an SR-22 isn’t actually car insurance — but a document proving your insured status — the only way to get an SR-22 is by purchasing car insurance. Let’s discuss.




How to get an SR-22: with or without a vehicle


If you’re already insured and need an SR-22, simply call your insurance agent or company and ask for one. They will furnish one to your state's DMV on your behalf. If your current insurance company doesn’t provide SR-22s — which can happen — you should shop around for another provider. If you’re not currently insured, find a company willing to write a policy with an SR-22 added.


Getting an SR-22 without a vehicle

Considering you have to show proof of car insurance to get an SR-22, not owning a vehicle can complicate getting an SR-22 requirement lifted. You should purchase non-owner car insurance and then file an SR-22. Non-owners car insurance is a liability insurance-only policy that covers an individual who does not own a car. It can be useful for several reasons.

  • You do not own a vehicle but do not want a gap in your insurance
  • You use others vehicles occasionally and want additional liability coverage
  • You need to satisfy an SR-22 requirement

Non-owners policies tend to be less expensive than standard policies because they do not include collision or comprehensive coverage. Because the insurance company doesn’t know what kind of vehicle you are going to be driving, they don’t provide physical damage protection.




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 consequences of an SR-22 for car insurance. To an insurer, a driver with an SR-22 — or who needs 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 could range from $348 to $1,218 per year more than average.


Accident/Violation Average Annual Premium Increase From No Violation
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

If you’re looking for a non-owners insurance quote, speak directly to an insurance agent. Most online resources will require you enter vehicle information to receive a quote. If you have a vehicle you would like to insure, enter your zip code below to compare personalized rates!



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Additional resources and methodology


If you’re looking for more information regarding car insurance with or without an SR-22, see our related articles below.




Methodology


Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.

Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. For coverage level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.

For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data.

Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.