An SR-22 is an extra certification proving that your policy meets your state’s minimum car insurance requirements.
You don’t need us to tell you how big a mistake you made if you need an SR-22 form. Instead, what you need is a clear explanation of the steps you need to take to get yourself back on track.
Read on for an explanation of what an SR-22 is and how to handle auto insurance with this certificate.
What is SR-22 insurance?
An SR-22 is a document that proves you carry the minimum car insurance required by your state. 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 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.
Do you need an SR-22 form to get car insurance?
SR-22 certificates are typically ordered by a judge.
If you aren’t sure whether you need an SR-22, below are common reasons the form might be required:
- DUI or DWI conviction
- Ticket for driving without insurance
- Serious car accident
- Suspended or revoked license
- Too many points on your license
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.
How much does an SR-22 cost for insurance?
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|
|Leaving Scene of an Accident — Hit and Run||$2,645||$1,218|
SR-22 and auto insurance: FAQs
What states don’t require SR-22s?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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)?
Yes. An SR-22 form is the equivalent of a Certificate of Financial Responsibility — more commonly known as a CFR.
Additional resources and methodology
If you’re looking for more information on car insurance with an SR-22, see our related articles.
- How to get an insurance policy with a bad driving record
- What’s the best car insurance company as a high-risk driver?
- Consequences for driving without insurance
SR-22 insurance rates by state
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.
Our analysis employed 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 loss information comes from the III and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.
Vehicle make and model data references the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales, according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data.
Some data may vary slightly throughout the report due to rounding.