First, let’s define our terms here. SR-22 isn’t auto insurance per se. It’s a form that an auto insurance carrier might be required to file with your state department of motor vehicles showing that you do, indeed, have automobile insurance. In other words, it is a way of proving you have the wherewithal to meet your particular state’s financial responsibility requirements in the event of a traffic accident.
- There are several reasons why you might need an SR-22 form:
- You’ve been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI)
- You were involved in an at-fault accident while driving without auto insurance
- You have a horrible driving record with too many moving violations
- Your license has been revoked or suspended
- A judge has ordered it for whatever reason
Here are some other things you need to know about SR-22.
SR-22 is a probationary period, typically lasting about three years, although the state or a judge may shorten or lengthen the time period.
It is also a state-specific form, with each state having its own SR-22 requirements and liability limits, or in some case, none at all. So what happens if you move from one state with very high liability coverage limits to another that’s cheaper? You still have to fulfill your probationary obligation in the first state and carry the higher liability until the obligation is satisfied. If you move to a state with no SR-22 requirements, you’re still on the hook. Other conditions and situations may apply depending on the states involved, your auto insurance company and your particular circumstances, so the bottom line is to assume nothing. Always check your policy or contact your auto insurance carrier or agent.
Most states and insurance companies will let you drive any car, not just one you own, even if you’ve filed an SR-22, unless you have a non-owners’ SR-22, which limits you to only driving a car owned by you or a family member. Again, check with your auto insurance company.
You may be required to carry an SR-22 even if you don’t own a car. This is called a non-owners SR-22 liability policy. It does not insure the vehicle you’re driving, it only insures against any liability you might cause while driving, up to the limits required by your SR-22. Typically, the vehicle’s owner’s car insurance would kick in first. Then, if the liability exceeded the limits of the owner’s policy, your SR-22 coverage would make up the difference, up to the limits of your policy.
You can shop for automobile insurance quotes from companies that handle SR-22 policies online at einsurance.com.