SR-22! Sounds all official and stuff, huh? Like some highly complex governmental regulation that is being imposed on you. Well, it’s not that bad. And it’s not expensive, in fact you may have seen them advertised as “Free SR-22”. That’s true! Many companies offer free SR-22’s. Sort of… But first the basics…
What is a SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 is basically a promise from your insurance company to the state that they will cover you if you cause an accident (subject, of course, to the policy provisions). Further, they are promising to notify the DMV if your policy goes out of force. That’s it, pure and simple. These days insurance companies file them electronically with the DMV, although you can get one in hard copy if you really want to. Nobody needs an SR-22 unless the DMV or a court has required it as a condition of getting one’s license back (usually following a DUI).
What if I don’t own a car?
In the rare event that you need an SR-22 to get your license back, yet you don’t own a vehicle to get an insurance policy on, you can get a “Non-Owners” policy which theoretically will cover you in whatever vehicle you drive. In reality though, it won’t cover you in any vehicle available for your regular or frequent use, meaning it most likely won’t cover you to drive the vehicles in your household. Pretty much the only time someone would want or need an SR-22 policy is if they don’t own a car, yet they need an sr-22 to get their license back and they need that license for work.
How much does an SR-22 cost?
Generally, SR-22’s themselves range in cost from $25 all the way down to free. Before you get too excited though, consider that there will be some cost involved in purchasing the policy. Therefore the cost of purchasing the policy could be viewed as the cost of the SR-22, meaning you’re not going to walk out of an insurance agency paying nothing for your filing.
Other important things to note if you need an SR-22.
As mentioned above, SR-22’s are a promise from the insurance company to notify the DMV should your insurance get cancelled. For that reason it is very important to pay your car insurance bill not just on time but early. Even if your payment crosses in the mail, when the cancellation notice goes to the DMV, they will likely suspend your license immediately and you may get get pulled over not even knowing that your license is suspended. — BAM! — That’s driving on a suspended license, another major violation. From an insurance rating standpoint, you might as well have gotten another DUI.
Another equally daunting fact about an SR-22 is that they are generally required for three continuous year, emphasis on continuous. That means if you let your policy go out of force and your insurance company notifies the DMV (which they will), that three year period starts all over again. So, again, it’s important that you make all your payments not just on time, but early to allow for mail delays or other delays that are out of your control.