All traffic violations will attract some fines and license point demerits. But not all traffic violations are equal, with DUI being among offenses that carry the harshest consequences, including jail time, hefty fines, and license suspension.
Unless you have multiple convictions warranting a permanent revocation of your driving privileges, you can always have your driving privileges reinstated but under some conditions.
One such condition for having a driver's license reinstated is the SR-22 car insurance.
If you are hearing about SR-22 for the first time, this post offers insight into everything you need to know about this kind of insurance.
Make Sure You Don't Pay More Than You Need to for SR-22 Insurance
Before going into the cost of SR-22 insurance, it is best to understand what it is first. SR-22 is technically an insurance policy but a certificate obtained from an insurer by a driver seeking to have their permit reinstated after suspension to prove to the DMV that the applicant has met their state's minimum liability coverage.
An SR-22 certificate requires an applicant to pay a specific fee depending on the insurer, but they will also need to pay premiums for minimum liability coverage. Premiums that go along an SR-22 registration can get pretty high.
In some states, premium rates can go up to four times higher than pre-conviction levels, so you have to brace yourself for costly auto insurance.
But you do not have to pay exorbitant prices even with a DUI conviction. You can use online comparison resources to get cheap SR22 insurance quotes without compromising quality.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance
SR-22 is not limited to DUI convictions. Everyone with a suspended license will need to get SR-22 certification.
Some other driving violations that could result in a license suspension and consequently an SR-22 requirement include:
- Serious traffic violations like reckless driving or repeat offenses
- Causing too many accidents within a given period
- Causing an accident without prerequisite insurance
- Having many demerit points on your license within a short period
You may also be required to get SR-22 car insurance for failing to pay child support, although it is not a driving violation.
How Long You Will Need SR-22 Car Insurance
After acquiring an SR-22, it must stay on your license for a time set by your state. Some states have shorter time requirements than others. If you live in Florida, you will only need SR-22 insurance in your license for one year. In Tennessee, the requirement is five years. However, most states have a three-year requirement.
The SR-22 certificate expires in three years, so you are fully covered if your state's requirement is less than three years. But if it extends beyond three years, you will need to renew your certification to ensure compliance. It is also important to note that SR-22 insurance doesn't fall off your license at the end of the statutory requirement period.
You must inform your insurer when you no longer need it to have them drop it. Insurers are obligated to notify their local DMV when an SR-22 holder drops their certification, so you want to be careful you are compliant to avoid getting into deeper problems.
Some States May Have Different Requirements
While all states may have different requirements for license reinstatement, all do not require SR-22 insurance.
Some refer to their requirements by other names and have different conditions. For example, in Texas, Georgia, and Missouri, drivers need to carry an SR-22A for repeated violations of financial responsibility laws.
In Virginia and Florida, the driver must have FR-44, similar to SR-22, with the only difference being the name, while in Indiana, you will need SR-50 insurance.