After a driving offense such as a serious accident or a DUI, you may need an SR-22 certificate to continue driving. An SR-22 is a form your insurance company files with the DMV that proves you carry your state's minimum liability auto coverage. It's not uncommon for your car insurance rates to increase after an SR-22.

This article will explain how an SR-22 works and how it can affect your car insurance rates, along with which companies have the cheapest rates after an accident or DUI that brings an SR-22 into play.

In this article

What is an SR-22?

SR-22 insurance isn't a specific type of policy. It refers to the insurance policy the form is attached to. The SR-22 itself is a certificate that acts as proof of financial responsibility after your license is suspended. Your car insurance provider will file it with the DMV on your behalf to establish that you carry at least your state's minimum coverage limits.

Do I need an SR-22?

You're usually required to file an SR-22 if you've:

  • Been convicted of driving under the influence
  • Accrued multiple speeding tickets or other citations
  • Been cited for reckless driving or another major violation
  • Been in an at-fault accident while uninsured

Not all states require an SR-22. States without an SR-22 requirement include:

  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

Your state DMV or traffic court will normally alert you if you need to get an SR-22 to keep driving legally. Your car insurance company will be able to tell you as well.

How long do I need an SR-22?

Most states require you to carry an SR-22 for three years. Some states require longer periods of carriage. Alaska, for example, requires you to carry an SR-22 for five years.

If your car insurance lapses while the SR-22 needs to be in place, your provider will notify the DMV. Your drivers license will then be suspended or even revoked. You will then have to get your license reinstated and new insurance. Getting a new car insurance policy at this point can be challenging. If you already had an offense on your insurance record that required an SR-22 and let your insurance policy lapse, a new provider may consider you too high a risk to insure.

It's also important to know that when the time you need the SR-22 for is over, you need to notify your car insurance company by filing an SR-26 form. Your insurer will not remove the requirement automatically. When you do get the SR-22 removed, see about getting a lower rate from your provider. Some incidents stay on your insurance record for only a few years. If the incident that required the SR-22 is no longer on your record, you may be able to get a lower rate. If not, take the opportunity to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies. This, too, may help you get a better rate.

Is an SR-22 required if I don't have a car or a drivers license?

Regardless of if you have a car or drivers license, you will need to have an SR-22 filed if the state or court requires it. If you don't own a car, you can fulfill the SR-22 requirement with non-owner car insurance. Be aware that not all insurers offer non-owner policies. If your current company doesn't offer it, take the opportunity to shop around.

How does an SR-22 affect my rates?

The cost from a car insurance company to file an SR-22 on your behalf is usually between $15 and $50 dollars. This is a one-time fee. While the SR-22 filing itself is relatively cheap, its effect on your car insurance rates is more significant. The table below shows the average rates in every state after an SR-22, depending on the associated infraction:

Average cost of car insurance after traffic offense by state
State After accident After speeding ticket After DUI
Alabama $407 $353 $476
Alaska $245 $212 $259
Arizona $560 $490 $538
Arkansas $307 $261 $345
California $366 $322 $562
Colorado $431 $372 $441
Connecticut $605 $522 $832
Delaware $483 $417 $530
Florida $761 $645 $719
Georgia $354 $295 $478
Hawaii $173 $152 $409
Idaho $218 $193 $283
Illinois $456 $384 $466
Indiana $293 $230 $339
Iowa $279 $224 $342
Kansas $292 $252 $306
Kentucky $604 $547 $694
Louisiana $674 $530 $668
Maine $227 $176 $242
Maryland $433 $366 $378
Massachusetts $408 $369 $437
Michigan $631 $583 $1,280
Minnesota $438 $361 $534
Mississippi $400 $332 $458
Missouri $381 $317 $402
Montana $263 $238 $307
Nebraska $313 $274 $326
Nevada $566 $476 $601
New Hampshire $366 $308 $373
New Jersey $556 $461 $634
New Mexico $264 $199 $247
New York $541 $567 $703
North Carolina $142 $137 $353
North Dakota $302 $260 $399
Ohio $278 $236 $281
Oklahoma $399 $330 $406
Oregon $435 $363 $445
Pennsylvania $457 $366 $465
Rhode Island $515 $584 $962
South Carolina $481 $412 $549
South Dakota $296 $247 $370
Tennessee $269 $244 $324
Texas $484 $359 $551
Utah $436 $350 $512
Vermont $236 $202 $262
Virginia $285 $245 $321
Washington $339 $282 $347
Washington, D.C. $389 $330 $405
West Virginia $265 $231 $348
Wisconsin $290 $233 $315
Wyoming $268 $262 $346
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

What companies have the cheapest rates after an SR-22?

You're going to see an increase in your car insurance rates after an SR-22. The task at hand afterwards is finding the insurer that's going to charge you the lowest rate for coverage. USAA has the cheapest rates for car insurance after an accident, speeding ticket or DUI. However, USAA only provides car insurance for serving and veteran military. For everyone else, State Farm and American Family offer the consistently cheapest average premiums after an incident that requires an SR-22.

Below are tables showing the average rate increases from the major car insurance providers after an accident, speeding ticket or DUI.

Average car insurance rate increase by company after an accident
Company Monthly rate Rate increase
USAA $236 31%
State Farm $275 53%
American Family $345 92%
Progressive $431 139%
Nationwide $434 141%
GEICO $438 143%
Farmers $461 156%
Allstate $469 161%
Travelers $665 269%
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
Average car insurance rate increase by company after a speeding ticket
Company Monthly rate Rate increase
USAA $201 12%
State Farm $247 37%
American Family $267 48%
GEICO $352 96%
Allstate $381 112%
Progressive $382 112%
Nationwide $423 135%
Farmers $433 141%
Travelers $645 258%
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
Average car insurance rate increase by company after a DUI
Company Monthly rate Rate increase
USAA $300 67%
State Farm $313 74%
American Family $338 88%
Progressive $374 108%
Farmers $471 162%
Allstate $478 166%
Nationwide $565 214%
GEICO $579 222%
Travelers $764 324%
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

The increase in your car insurance rate after an SR-22 depends on a few different factors, including.

  • Your car insurance provider
  • The severity of the violation
  • Your state of residence

Are there alternatives to an SR-22?

Florida and Virginia can require FR-44 forms to prove financial responsibility, but it has some differences from an SR-22. For one, the FR-44 requires more liability car insurance than the state requirements related to an SR-22. Also, the FR-44 is only required if you lose your license due to certain alcohol-related offenses.

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