An SR-22 is a form your insurance company files with the DMV to prove you have the minimum liability car insurance coverage your state requires.
After being convicted of a major traffic violation, such as DUI or driving without insurance, you are required to file an SR-22 to prevent your license from being revoked or suspended.
We've prepared a comprehensive explanation of SR-22 and where you can find the cheapest rates. You’ll find answers to these questions:
How much does an SR-22 cost?
Most car insurance companies charge a fee to file an SR-22 form for you. This fee usually is between $15 and $50, and will show on your insurance bill as a one-time charge. You won't pay this fee every year.
The SR-22 form alone is cheap, but the driving violation that caused you to file an SR-22 is what drives your rates up.
The severity of your insurance premium increase depends on multiple factors, including:
- Your company. Our analysis shows that the difference between the cheapest and most expensive company for drivers with an incident history can be thousands of dollars, making it imperative that you shop around and compare rates from multiple companies.
- The seriousness of the violation. Severe crimes like DUIs are more likely to incur a substantial hike in your premium than speeding.
- Your state of residence. Insurance requirements are regulated on a state-by-state basis. States that have high population densities, numbers of uninsured drivers (such as Florida) or minimum coverage requirements, have some of the most expensive car insurance rates in the country.
Below are average monthly rates for our sample driver searching for a minimum coverage insurance policy.
How much will an SR-22 increase my car insurance rates?
|State||Clean record||At-fault accident||DUI||Speeding|
|Our average monthly premium calculations are based on data provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.|
How do you get the cheapest SR-22 insurance?
A good practice to ensure you obtain the best and most inexpensive insurance coverage: after any change in your driving profile, you should start shopping around and comparing rates. Certain companies spike your rates more than other insurers after an incident.
To obtain SR-22 insurance, start by contacting your insurer (or shopping around if you're uninsured) to let them know you need to file an SR-22. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies file SR-22 forms. So if you need an SR-22, make sure you ask your company if they’ll file it for you. If they can’t or won’t, look elsewhere.
You'll be asked to pay a one-time fee for filing an SR-22, around $15 to $50. After you make your payment, your insurer will file the SR-22 on your behalf to your local DMV. You should receive a confirmation letter once the process is complete, so make sure you keep it on record.
|Company||Average monthly rate|
|*USAA is only available to eligible military members and their families.
Monthly car insurance rate data was provided by Quadrant Information Services. The premiums were calculated using a sample of 10 states. Your rates may vary.
If you want to get an SR-22 quickly and without having to visit your local insurance office, check to see if you can file for an SR-22 online.
Compare companies to get the cheapest SR-22 insurance rates.
See how much you could save with a new policy
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a "certificate of financial responsibility" your insurance company will tack onto your policy to verify that you meet the state minimum auto insurance requirements. The policy that holds your certificate is what's referred to as "SR-22 insurance”. In other words, an SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance, nor is it a policy.
You aren't required to obtain an SR-22 unless you receive multiple traffic citations or are found guilty of a serious traffic violation. Drivers who have been involved in serious road incidents are typically required by their state DMV to file an SR-22 as a penalty.
Do you need SR-22 insurance?
States require you to get SR-22 insurance or file SR-22 forms because they want assurance you can pay for any damage you may cause while driving.
You'll usually be required to file an SR-22 if you have been caught engaging in these high-risk behaviors:
- Driving under the influence (DUI or DWI).
- Getting too many speeding tickets or other traffic citations.
- Driving recklessly or being cited for another major moving violation.
- Getting into an at-fault accident without insurance.
Not every state requires SR-22 insurance. Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania do not require drivers to have an SR-22. Your local DMV or traffic court will usually notify you if you need to file an SR-22.
How long do I need to keep an SR-22 on my record?
Most states hold an SR-22 form on your driving record for three years. A few states, like Alaska, require you to have an SR-22 for five years after a first offense.
If your policy lapses or expires before you fulfill the time requirement, your insurance company will alert the DMV. This will result in your license being suspended and potentially revoked. To reinstate your driving privileges, you will have to go through the process of getting your license and insurance reinstated, which could result in significant administrative fees.
In the event you're found guilty of another serious driving offense, you may be required to retain your SR-22 form for even longer.
Once you've completed the SR-22 requirements, you will need to contact your insurance company and notify them that you no longer need it. Your insurer does not automatically remove your SR-22 form once the time limit is over.
When you contact your insurance company, you should also ask if you can get a new rate. Certain incidents only stay on your record for a few years, so check with your insurer to see if you can get a lower rate.
Do I need to file an SR-22 if I don’t own a car or have a driver’s license?
Yes, if the state or a court says you need an SR-22, you need to file the form, regardless of whether you have a car or a license.
Drivers without a car can fulfill the SR-22 requirement by getting nonowner car insurance. Buying nonowner SR-22 insurance can benefit you by:
- Preventing you from being penalized for a lapse in auto coverage. Our research shows that premium rates increase by an average of 45% after a lapse.
- Allowing you to still be financially covered if you decide to borrow or rent a car.
- Fulfilling your SR-22 requirements. This will keep the DMV from suspending your driver’s license.
However, before deciding if nonowner auto insurance is for you, you should know that it is not a widely available policy. Only certain insurers offer nonowner insurance. If your company is not one of them, you should look elsewhere.
Are there any alternatives to an SR-22?
FR-44 is another form that proves financial responsibility. The main difference between the two is that FR-44 forms require more liability car insurance coverage. Only Florida and Virginia make people file FR-44 forms, and they only require them if you lose your license due to certain alcohol-related offenses.
SR-26 is filed for two reasons. One is to let your insurance company know your SR-22 filing period has ended and you no longer need SR-22 insurance. Another is to let the DMV know you canceled your car insurance policy early — or your insurer canceled it for you, and before your SR-22 period ended.
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