Car Insurance

The Ultimate Guide to SR-22 Car Insurance

An SR-22 is proof that you meet your state’s auto insurance requirements after a license suspension. Do you know where you can get the cheapest insurance with one?

No one enjoys paying for car insurance, not even drivers fortunate enough to have low premiums. But drivers who have committed a serious violation, like drunk driving, will likely end up paying much higher premiums, and that’s on top of the fees handed out by your state’s DMV. In fact, your insurance provider may even drop you after a major violation if they aren’t willing to file an SR-22 on your behalf.

These expenses can make even basic car insurance a drain on your finances, but take heart–if you can keep your driving record clean for the next few years, you can return to standard coverage rates.

Insurify can help you compare quotes from insurance companies that will provide SR-22 certification. Since the road ahead will be financially tricky, let Insurify find you the savings you’ll need during this period.

Table of Contents

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 certification, a.k.a. Statement of Responsibility, is proof that you carry enough car insurance coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements. Drivers are required to get an SR-22 bond after having had their driver’s license suspended or revoked.

An SR-22 is not insurance; it’s a certificate filed by your insurance company with your local DMV. Having an SR-22 requirement also means you must continue to have this amount of liability coverage for a specified amount of time.

Types of SR-22 forms

There are 3 different types of SR-22 certifications.

  • Operator or Non-Owner: An operator/non-owner’s form is for drivers who borrow or rent a car but do not own their own car. This form protects the policyholder, not a specific vehicle. It’s required in many states, including Arizona and Indiana.
  • Owner: An owner’s form is for drivers who own and drive their own car exclusively.
  • Operator/Owner: An operator/owner form is a combination form for drivers who own their own car, but also borrow or rent occasionally.

Who needs an SR-22?

Any driver who has been convicted of a serious moving or traffic violation will be informed in court that they must file an SR-22.

As long as your license is suspended or revoked, maintaining an SR-22 certificate is the only way that you will be allowed to drive. If in the end a court refuses to reinstate your license, then you will not be permitted to drive at all, whether you have an SR-22 or not.

Violations that warrant license revocation

Committing the following driving infractions can result in the loss of your license, either temporarily or permanently:

  • DUI/DWI
  • Being found at fault for an accident when you do NOT have auto insurance
  • Being responsible for a major traffic violation, like an accident with serious injuries or deaths
  • Having several traffic violations in a small period of time
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license

Not every state in the U.S. requires their drivers to file SR-22 forms. But states that don’t require SR-22 certification usually have their own proof-of-insurance forms, such as an FR-44 or FR-19.

States that do not require any kind of proof-of-insurance certification include Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

State SR-22 Required? Minimum filing period (in years)
Alabama Yes 3
Alaska Yes 3-5
Arizona Yes 3
Arkansas Yes 3
California Yes 3
Colorado Yes 3
Connecticut Yes 3
Delaware No, FR-19 required N/A
District of Columbia Yes 3
Florida Yes, FR-44 also required 3
Georgia Yes 3
Hawaii Yes 3
Idaho Yes 1
Illinois Yes 3
Indiana Yes 3
Iowa Yes 2
Kansas Yes 3
Kentucky No N/A
Louisiana Yes 3
Maine Yes 3
Maryland Yes, FR19 also required 3
Massachusetts Yes 3
Michigan Yes 3
Minnesota No N/A
Mississippi Yes 3-5
Missouri Yes 2-3
Montana Yes 3
Nebraska Yes 3
Nevada Yes 3
New Hampshire Yes 3
New Jersey Yes 3
New Mexico No N/A
New York No N/A
North Carolina No N/A
North Dakota Yes 1
Ohio Yes 3
Oklahoma No N/A
Oregon Yes 3
Pennsylvania No N/A
Rhode Island Yes 3
South Carolina Yes 3
South Dakota Yes 3
Tennessee Yes 3
Texas Yes 2
Utah Yes 3
Vermont Yes 3
Virginia Yes, FR-44 also required 3
Washington Yes 3
West Virginia Yes 3
Wisconsin Yes 3
Wyoming Yes 3

If you move to a state that does not require SR-22s, you must still maintain the SR-22 you filed in your previous state until the filing period is over.

How to file an SR-22

Purchasing and maintaining SR-22 insurance is not as easy as buying a standard insurance policy. You cannot file an SR-22 on your own; only an auto insurance provider can file the certification for you, and only after you’ve purchased car insurance coverage from them.

Not all insurance companies provide SR-22s because not all insurance companies serve high-risk drivers. If your current insurance provider can’t or won’t file one for you, you’ll have to find a provider who can.

After you’ve found a provider to file your SR-22 certification and purchased insurance from them, it can take over 30 days to receive the SR-22. Despite the fact that you’ve already paid the insurance company, your certification is not complete (and you won’t regain your driving privileges) until the SR-22 is submitted and filed with the DMV or your state traffic authority. Until then, your driver’s license will still read “suspended” or “revoked” within the computer system.

Once the filing process is complete, you will receive a paper copy of the SR-22 certificate. Just as you always drive with your insurance papers in your glove compartment, you should carry a copy of your SR-22 in case you are pulled over by police.

Where to get an SR-22 filed

Different insurance companies cater to different kinds of risk, which means a particular company isn’t going to be a perfect fit for every driver on the road. Insurance companies can be categorized into 3 groups depending on what kind of driver they typically cover: preferred, standard, and non-standard.

  • Preferred companies cover drivers that have a low risk profile. These drivers are considered the least likely to get in an accident and thus file a claim. Low-risk drivers have excellent driving records, a lot of driving experience, good credit history, and short commutes in their vehicles.
  • Standard companies cover drivers that have a normal risk profile. These drivers aren’t perfect, and may have experienced a minor accident or only been driving a short amount of time. Standard-risk drivers have an average driving record, a good amount of driving experience, good or average credit history, and rely on their cars to commute to work or vacation.
  • Non-standard companies insure drivers who have a higher level of risk. These drivers are considered the most likely to cause an accident and thus file claims. Non-standard individuals are usually new or teen drivers. They have a poor credit and multiple traffic or moving violations on their record.

Non-standard drivers can also refer to those who only purchase state minimum coverage. It’s enough to drive legally in your state, but is a red flag to insurers that you may not be very cautious when it comes to protecting your asset against damage or lawsuits.

Check the table below to see if your current insurance provider services non-standard drivers. If your provider does not appear on the non-standard list, it’s a good idea to get quotes from non-standard companies that operate in your area. You will most likely receive the best customer care and cheapest premium payments if you switch to a non-standard provider to file an SR-22. 

You cannot cancel your current insurance policy until you have a new one with an SR-22. Doing so will void your SR-22 and you’ll be in a lot of trouble. Once you’ve found a new policy, call your current provider to cancel and disclose your SR-22 situation.

It is illegal to hold dual insurance policies when one company knows about your SR-22 and the other does not.

Insurance companies that will file SR-22s

StateCompanies that offer SR-22 insurance
All statesDairyland Insurance, Esurance, Farmers Insurance Group, Foremost Insurance, GEICO, GMAC (National General), Progressive, Safeco, The General
AlabamaAcceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Ameriprise, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Everest National Insurance Company, Good2Go, Infinity Insurance, Jupiter Insurance, Mendota, Safeway, Titan, Victoria
AlaskaGood2Go
ArizonaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Anchor, Carnegie Insurance, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Hallmark, Legacy, Mendota, Mercury, Pekin, SafeAuto, Safeway, State Auto, Stillwater, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
ArkansasAmeriprise, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Good2Go, Hallmark, Infinity Insurance, Jupiter Insurance, Mendota, Safeway, United Auto, Victoria
California21st Century Insurance, Acceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Alliance United, Anchor, Aspire General Insurance, Carnegie Insurance, Everest National Insurance Company, Freedom National, Good2Go, Infinity Insurance, Kemper Direct, Legacy, Mendota, Personable Insurance, Reliant, RMIS, SCJ, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria, Workmens
ColoradoAmeriprise, Carnegie Insurance, Good2Go, Legacy, Mendota, Safeway, State Auto, Titan, Victoria
ConnecticutGood2Go, Victoria
DelawareAmeriprise, Good2Go, Titan
District of ColumbiaAmeriprise, Good2Go, Victoria
FloridaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Direct General, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Infinity Insurance, Mendota, Mercury, Stillwater, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
GeorgiaAcceptance Insurance, Aggressive Insurance, Ameriprise, Direct General, Everest National Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Infinity Insurance, Jupiter Insurance, Mendota, Mercury, SafeAuto, Safeway, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
Hawaii21st Century Insurance, First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Good2Go
IdahoGood2Go, Stillwater, Victoria
IllinoisAcceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Ameriprise, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Elephant.com, Founders, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Hallmark, Mendota, Mercury, Pekin, SafeAuto, Safeway, State Auto, Stillwater, Titan, United Auto, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
IndianaAcceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Ameriprise, Consumers Insurance, Elephant.com, Founders, Good2Go; Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Hallmark; Mendota, Pekin, SafeAuto, State Auto, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
IowaAmeriprise, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Mendota, North Star, Pekin, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
KansasAmeriprise, Good2Go, North Star, SafeAuto, West Bend Mutual
KentuckyAmeriprise, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Hallmark, SafeAuto, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
LouisianaAffirmative Insurance, Direct General, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Good2Go, SafeAuto, Safeway
MaineGood2Go, Patriot
MarylandAmeriprise, Brethren Mutual Insurance Company, Cumberland Insurance Group, Elephant.com, Good2Go, Hallmark, Titan, Victoria
MassachusettsGood2Go, Merchants, Occidental, Safety Insurance, Victoria
MichiganAmeriprise, Everest National Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Frankenmuth, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Merchants, West Bend Mutual
MinnesotaGrange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Mendota, North Star, Stillwater, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
MississippiAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Direct General, Mendota, SafeAuto, Safeway, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
MissouriAcceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Ameriprise, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Good2Go, Grinnell Mutual, Mendota, SafeAuto, Stillwater, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
MontanaGood2Go, Hallmark, Victoria
NebraskaAmeriprise, Good2Go, Grinnell Mutual, North Star, Stillwater, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
NevadaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Carnegie Insurance, Good2Go, Hallmark, Infinity Insurance, Mendota, Mercury, Stillwater, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
New HampshireGood2Go, Merchants, Patriot, Safety Insurance
New JerseyGood2Go, Merchants, Mercury
New MexicoAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Hallmark, Mendota, Safeway, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria
New YorkAmeriprise, Good2Go, Merchants, Mercury, Victoria
North CarolinaDirect General, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Good2Go, Titan
North DakotaGood2Go, Grinnell Mutual, North Star, Victoria
OhioAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Founders, Frankenmuth, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Hallmark, Merchants, Pekin, SafeAuto, State Auto, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
OklahomaAmeriprise, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Grinnell Mutual, Hallmark, Jupiter Insurance, Mercury, North Star, SafeAuto, United Auto, Victoria
OregonAmeriprise, Carnegie Insurance, Good2Go, PEMCO, Stillwater, Victoria
PennsylvaniaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Brethren Mutual Insurance Company, Cumberland Insurance Group, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Infinity Insurance, Merchants, SafeAuto, Titan, Victoria
Rhode IslandGood2Go, Merchants, Stillwater
South CarolinaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Direct General, Everest National Insurance Company, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, SafeAuto, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
South DakotaAmeriprise, Good2Go, Grinnell Mutual, North Star
TennesseeAcceptance Insurance, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Elephant.com, Everest National Insurance Company, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Hallmark, Jupiter Insurance, Mendota, SafeAuto, Safeway, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria
TexasAcceptance Insurance, Affirmative Insurance, Aggressive Insurance, Ameriprise, Anchor, Carnegie Insurance, Direct General, Elephant.com, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Hallmark, Infinity Insurance, Jupiter Insurance, Mendota, Mercury, Personable Insurance, SafeAuto, Safeway, Star Canyon Insurance, Stillwater, Titan, United Auto, Victoria
UtahAmeriprise, Good2Go, Mendota, Stillwater, United Auto, Victoria
VermontAmeriprise, Good2Go, Merchants, Patriot
VirginiaAcceptance Insurance, Ameriprise, Brethren Mutual Insurance Company, Consumers Insurance, Direct General, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GAINSCO, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Mendota, Mercury, SafeAuto, Stillwater, Titan, Victoria
WashingtonAmeriprise, Carnegie Insurance, Hallmark, PEMCO, Stillwater, Titan
West VirginiaAmeriprise, Good2Go, Titan, Victoria
WisconsinAmeriprise, Founders, Good2Go, Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grinnell Mutual, Mendota, Pekin, State Auto, Stillwater, Victoria, West Bend Mutual
Wyomingn/a

How long is a driver required to have an SR-22?

An SR-22 must usually stay on file anywhere from 2 to 5 years after your suspension or revocation. The average amount of time is 3 years, but the required time can be longer depending on the severity of your violations. Repeat offenders may also get longer SR-22 requirements, especially if you commit further serious driving offenses during your SR-22.

Keeping SR-22 insurance for the required length of time helps you to keep your license or eventually get it back after repeated or serious violations. If you remain violation-free for the length of your sentence, you’ll be eligible to purchase car insurance in the standard market again at normal rates.

How much does SR-22 insurance cost?

The cost of filing an SR-22 varies by state because the price is set by each state’s DMV. The average filing surcharge is $25. A filing charge is required of each individual on a policy, so if you and your spouse both need an SR-22 bond you will each be charged a filing fee.

This filing fee is a one-time charge, so you won’t have to pay it again when it’s time to renew your SR-22 insurance policy. However, you will have to pay additional fees (and penalties) if you let your insurance policy lapse.

Filing fees aside, be aware that your insurance rates will increase significantly because you’re now considered a high-risk driver. Generally speaking, the nature of your traffic violation will affect how expensive your SR-22 premiums become. For instance, a DUI conviction usually triggers higher insurance premiums than a speeding violation does.

Individuals with SR-22 requirements who need to buy a new policy are often required to pay for the policy in full, up front. On the other hand, paying in full when you get the policy ensures that you will have car insurance for that entire period and won’t be at risk for cancellation.

Does an SR-22 expire?

Your SR-22 bond will remain valid for as long as the associated insurance policy stays active. An SR-22 lapses immediately if you cancel your insurance policy, whether that’s due to missing one or more payments, forgetting to renew, or being denied renewal by the insurance company.

If your auto insurance coverage ends, the insurance company is required by law to inform your DMV that you are driving uninsured and have not followed the requirements of your SR-22. Your license will likely be suspended and you will face court fees, penalty fees, and reinstatement fees.

It’s best to renew your insurance policy at least 15 days before your policy expires so that if your insurance carrier denies you renewal, you’ll have time to shop around for a new policy.

Conclusion

It’s extremely important to avoid violations during your SR-22 filing period.

If you continue to renew your insurance policy and keep a clean driving record, you’ll be able to purchase a standard insurance policy once your sentence is over. The ability to purchase a standard auto insurance policy will not only expand your carrier options, it will greatly decrease your monthly premium costs.

Still, don’t forget to use Insurify to get quotes from multiple insurance companies before you choose your next policy. Doing so can save you even more money while helping you to get the coverage you need.

Avatar
Wendy Connick is the founder and owner of Connick Financial Solutions, a provider of tax and bookkeeping services and a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor. A long-time freelance writer, she specializes in business and finance articles on subjects including taxes, investing, and retirement. Wendy is an Enrolled Agent (EA), the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. She is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and a certified volunteer for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), an IRS-sponsored program to provide free tax help for low-income individuals and families.