First Time SR-22 Insurance Requirement? What Every Driver Should Know

3 February 2016
 Categories: Insurance, Blog

Even good drivers can sometimes make crucial mistakes in judgement that result in an SR-22 filing requirement to keep or reinstate driving privileges. If you have recently been notified that you are required to obtain SR-22 insurance, and feel a bit confused, the following information will help you understand the process and make the best choice for your individual situation.

What is SR-22 insurance?

Sometimes called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), many drivers are surprised to find that an SR-22 is not actually a type of car insurance. Instead, this term refers to a state-mandated safety responsibility (SR) certification that your auto insurance company is required to file with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in certain circumstances. These include circumstances in which you have:

  • been involved in an accident where you were deemed to be at fault and found to be driving without valid automobile insurance coverage, at the time of the incident
  • been convicted of more than a certain number of qualifying traffic offenses over a certain period of time (this number can vary, state to state, depending on motor vehicle laws)
  • had your driver's license revoked or suspended
  • have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), or other types of serious moving violations

What is the cost to obtain an SR-22?

When a driver is required to seek an SR-22, they must first purchase a valid insurance policy with an automobile insurance company approved to handle SR-22 filings. Because the SR-22 requirement is most often due to traffic violations, including DUI, DWI, and failure to maintain the financial responsibility required under their state's driving laws, auto insurance premiums are likely to be more expensive than the rates charged to policy holders who do not need an SR-22 filing.

When computing your policy quote, insurance companies must consider the level of risk they will incur in providing you with auto coverage. To determine the level of risk, insurance companies look at many factors, including some or all of the following:

  • your driving record - including all violations and accidents
  • your vehicle and miles driven - including whether the car is considered a high-performance model or sports car and what it is likely to cost for repairs, if a collision occurs
  • your personal information - including age, gender, marital status, credit worthiness, occupation and home address

What else should drivers know when seeking a SR-22?

In most states, SR-22 filings must remain in place for three to five years, depending upon the reason for the filing. During this time, if the driver allows the insurance coverage to lapse at any time, it can result in a suspension of driving privileges until a new SR-22 is filed with their state's DMV. To make an informed decision and ensure that you are meeting your SR-22 filing requirements according to your state's laws, consult a reputable insurance provider and your local DMV office. 

For more information, visit or a similar website.