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The SR-22: What It Is and Why You’d Need It

2018 08 03 blog sr22

By Madeline Klein on September 30, 2021 in Insurance Basics

An SR-22 is also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. This certificate is proof that you purchased the insurance you need for your vehicle. It is required by the state to be legally able to drive again after your license was suspended or revoked.

While many believe an SR-22 is a type of insurance, it is better understood as proof of insurance. It won’t provide you any coverage but will show you’ve taken the necessary legal steps required to be on the road after a specific type of accident or incident.

Why would I need an SR-22?

Some examples of when you’d need an SR-22 are:

  • You got a DUI or DWI
  • You cause an at-fault accident while driving without insurance
  • You have repeated traffic offenses
  • You need to reinstate a suspended or revoked license

The DMV or the traffic court you appeared in should notify you if you are required to file an SR-22. So if you haven’t heard of it, you probably don’t need to worry about it right now.

How do I get an SR-22?

If you need an SR-22, you likely won’t be able to get car insurance without one. If you’re required to file it, you’ll need to talk to your car insurance provider. They’ll look into your specific state requirements and will help you get the correct information to file it for you. For the certificate to be valid, it needs to be filed by your insurance provider.

When you get an SR-22, there’s typically a small fee required. These fees vary by state, and you can find out more here.

Most SR-22’s last for three years, but that can vary state by state. You should talk to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out exactly how long the certificate lasts in your area.

Will an SR-22 affect my insurance rate?

Rates are specific to every driver, but an SR-22 typically points to a more high-risk driver. This can make your car insurance rate higher than it would have been without needing an SR-22. However, since needing an SR-22 is typically because of causing an accident, having multiple traffic offenses, or other risky driving behaviors, you’d likely already have a higher rate because of those actions.

Does Say insure someone needing to file an SR-22?

At this time, Say doesn’t insure people needing to file an SR-22. Someone filing one is a higher risk to insure and Say doesn’t currently provide that higher level of security they need.

Madeline Klein is Say's Digital Content Producer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her experience is in writing and digital media. Madeline loves using her creativity to write and design new and exciting pieces of work for Say!