What is SR22 Auto Insurance?

What is SR22 Insurance?


An SR22 is not really insurance; it is a certificate or document proving that the person named on it has automobile insurance. It is a form. It does indicate a serious situation. It is not sold by any particular automobile insurance company; it is a form that any one of the insurers can complete so long as you qualify to purchase a policy from the company and have done so.

An SR22 form is usually required (by law) when a person has been given a ticket (cited) for and convicted of driving without proof of having insurance, thus failing to meet a state’s requirement for financial responsibility.

It may also be required if a person’s driver’s license has been revoked, or (depending upon the state) if a person has been convicted of a serious traffic or driving violation such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) as well as others (again depending upon the state).

The SR22 form must be obtained from the insurance company and presented to the state through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to show that you are now in compliance with the state’s insurance requirements. If you do not, there are penalties which usually include the suspension of your driver’s license.

If your driver’s license has already been suspended, filing an SR22 with the DMV will help get your license reinstated.

If you have an SR22 and then let your insurance policy lapse for any reason, such as failure to pay the premium, the insurance company is obligated to notify the state by way of another form (the SR26) of the lapse. Then your driver’s license will be suspended.

There are usually three forms of SR22; depending upon which state you reside in:

1. The Operator’s Certificate: this covers you while you are operating any non-owned vehicle.

2. The Owner’s Certificate: this covers vehicles owned by the driver. The certificate will either list all of the owned vehicles or just simply state “all owned vehicles”.

3. The Operator-Owner Certificate: covers the driver while operating owned or non-owned vehicles.

The purpose of the SR22 is simply to prove that you have insurance and meet the state’s financial responsibility laws. It is not usually required unless you have somehow failed to exhibit responsibility in the past, in the state’s eyes.

This article is approved for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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