What Is an SR22?
If you were told by the DMV that you need an SR22 before you can get your driver’s license back following a suspension or revocation, you may find yourself asking “What is an SR22”?
Contrary to popular belief, an SR22 is not an insurance policy in itself; “SR” is an acronym for Safety Responsibility, and the SR22 is a certificate proving that you carry enough insurance coverage to satisfy state requirements based on a driving violation or judgment against you. Put simply, it is a form provided by an insurance company to the state, informing them that your policy meets all minimum liability requirements.
This legal certificate is filed and certified electronically by your insurance carrier. If you cancel your policy during the period in which an SR22 is required, the insurance company is then required by law to notify the state of the cancellation. Your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked, and you may face additional fees before you can have your license re-instated.
Who Is Required to Have an SR22?
SR22 coverage is required to keep your license if you have been found guilty of any of the following:
- Driving under the influence (DUI charge)
- Failing to provide proof of insurance
- Incurring an excessive number of traffic tickets
- Having unsatisfied judgments
- Falsifying insurance documents
- Involuntary or voluntary manslaughter
- Operating a motor vehicle while your license was suspended
If you've been found guilty of any one of these in the state of California, you'll need to have an SR22 on file with the DMV. Without one, you simply cannot get your driver's license back. That’s why Breathe Easy Insurance works with our clients, one on one, to help find an effective solution that meets your needs and gets you back on the road.
How Much Does a Certificate Cost?
Fortunately, the certificate itself is not costly. Unfortunately, the premium increase can be quite expensive; generally, three to five times the rates of a standard policy. This means that if you paid a premium $60 per month for standard insurance, you can expect to pay from $180 to $300 per month for your auto coverage when you have an SR22 requirement.
Even after this, when you are no longer required by law to file an SR22, your insurance company may not reduce your premium back to its original amount. You may even be stuck paying a higher premium for years after the fact, effectively punishing you for following the law and doing things the right way.
Insurance with SR22
Most of our clients prefer Breathe Easy because we offer insurance at significantly lower rates than their regular insurance company. When you call the experts at our office, we'll help you get cheap coverage and give you tips on how to best protect yourself from increased costs. We want you to help get back on the road and back to normal life, and our only goal is your security, peace of mind, and personal success.
How Long Is The Certificate Required?
The short answer is three years from the date you were granted your restricted driver’s license for a first offense—with a caveat. You must never let your coverage lapse during the designated period. You may be required to maintain a certification for a longer time, depending on the severity of the offense.
For example, you might have to have a filing for a five to ten year period if you are convicted of more than one DUI or if you were deemed at fault in an accident that resulted in the injury or death of another party.
If you fail to pay your premiums and your insurance is canceled as a result, the DMV will send a letter to inform you that your driver’s license has been revoked. To get your license reinstated, you will need to pay your premiums so they are up to date, and then your insurance carrier must re-file the SR22 with the DMV. Once your it is re-filed, you must visit a local DMV office and pay a reinstatement fee to regain your driving privileges.
Get Affordable SR22 from Experts at Breathe Easy
When you've received a DUI, the legal complications that follow can be incredibly confusing and frustrating. At Breathe Easy, we aim to make your experience simpler by providing SR22 filings and working diligently to help you obtain a restricted license and protect your current insurance premium.
All Breathe Easy employees are committed to providing you with the highest caliber of customer service. Our ongoing relationship with DUI attorneys throughout the state means that we know the system, how it works, and how to get you the best coverage for the most affordable prices. We work with each of our clients individually to create optimal insurance solutions for each person's needs and budget. Ultimately, we want you to be a lifelong client, and we'll work hard to earn your business.