What is SR-22 insurance in California and do you need it?
SR-22 insurance is a form that proves you have the minimum liability insurance required by the state of California. You may need to get SR-22 insurance if you have been convicted of a DUI, or if you were involved in a car accident without insurance.
Once you have applied for SR-22 insurance, your provider will submit it to the DMV to verify that you meet the minimum liability requirements. You can then shop around for different insurance policies.
What is SR-22 Insurance and how do I get it?
SR-22 is not insurance, but a form the DMV requires to ensure drivers meet the state’s liability minimum requirements. To get your license back, you must:
- Get car insurance that meets California’s minimum liability requirements.
- Have your insurer submit an SR-22 form to the DMV on your behalf.
You may also have to pay any associated fines. If you fail to do this, your vehicle registration or driver’s license may be suspended.
If you are denied coverage, California has a high-risk insurance pool called the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan that you may qualify for.
What are the state’s liability minimums?
In order to meet state minimums, your auto insurance liability coverage must include:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person in the event of an accident.
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- $5,000 for property damage in the event of an accident.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?
You will need to get SR-22 Insurance if you are convicted of any of these severe motor vehicle infractions:
-Not paying court-ordered damages after being sued
-3 or more moving violations
-Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while under 21
-Not reporting an accident that results in property damage of $1,000 or more, bodily injury, or death
-Causing a car accident while driving without insurance
How much does SR-22 insurance cost?
Getting car insurance after committing a serious driving offense will cost you more. You will have to pay about $25 to submit the SR-22 form. In addition, your rates will increase by as much as double what you previously paid.
To reduce the cost, you should shop around for different California insurers. Every insurer’s premiums after an infraction are different, so be sure to get a few quotes before you settle on a provider.
Finally, driving infractions affect your good driving record and will prevent you from regaining “good driver status” for 10 years following your conviction. This means that you will not be eligible for good driver rates, which will make your insurance even more expensive.
Is there an alternative to SR-22?
You can avoid getting an SR-22 by posting a $35,000 bond with the DMV.
Auto insurance after SR-22
It is crucial to keep making your SR-22 payments on time, as failure to do so will result in your license being suspended and you will need to file an SR-26 form with the DMV.
You will need to maintain your SR-22 for a minimum of 3 years for most offenses, and up to 10 years for reckless driving. Your SR-22 will also follow you if you move out of state. You will need to find an insurance company that is willing to communicate with the one you left in California, and you must maintain California’s liability minimums, even if your new state has lower rates.
SR1P and Non-Owners SR-22 Insurance
- SR1P is for drivers of vehicles with fewer than 4 wheels, like a motorcycle, who commit a driving infraction.
- Non-Owners SR-22 is for drivers who have committed a traffic offense, like reckless driving, but do not own a vehicle.
- Non-Owners SR-22 allows you to continue to drive legally.
SR-22 Insurance in California
If you have committed a traffic offense that led to your insurance company requiring you to have an SR-22 form filed with the DMV in the state of California, it won’t last forever, and you don’t have to pay sky-high premiums.
The best advice we can give you is to shop around, maintain your SR-22 coverage by keeping up with your payments, and be safe whenever you get behind the wheel so you can get back to cheap premiums and money-saving “good driver” discounts!