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What is an SR22 insurance filing?
An SR22 insurance filing is a special insurance proof certificate. Commonly called an SR22 filing (or SR22 certificate, or SR22 form, or Certificate of Financial Responsibility), this official document is issued by a state approved insurance carrier and filed with Department of Motor Vehicles. This filing verifies that you meet your state’s minimum auto liability insurance requirements. Only insurance companies and their appointed representatives can issue an SR22 certificate.
Why is the DMV requiring me to file an insurance proof certificate?
The DMV requires you to file an insurance proof certificate to reinstate your suspended driver’s license. The license suspension follows an arrest for drunk driving (DUI) or reckless driving. Also, a major moving violation (e.g., speeding over 100 mph), uninsured accident, or a negligent operator designation (too many tickets) will trigger the requirement.
What is the minimum liability insurance requirement for an SR22 in California?
The State of California requires a minimum auto insurance limit of $15,000 per person with up to $30,000 per accident for bodily injury. Additionally required is a $5,000 per accident limit for property damage liability.
What happens if I do not own a vehicle, and I am being required to file an SR22?
In these types of cases, drivers purchase a Non-Owners policy with an SR22 certificate attached to it. Also referred to as a Named Operator policy, there are no vehicles listed on the policy. The policy is designed to cover you for liability only while driving vehicles that you do not own or have regular access to. A few examples of vehicles that not covered under a Named Operator policy would be: a vehicle you own, a vehicle you used to own, a vehicle owned by your spouse or a family member, a vehicle used for business, and more excluded scenarios. Read the policy and all attached endorsements to determine applicable coverage.
Can I file a Non-Owner SR22 insurance certificate if I do own a vehicle?
No. State law mandates that all motor vehicles registered to the driver must be covered by the insurance policy that the SR22 filing is attached to. This is required by law: California Vehicle Code § 16431(b)
Am I required by law to insure all vehicles registered to me with the company issuing the SR22 certificate of insurance?
Yes, you must insure all vehicles registered to you with the insurance company that is issuing the SR22 certificate. This is required by law: California Vehicle Code § 16457
Can I get an SR22 certificate without buying liability insurance?
No. An SR22 is a certificate attached to an auto insurance policy. You can not get the certificate without purchasing a policy with at least the minimum limit of liability insurance required by the state.
Can I submit my insurance I.D. card instead of filing an SR22?
No, not for cases involving a DUI, reckless driving, an uninsured accident, or negligent operators. In these cases, the Department of Motor Vehicles requires an Insurance Proof Certificate (SR22).
How fast can an SR22 filing be issued?
An SR22 filing can be issued immediately, in most cases. Exceptions include out-of-state filings and risks that require special underwriting approval.
Can an SR22 certificate be electronically filed?
Yes, most carrier systems electronically file the Sr22 certificate, as well as providing a certificate for the driver. That said, it has been our experience that it is best to walk in the SR22 certificate to your local DMV.
Do you recommend walking the SR22 into the DMV in person, or having it electronically filed?
Whenever possible, we recommend walking in the SR22 to your local DMV. You will probably need to go in anyways to submit other items (e.g., DUI program enrollment/completion) or submit payment for reinstatement.
How much does SR22 insurance cost?
Determining rates is the same as buying standard auto insurance. And just like shopping for regular auto insurance, every situation is unique. All that said, drivers can expect to pay more than their current premiums (anywhere from 25% to 200% more). In California, the main factors are: your driving record (including violations, accidents & suspensions), the insurance coverages you select, years as a licensed driver, one way mileage to work, miles driven annually, how you use your vehicle (pleasure, commute, business use), type of vehicle, zip code where you live, marital status, and more. In the following article — How to Get the Best SR22 Insurance Rates — we show you everything you need to know how to shop to get the best rates and coverages when shopping for SR22 insurance.
How long does a DUI affect my auto insurance rates?
In the State of California, a DUI stays on your motor vehicle record for 10 years from the date of the violation. Insurance carriers charge points for 3 years following the violation. Also, the DUI disqualifies you for the California Good Driver Discount which is at least 20%. Lastly, having a DUI on your record makes you ineligible (in most cases) for an insurance carriers least expensive policy programs.
When does the DMV allow for an SR1P filing instead of an SR22 filing?
In the cases that we have seen, the DMV asks for an SR1P when a driver has been involved in an uninsured accident or has been tagged as a negligent operator for having too many points in a specific time period.
When the DMV requires an SR1P, will an SR22 satisfy the requirement?
Yes, an SR22 filing will satisfy the DMV requirement for an SR1P filing. There is no price difference between an SR1P and an SR22.
How long must I carry an SR22?
In most cases, 36 months from the date you are eligible to get your license back.
Can you file an SR22 on my behalf in a state outside of California?
Yes, if you reside full time in the State of California. Many carriers that we represent are licensed to transact business in more states than California. Therefore, most can issue an out of state SR22 filing.
What does an SR22 look like?
In the following article — Anatomy of an SR22 Insurance Filing — we go into great detail about the California Insurance Proof Certificate and show an image of an actual filing.
Can I get an SR22 from my current insurance company?
Sometimes, but it depends on the carrier. That said, most carriers underwriting guidelines and risk appetites shy away from drivers in the high risk category. If your current insurance carrier is indeed willing to file an SR22 for you, they quite often will non-renew the policy when the current term comes to an end. Or, in the event that they decide not to cancel your policy, they typically charge an auto insurance premium that is higher than you could find by switching to a specialty carrier.
What happens if I let my SR22 Insurance cancel?
The DMV requires insurance companies to notify them if you let your SR22 insurance cancel. If you do decide to let the policy cancel, the insurance company promptly advises the DMV. This results in a fresh suspension to your driver’s license. Any license suspension stays on your motor vehicle record for a full 36 months from the end date (not the effective date) of a license suspension.