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What Is SR-22 Insurance?

If you’re considered a risky driver, your state might require you to have an SR-22 form to prove that you’re carrying the required minimum amount of car insurance.

Written by Sarah Archambault / August 10, 2022

Quick Bites

  • SR-22 isn’t actually car insurance but a form that must be filed with your state if you have a sketchy driving record.
  • You’ll have to pay a one-time filing fee for the SR-22, and it’s likely your insurance rates will go up 50 to 200%.
  • You can lose your SR-22 status if you let your insurance lapse or don’t follow other state regulations.

Despite its name, SR-22 insurance isn’t actually a kind of car insurance. Instead, an SR-22 is a piece of paperwork required by some states for people with poor driving histories to prove they’re carrying the legal minimum amount of auto liability insurance.[1,2]

Inside this article

  1. How does SR-22 insurance work?
  2. How do you get SR-22 insurance?
  3. Examples of SR-22 insurance
  4. What if I don't have a car?
  5. SR-22 vs. FR-44 insurance
  6. How much does SR-22 cost?
  7. How long do you need SR-22?

How does SR-22 insurance work?

SR-22 forms are typically only needed in special circumstances for risky drivers, like people with DUIs or who have caused a serious accident. If your state requires an SR-22 form as proof your auto insurance policy meets the state’s mandated amount of liability insurance, you’ll need to get the form from your insurance company.[1,2]

By completing and filing the form, your insurance company is guaranteeing that you’ve got the minimum coverage necessary and are responsible financially if you get in an accident.

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How do you get SR-22 insurance?

Once you find out you need an SR-22, you’ll have to get in touch with your insurance company since only your auto insurance carrier can file an SR-22 form with the state on your behalf.

But that doesn’t mean that all insurance companies will handle it for you. Depending on why you need an SR-22, your insurance company may decide not to continue your coverage and you’ll have to shop around for a carrier that’s willing to give you a policy despite your poor driving record.

Examples of SR-22 insurance

So you may not have the best driving record, but do you need an SR-22 form? Since laws can vary by state, it’s a good idea to check what’s required where you live.

But if any of the below situations apply to your driving record, there’s a good chance you’ll have to get an SR-22.[1,2]

  • DUI / DWI conviction. Getting arrested and convicted for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated can mean you’ll have to have an SR-22 on file with your state.

  • Suspended or revoked license. If you lost your license, even temporarily, you may need to prove you’re carrying enough coverage. This could even be a requirement to help you get your license back or for a probationary or hardship license.

  • Serious accident record. If you’ve had a very serious accident that was your fault or you have a history of frequent accidents, your state may deem you extra risky and require an SR-22.

  • Accident with no insurance. If you were at fault and didn’t have insurance in a previous accident, there’s a good chance you’ll need to get an SR-22 to prove you’re now carrying the proper coverage.

Do I need an SR-22 if I don’t have a car?

Even if you don’t own a car, your state could still require you to have an SR-22 certificate and carry the appropriate coverage. Depending on where you live, there are a few options, including a non-owner or owner-operator SR-22 certificate which lets the state know you’re covered appropriately if you rent or borrow someone’s car.

SR-22 vs. FR-44 insurance: What’s the difference?

In Florida and Virginia, the SR-22 has a different name, FR-44. Other than the name, there isn’t a difference. You might also see an SR-22 called SR22, SR-22, SR 22 or SR22.[2]

How much does SR-22 insurance cost?

If you need to get an SR-22, there’s a good chance you’ll get hit with an extra charge on your car insurance. And depending on the insurance company, your auto premium could increase an average of about 50% to 200%.

Since prices can vary so much, if you need an SR-22, try shopping around with different insurance carriers to see who has the best price.

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You’ll also need to pay a one-time filing fee to the state which will likely cost you between $15 and $25.

How long do you need SR-22 insurance?

The length of time you’ll need to have an SR-22 on file with your state can vary depending on what’s required where you live. Here’s some important information to keep in mind:[1,2]

  • Length of time may vary. While some states may require you to have an SR-22 for about three years, others may mandate it for even longer.

  • Don’t let your insurance lapse. If you don’t keep your insurance current during your state’s required time period, your insurance company is obligated to report the lapse.

  • You could lose your license. Following your state’s requirements to a tee if critical, otherwise you could find yourself with a suspended license.

The good news? If you meet all of your state’s requirements, you won’t need an SR-22 anymore. But, it won’t happen automatically. Just like filing the form initially, you’ll have to ask your insurance carrier to handle removing the record with your state.

Article Sources
  1. “What is SR22 insurance & how much does it cost?” Insurance.com, Jan. 18, 2022. https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/sr22-insurance.html.
  2. “SR-22 insurance: What does it do?” Allstate, Sept. 2019. https://www.allstate.com/resources/car-insurance/what-is-sr22-insurance.

About the Author

Sarah Archambault

Sarah Archambault

Sarah is a personal finance writer with a passion for providing real world money advice. She loves learning new ways to save and spend money wisely and help others figure out how to make smarter financial decisions. She’s created and edited content for the likes of Credit Karma and Experian along with insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions.

Full bio

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