What is an SR-22?

The SR-22 is a form that proves you have car insurance. In some states it's called an FR-44. A state might require an SR-22 for drivers who have certain problems on their driving records, such as a DUI or driving without insurance. Your insurance company will have to file the form before you can legally drive again.

Here are important things to know about an SR-22:

  • SR-22s are not a type of insurance, although people use the term "SR-22 insurance." It's simply a form that proves you have auto insurance.
  • Not all car insurance companies will file SR-22 forms. If yours doesn't, you'll need to change insurance companies if you need an SR-22.
  • Your state might require that you prove you have car insurance even if you no longer have a car.

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You'll most likely find out that you need an SR-22 either through a court order from a judge or from your state's DMV.

Common reasons for SR-22s

DUI Might be required for the state to remove a license suspension
Caught driving without insurance, or caused an accident without insurance Proves that you have auto insurance
Caught driving without a license or with a suspended license Used to reinstate a license
Frequent traffic violations Might be required to reinstate a license

Not all states use SR-22s. According to Nolo, states that don't have SR-22s are:

  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania

If you're moving from a state that required an SR-22 to a state that doesn't, you may be able to appeal the requirement with your former state.

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

In some cases, you may be required to file an SR-22 even if you don't own a car. A non-owner car insurance policy lets you fulfill the insurance requirement without having a vehicle. Non-owner insurance is a liability policy that will cover others' medical bills and property damage if you cause a car accident.

How to get an SR-22

Here's how to get an SR-22 depending on your current insurance situation:

  • If you already have car insurance and your insurance company offers SR-22s, you'll just need to request it from your insurer.
  • If your insurer doesn't offer SR-22s you'll need to switch to one that does.
  • If you don't have auto insurance you'll need to seek out an insurer that offers SR-22s.

Many insurers offer SR-22s, including Geico, The General, Progressive and State Farm.

Compare: Allstate vs. Geico vs. Progressive vs. State Farm

SR-22 insurance cost

The price for an SR-22 certificate itself is small. It's generally an administrative fee between $15 and $25, depending on the insurer and state.

The real cost of needing an SR-22 will be in your rates. You can expect an insurance increase based on the new violations that are on your driving record. You might even need to buy coverage from a high-risk car insurance company. 

Even if you need an SR-22 you can shop around for the best quotes possible.

How long does an SR-22 last?

Most states require an SR-22 to stay in effect for three years but the time period varies.

When the requirement is over, call your insurer to have the SR-22 removed.