SR-22 insurance: What does it do?

By Allstate

Last updated: January 1

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a form that is filed with your state to show that you are meeting your state's minimum auto liability insurance requirements. An SR-22 may also be referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, or, in Virginia and Florida, an FR-44.

People may mistakenly refer to it as "SR-22 insurance." An SR-22 is not insurance ─ it's simply a document provided by your insurance company that proves you have liability coverage on your car insurance policy.

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Who needs an SR-22?

Not every motorist needs an SR-22. Laws vary by state, but in general, drivers may need to have their insurance company file an SR-22 form with the state department under the following circumstances:

  • Conviction for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated
  • Serious and/or repeat traffic offenses
  • An at-fault accident with no insurance
  • License suspension or revocation

Since an SR-22 is required for these types of offenses, it usually results in a surcharge on your auto insurance.

How long do you need to have an SR-22?

SR-22 terms and requirements vary by state, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • You'll likely need to have an SR-22 showing continuous insurance coverage for about three years (longer in some states).
  • If your policy lapses or expires during this period, your insurance company is required to notify the state.
  • Failure to comply with the terms of your SR-22 may result in suspension of your license.
  • Once you properly fulfill your state's time requirements, your SR-22 status is typically lifted.

If I Don't Own A Car, Do I Still Need To File An SR-22?

A: If you don't own a car, you may still be required to have an SR-22 certificate and an SR-22 auto insurance policy. If you drive a borrowed car or rent a car and get into an accident, you could still be held liable for personal injury or property damage claims. You may be able to buy a non-owner SR-22 policy. If your license was suspended, in some cases you may even be required to get a non-owner SR-22 in order to reinstate your driving privileges.

If you are required to file an SR-22, contact your insurer to obtain the documents for submission to your state's appropriate department.

For more information about obtaining an SR-22, check with your insurance agent.