In all states, a driver's license can be suspended for many different reasons, including driving under the influence, racking up too many traffic tickets, and the like. Once the driver completes the suspension period, there are normally license reinstatement requirements. Generally, the driver will have to pay a reinstatement fee and, in certain circumstances, might have to complete some sort of safe driving classes or other educational courses.
In many instances, obtaining an "SR-22" is also a condition of license reinstatement. Put simply, an SR-22 is just a special type of proof of insurance and normally isn't very difficult to obtain. This article explains the basics of SR-22 insurance, when an SR-22 may be required, and other helpful information about this proof of insurance.
"SR-22" is just a technical term for proof of insurance. Whereas normal proof of auto insurance comes in the form of an insurance card, an SR-22 is a certificate sent from the insurance company directly to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The SR-22 provides the DMV with verification that the driver has the necessary insurance coverage.
SR-22s generally come in three different types:
An operator's certificate is an SR-22 showing that the driver is properly insured. An owner's certificate is an SR-22 showing that the vehicle is properly insured. And, an owner-operator certificate is an SR-22 that proves the driver and the vehicle are both properly insured.
When an SR-22 is issued, the insurance company is then obligated to provide continued information to the DMV. If the policy ever terminates or lapses, the insurance company must notify the DMV of the policy cancellation.
An SR-22 is most often required for drivers seeking to reinstate a driver's license or vehicle registration following suspension or revocation. Here are some of the common specific circumstances where a driver might need to get SR-22 insurance:
However, SR-22 requirements vary by state and the particular circumstances. So, to get the specifics, it's best to get in contact with a local attorney who is familiar with the requirements in your area.
The costs of an SR-22 certificate are in addition to what you need to pay for your insurance policy. Typically, this additional cost is around $25. However, the insurance policy itself is likely to be expensive given that the driver recently lost driving privileges or had his or her registration revoked. The reinstatement fees for a driver's license or vehicle registration might also be $100 to $300, depending on where you live.
For drivers and vehicle owners who are required to maintain an SR-22, failure to do so generally results in the license or registration revocation.