UPDATED: NOVEMBER 22, 2022 | 2 MIN READ
Unless you run into legal trouble, you will likely never hear about an SR-22 insurance form or its relationship to auto insurance. But if or when you do, you will need to know what an SR-22 form is, why you would need one, and how to get it properly filed.
What Is an SR-22?
An SR-22 form is not an auto insurance policy. Instead, it’s a form filed with your state proving that the named individual owns, at minimum, the state’s legally-mandated amount of auto insurance.
It’s essentially a certificate of financial responsibility telling the government you’re protected in case of an accident.
Some states don’t use SR-22 forms. These states are:
When Do I Need To File My SR-22?
Although all drivers must protect themselves with auto insurance, not everyone needs to file an SR-22. SR-22 forms are intended for individuals who have experienced legal problems while on the road.
Requirements vary from state to state, but the most common reasons people need to file an SR-22 include:
- DWIs, OWIs, or other major alcoholic violations
- Driving without insurance
- Reckless or negligent driving
- Multiple traffic violations in a short period (three to six months)
- Several at-fault accidents
- Hardship or probationary licenses
- After reinstating a suspended driver’s license
- Refusing to pay court-ordered child support
If you’re required to file, you will be ordered by a court or state government. Judges will inform you at your hearing if you need to file. Otherwise, you will likely receive a letter from the DMV informing you that an SR-22 is required before you can drive again.
How Long Am I Required To Keep an SR-22 On File?
You will not have to keep an SR-22 on file forever. Typically, SR-22s are required between one and five years. How long you will have to, however, varies from state to state and depends on the type of offense.
Minimum SR-22 filing length by state
Each state has laws for filing an SR-22, including set time drivers must maintain a certificate and insurance. The table below tells if an SR-22 is required in the state and how long you have to keep one.
|State||Is an SR-22 Required?||Minimum SR-22 Filing Period|
|Alabama||Yes||3 Years (Up to 5 years)|
|Alaska||Yes||3 Years (Up to 20 years)|
|Arkansas||Yes||3 Years (Up to 5 years)|
|District of Columbia||Yes||3 Years|
|Indiana||Yes||3 Years (Up to 5 years)|
|Kansas||Yes||1 Year (Up to 3 years)|
|Missouri||Yes||2 Years (Up to 3 years)|
|New Hampshire||Yes||3 Years|
|North Dakota||Yes||1 Year|
|Ohio||Yes||3 Years (Up to 5 years)|
|South Carolina||Yes||3 Years|
|South Dakota||Yes||3 Years|
|Tennessee||Yes||3 Years (Up to 5 years)|
How To File For SR-22 Insurance
You can file an SR-22 form by contacting your auto insurance provider. Auto insurance providers that offer SR-22 policies will be able to add them to your existing policy.
Purchasing a policy will be your first step if you don’t already have auto insurance. While searching for a new policy, ensure you’re looking for providers offering SR-22. Communicate with your provider beforehand that you need an SR-22 included.
Sometimes, insurance providers might not offer a policy under such circumstances as they don’t want to insure potentially risky drivers. It’s best to be honest and upfront to ensure you don’t run into unnecessary problems.
Your auto insurance provider will then file the SR-22 directly with the state you’re required to file with. If you’re required to have an SR-22, you drop insurance or lapse payments at any time, the insurance provider will notify the state.
If such a problem arises, you communicate your intentions with the insurance provider or state government. If you’re switching insurance policies while required to file, an SR-22 is included with your new policy to avoid any other problems.
Non-owner SR-22 insurance filing
Another option is available if your current provider does not offer SR-22 filing or you accidentally purchase a plan that does not include it. You can keep your existing policy as a primary policy and purchase a non-owner SR-22 policy as a secondary.
The non-owner SR-22 policy would not duplicate coverage for any cars you own since you’re only insured for vehicles you don’t own but can get your SR-22 filed. The SR-22 provider would, however, still require you to buy the same amount of liability as is on your primary.
This can be smart if you have your primary policy bundled with your home insurance, for instance.
Does it cost to file?
Your insurance provider might charge a small fee, perhaps $25 to $50, to get the SR-22 added to your policy. The reason you have to file is likely to increase your premiums, e.g., DUIs, traffic accidents, or reckless driving.
What If I Move States During the Required Time?
Let’s say you live in and are required to keep an SR-22 on file in Georgia, but what do you do when you decide to move to Illinois? Or what if you live in Illinois but get a DUI in Georgia and are required to file an SR-22 there; what do you do?
You must meet the SR-22 requirements for the state where the offense was committed. If both states use SR-22 filing, you will need to get an out-of-state SR-22 filing that certifies you meet the stated minimums.
If one of the states does not use SR-22 filing, you will need to contact the state where you must file to see your options.
What is an SR-22 in Texas?
An SR-22 is a financial responsibility certificate sometimes required by the Texas DMV to prove a driver has the minimum liability coverage required by the state. Typically, drivers who need to file SR-22s with the state have a bad driving record or have been caught driving without insurance.
Why do I need SR-22 insurance in Florida?
Florida requires an SR-22 for drivers who have been convicted of a serious traffic-related offense, such as driving without insurance, a DUI, or reckless driving. Your insurance company files the SR-22 form to prove you carry at least the minimum amount of Florida car insurance.
How do I get an SR-22 in Ohio?
To get an SR-22 in Ohio, contact your insurance company. All car insurance companies file SR-22s on an as-needed basis. These are filed with the state to prove you continually carry the minimum amount of Ohio car insurance required by law.
How To Get Car Insurance With An SR-22 Filing
Filing an SR-22 form can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to understand why you might need one and how to avoid getting into this situation in the first place. Luckily, there are ways to get quotes for auto insurance online to find the best policy for your needs and budget.