What is the difference between SR-22 vs. SR-26?

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


SR-22 and SR-26 are both safety responsibility forms that relate to car insurance. These forms are documented when a motorist requires proof of car insurance following a serious traffic violation. Below we’ll review the key differences between SR-22 vs. SR-26 and what they could mean for you and your insurance rates. 

What is an SR-22 form?

SR-22 forms are financial responsibility certificates your insurance company files with the state where you reside. This form provides proof of insurance and proof of financial responsibility. It indicates that you’re meeting the state’s minimum insurance requirements and can be on the road, despite severe prior traffic infractions, such as a DUI. SR-22s are not insurance policies but documents proving you have proper insurance coverage.

How Much Does An SR-22 Certificate Cost?

SR-22 costs can vary depending on a variety of factors. The average driver can expect to pay around $300 – $800 annually in higher insurance premiums, depending on the insurance company, driving record, marital status, and residence county.

In addition to the higher cost of an SR-22, drivers can also expect to pay for the certificate. The filing fee is typically between $25 – $50, and in many cases, drivers may also need to pay hefty fines related to driving infractions that push the need for an SR-22. 

What is an SR-26 form?

SR-26 forms are filed by your car insurance company when a driver’s SR-22 is no longer necessary, or the driver’s insurance policy terminates. Essentially, the SR-26 form cancels your SR-22 certificate.

Once the driver finishes their SR-22 period and can restore their regular driving privileges, the SR-26 is filed. However, SR-26s are filed when drivers fail to continue their car insurance payments, and the insurance company calls local motor vehicle authorities to void the driver’s SR-22.

The pros of an SR-26 

SR-26 forms have both pros and cons vs the SR-22. If you’ve successfully finished your SR-22 requirements, typically anywhere from 3-5 years from when you get your traffic infraction, you’ll be ready for your insurance company to file the SR-26 form.

This form lets the Department of Motor Vehicles know that you’ve completed your SR-22 requirements and can resume everyday driving and insurance privileges. 

The cons of an SR-26

On the flip side, SR-26 forms don’t always indicate positive changes to your insurance and driver’s license status. If you cancel your insurance policy or fail to make your premium payments, your auto insurance will cancel your policy. If this happens while you’re still carrying your SR-22 coverage, this could mean some profound implications for you.

When your insurance files an SR-26, in this instance, it alerts the Department of Motor Vehicles that you have not upheld your end of the bargain and essentially forfeited your opportunity to drive legally. Not only will you face the consequences with the insurance company, but you may face state penalties and need to fork out a ton of fines. You could potentially even risk suspension of your driver’s license and registration and perhaps even face your driver’s license getting revoked. 

Why would a driver need to carry an SR-22 certificate?

High-risk drivers who are pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or involved in an accident while under the influence may need to carry SR-22 coverage. Other times, drivers may need SR-22 coverage if caught driving with a suspended license, without enough car insurance, or a valid driver’s license.

In most cases, drivers who need SR-22 policy coverage must carry the certificate for around 3-5 years, depending on the situation and state where the driver resides. Some of the most common reasons drivers are required to carry an SR-22 certificate include the following:

  • DUI or DWI
  • Uninsured while on the road
  • Reckless driving
  • Specific moving violations
  • License revocation because of a court order ruling
  • Accumulation of points on driver’s license
  • Failure to have adequate car insurance while on the road
  • Invalid driver’s license

How long do drivers need an SR-22 certificate?

In most cases, drivers must carry SR-22 certificates for an average of three years. However, this could vary depending on why you need an SR-22 and where you live.

Once your insurance company files the initial form, there’s no need to renew it each year. The certificate will automatically renew each year.

If you fail to comply with your insurance requirements, your auto insurance company could file an SR-26 and report it to your local DMV, where you’ll no longer be able to drive legally. You must make all insurance payments to avoid issues with your license, insurance, and vehicle registration. 


How long do I need SR-22 in Nebraska?

Drivers in Nebraska must carry SR-22 insurance for three years before they become eligible for regular driving privileges. The three-year countdown begins on the day the driving infraction ticket is first issued to the driver.

What does SR stand for in SR-22?

The SR in SR-22 stands for safety responsibility. There are three different types of SR-22 certificate forms. 

What is the best insurance company for SR-22?

The overall cheapest insurance company for SR-22s is USAA. This type of auto insurance is only available to former and current military members, spouses, and children. The average annual premium with an SR-22 through USAA is around $840 per year.

What is SR-22 or SR 1p?

An SR-22 or SR 1p are forms filed with your state by your car insurance company. These forms indicate that you meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements. 

How much does SR-22 cost?

When completing an SR-22 filing, you can expect to pay between $25 – $50. In addition to your filing fees, you’ll also see a drastic premium Increase with your insurance costs. You’ll also be responsible for reinstatement fees once you complete your SR-22 period.

Find Affordable SR-22 Coverage

If you find yourself dealing with the implications of needing an SR-22, you’ll want to work with an insurance provider that can find you the most affordable coverage. Thankfully, we’re here and will always work to find the best insurance quotes for you.

Our team is the best around and can help answer all questions you may have about your policy needs. Call our team today, or complete our online quote form to start the process today!