What Drivers Need to Know About SR-22s
Drivers who are convicted for drunk driving in South Carolina often find that in addition to the fine, they face many other consequences. One of these is that they may be required to file a SR-22. Also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, it is important to remember that SR-22s are not a form of auto insurance. Rather, they are a state-mandated certificate saying that a driver maintains proper liability coverage on their vehicle.
Which Drivers Need an SR-22?
Although drivers who are fined for drinking and driving are most commonly faced with the requirement to obtain an SR-22, other drivers may be required to acquire one of these certificates. For example, a driver may need an SR-22 if he or she was:
- Driving a vehicle without auto insurance
- Involved in an at-fault accident and did not have insurance at the time of the collision
- Driving a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license
Additionally, a driver may need an SR-22 if he or she received too many tickets for traffic offenses within a short period of time.
Does a SR-22 Increase Auto Insurance Rates?
Drivers who need a SR-22 also need to have a car insurance policy. Although how much this policy costs will be determined by factors that usually affect insurance rates, insurance companies often consider drivers who need a SR-22 at a higher risk to insure. For this reason, those who need a SR-22 will often pay more to acquire auto insurance.
How Long Do Drivers Need a SR-22?
In many cases, drivers are required to maintain SR-22 insurance for at least three years. During this three-year period, drivers cannot cancel this insurance or switch to another provider with a gap in between providers. If this occurs, the insurance company has to provide notice to the DMV about the situation, and this can be associated with additional consequences for drivers. Drivers in South Carolina who have an SR-22, but need to move to another state, will still need to fulfill the initial requirements from before they moved. Additionally, when drivers move out of South Carolina, the liability limits on their insurance policy must still meet the minimums that are required legally where they used to live.
After drivers receive a ticket for drunk driving or another type of violation, they may be worried about how the potential requirement to obtain an SR-22 will affect them legally and financially. When this occurs, drivers can reach out to the experienced defense attorneys at the office of Nosal & Jeter, LLP to discuss their legal options.