What Is SR22 Insurance?

Thomas Jeter • September 16, 2015

What Is SR22 Insurance?

In some situations, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles may require you to obtain an SR-22 insurance certificate before getting your license reinstated. This certificate will verify the fact that you have auto insurance, which is mandatory in the state. Each state has its own policies regarding if and when these documents must be obtained. Read on to learn more about why the DMV might order you to secure an SR-22.

When Is It Necessary?

Drivers without any traffic violations have probably never heard of an SR-22. That is because it is only requested in situations in which someone has been ticketed or convicted of certain infractions, such as the following:

  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • An uninsured driver accident

South Carolina may require you to get an SR-22 certificate after any incident that resulted in a driver’s license suspension.

Obtaining the Form

The “SR” in SR-22 stands for safety responsibility. The certificate is a guarantee from the insurance provider that you have coverage. You will have to find a provider that will issue the certificate, as not all companies will. Once you have found the right provider, the company will put together the certificate and file it with the DMV on your behalf. Whether or not you own a vehicle is inconsequential; there are owner SR-22 forms and non-owner SR-22 forms.

What Is the Cost?

There is a significant cost involved with getting an SR-22. The certificate itself is not expensive, but simply having the requirement for it can have an effect on your insurance premium. Essentially, the provider is absorbing a risk by issuing you car insurance. Therefore, it may increase your rate based on factors such as your driving record, which will include all your moving violations and accidents. A company may also look at your credit score and the type of car you drive to determine how much risk is involved in insuring you.

How Long Do I Need It?

The good news about the SR-22 is that it is typically not a permanent requirement. The length of time you will need to carry the certificate is directly linked to the infraction that caused the requirement in the first place. For example, a DUI conviction may necessitate five years of holding an SR-22 certificate. Make sure you know how long you are required to carry it and be sure to fulfill that requirement, as you could face additional legal troubles if you do not.

At Nosal & Jeter, LLP our attorneys know how burdensome and costly it can be to carry an SR-22 certificate. Our goal is to defend clients against charges tied to license suspension to prevent the situation from ever occurring.