SR-22 Survival Guide

Insurance Blog

So you've made some mistakes behind the wheel. Who hasn't? Maybe you've run a few stop signs, let your speeding tickets pile up, been caught driving without insurance. Now that your driving sins have finally caught up with you, the judge has ordered you to carry an SR-22. What does that mean? How do you deal?

SR-22 Basics

You may have heard SR-22 referred to as insurance. Well, that's not exactly accurate. It's actually a form that an insurance company sends to Department of Motor Vehicles in your state, verifying that you have insurance coverage.

Each motorist is required by law to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Once you've racked up a few points on your driving record, it can be difficult to get an insurance company to extend coverage to you; some even drop clients altogether. The government knows this, so it requires an SR-22 sent directly from your insurance company to verify that you are covered.

In most states, you are required to carry an SR-22 for three years. If you lapse in your premiums, the insurance company will revoke your policy and notify the state. If you commit any traffic violations in those three years, the state will extend the amount of time you must carry your SR-22.

Making It As Painless As Possible

You're probably wondering, "Yeah, great. But what's all this gonna cost?" Honestly, there's no such thing as cheap SR-22 insurance. The SR-22 filing itself typically only costs a flat fee. However, with an SR-22 on your record, you are now considered a "high risk driver" and your insurance premiums are going to go up.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make yourself as attractive as possible to insurance companies, and reduce your premiums in the long run. Some insurance companies offer discounts if you take a driving class, or install a dash cam in your car to monitor your driving.

Insurance expert Emily Delbridge recommends requesting a copy of your driving record before getting an SR-22 quote from a new car insurance company. Check for any misinformation. A simple clerical error, such as a parking ticket remaining on your record after you've paid, can translate to higher premiums if you don't correct it.

Now for the good news. (Yes! There is some!) If you clean up your driving habits, pay your premiums on time, and follow the rules, the SR-22 will be removed from your record in three years. It's only temporary. For more information about your SR-22 insurance options, look for available policies on an insurance agency's website, such as, and talk to the agent about your situation.


18 September 2014