The information below is intended as informational and does not constitute legal or insurance advice.
An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that ensures that you are meeting your state's car insurance requirements, and that you will continue to meet these requirements for a specified amount of time (generally 3 years).
An SR-22 certification is a form that is filed with the state, not a type of insurance.
An SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility verifies that the named individual is carrying at least the state-mandated amount of car insurance. The insurance company is guaranteeing to the state that you're maintaining coverage and are financially responsible for any accidents, and it will let the state know if you do not.
SR-22s are often referred to as “SR-22 insurance”, it is not really a type of insurance. SR-22 is more accurately defined as a type of proof of insurance.
You are most likely to be required to file an SR-22 if:
You are involved in a car accident without insurance.
You are convicted of a DUI/DWI.
You are found to be driving while uninsured.
You have a large number of points on your driving record.
The SR-22 can be required for a variety of reasons, depending on where you live. Common circumstances that result in an SR-22 requirement include the following:
Being involved in an accident while driving without insurance.
DUI or DWI or other major alcohol violation conviction.
Serious moving violation conviction, such as reckless or negligent driving.
Several traffic offenses in a short time period.
Driving without insurance conviction.
Being caught by the state not carrying car insurance on your registered vehicle.
A requirement for you to obtain a hardship or probationary license.
A requirement to reinstate your driver's license after a suspension or revocation.
Meeting the SR-22 requirement can help you get your license and/or registration reinstated and thus get you back on the road. You’ll know it’s required when you’re informed by the court or state. The notification should inform you why an SR-22 is required, the insurance requirements and how long the SR-22 form must stay on file with the state.
A form called the FR-44 is similar to the SR-22 but requires drivers to carry much higher liability limits. It is currently only required in Florida and Virginia for drivers who have been convicted of certain alcohol-related violations.