If you're considered a "high-risk" driver, you may be required to carry an SR-22. This is also often required when your driver's license has been suspended. Although you can't drive on a suspended license, you're still required to carry an SR-22 for as long as it's mandated.
What Is An SR-22?
An SR-22 is proof that you carry the amount of auto insurance required by the state or court to drive legally. You will often have to present an SR-22, along with your insurance statement, to the DMV — as one is not a substitute for the other.
You can apply for an SR-22 through your insurance company. Your insurer will then notify the court or state directly of any misdemeanor or violation of the SR-22.
Do I Need An SR-22 If My License Gets Suspended?
Chances are, you will need an SR-22 if your license is suspended. This depends on the type of violation, as does the amount of time you must carry the SR-22. You may need an SR-22 if your license was suspended for a motor vehicle accident judgement. Other reasons you could have your license suspended include:
- Vehicular Felonies
- Out-of-State Traffic Violations
- Driving without Insurance
- Reckless Driving/Drug-related Charges
Getting a DUI or DWI is one of the most likely reason a state or court will require you to carry an SR-22. Since you are considered a high-risk driver in this case, the state or court wants to ensure that you can at least cover another car and its passengers in the event you cause an accident.
How Long Do I Have to Carry an SR-22?
The length of time you must carry an SR-22 depends on the state you're in and the charge you face. Most states require you to carry an SR-22 for two years after it’s issued. This may vary, however.
In Missouri, for instance, you must carry an SR-22 for two years if your license is suspended for a Motor Vehicle Accident Judgement either in state or out of state. Missouri also requires three years for carrying false or no auto insurance.
How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost?
The SR-22 itself is relatively inexpensive, costing between $15 and $50. Your auto insurance itself will cost more, thanks to the violation that caused the suspension of your license.
Some insurance companies are more forgiving than others. That means you can often find somewhat affordable insurance rates to carry out the obligation of your SR-22.
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