The SR-22 is a form filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles to prove a motorist has an active insurance policy. All but eight states require an SR-22 form following a license suspension for serious motor vehicle violations like reckless driving or DUI. Insurers file the forms with the DMV to show motorists have the minimum insurance coverage required by the state. The SR-22 form is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility confirming that motorists who’ve had their licenses revoked are reinsured.
The SR-22 in California
California requires at least $5000 for property damage liability, $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident and $15,000 bodily injury liability per person. With each renewal, the SR-22 requires insurers to update the DMV on behalf of policyholders. If the policy is canceled or lapses, insurers are required to notify the DMV and the policyholder could lose their driving privileges. After a major traffic violation in California, an SR-22 form stays on file for three years.
More on SR-22 in California
If the coverage lapses, the SR-22 period resets. Motorists with SR-22 requirements in California may pay 3% more on their insurance premiums each year. Insurers may also charge initial fees for filing SR-22 with the DMV. The cost of the premium might also be impacted by the severity of the traffic violation requiring SR-22, whether it be hit and run, reckless driving or for DUI consequences. The SR-22 premiums in California can range anywhere from $750 to over $4000 per year.
Driving without insurance or driving with a suspended license is also enough to earn a SR-22 requirement in California. The three-year SR-22 period in California starts once the license has been reinstated. Insurers file SR-22 with the DMV upon the policyholder’s request. The SR-22 is associated with high risk drivers so many insurers may increase premiums or deny coverage for serious traffic violations.