By CarInsurance.com. February 17, 2012, 11:16:00 AM EDT
Question: My license is suspended. I've been told that to reinstate it, I need to get insurance and file an SR-22 form. How do I get insurance without a valid license? It seems like a Catch-22 in that I can't reinstate my license without insurance and to get insurance I need a valid license.
Answer: While auto insurance companies normally require you to have a valid driver's license in order to obtain a car insurance policy, they do make exceptions because there are situations when getting the license is dependent upon having insurance.
Car insurance companies that file SR-22s are aware that many times the state must receive this certificate of financial responsibility before a license will be reinstated. For this reason, they will allow you to start up your policy and give you time to get your license reinstated.
Typically, car insurance companies will allow you up to 30 days to provide them proof that you now have a valid license. If you fail to get your license reinstated within the given time frame, then your car insurance policy will be canceled. You would then have to start the process over by
obtaining a new auto insurance policy and having a new SR-22 filed so that you can try again to get your license reinstated within the given time.
So, while it seems strange, you should get your car insurance policy in place first.
Make sure the insurer knows you need the SR-22 and files it for you. Many states have insurers file electronically now, so the SR-22 is processed quickly.
Next, go to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get your license reinstated. You should confirm with your car insurance company after the reinstatement that they have received in the information showing your license is now valid, or else your policy and SR-22 may cancel out, which would result in your license being suspended again.
If your car insurance policy cancels out during the required SR-22 period (normally three years in most states), your insurance company will file a SR-26 that shows the cancellation, and this signals the DMV you are without the required auto insurance coverage, so your driving privileges are taken away until everything is back in place.
When you get a quote with CarInsurance.com, answer "yes" when asked "Does this driver require a financial responsibility filing?".