S R22 - What is it? Why do I need one?
January 30, 2008
Here’s a question insurance agents hear week in and week out..can you sell me SR22 insurance? I’m here to clear up some of the confusion concerning the SR22 and what states require to keep people driving legally.
An SR22 is a document, produced by an insurance company, required as proof of financial responsibility by the court or under state law for persons convicted of certain traffic violations. The SR22 is not insurance, it is a certification that an auto insurance policy is in effect for a certain individual. This is the legal proof that courts need to show someone is complying with state financial responsibility laws. Insurers are allowed to charge a reasonable processing fee for filing SR22s. Insurers are not required to provide SR22s or may elect to offer them in one state and not another.
Definition of an SR-22 from the Car Insurance Learning Center:” SR-22 is a form which must be filed by the insurance company stating that auto liability insurance (or bonding in Ohio) is in effect for a particular individual. Required when insurance is provided to an individual who was in an accident or was convicted of a traffic offense and was unable to show financial responsibility. Each state has different variations of this form and requirements.”
Long story short, someone got caught driving without insurance or the courts suspect they will be based on poor behavior ( DUIs. reckless driving). SR22s are state specific and the requirements in one state may not apply in another state. You can expect an SR22 or financial responsibility requirement in every state with these exceptions: Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania don’t require SR22s, but if you have an SR22 and then move to one of these states, you must continue to meet the requirements of the SR22 state where the offense was committed. New York and North Carolina don’t require SR22 filings. and most companies don’t offer out-of-state SR22 filings for policies in these states (see definition below for filing). If you
currently carry an SR22 in one state but move to another state, you must fulfill the SR22 filing requirement for your former state, even though you no longer reside there. Also, your insurance policy for your new state must have liability limits which meet the minimums required by law in your former (SR22) state. You can only get an SR-22 form from an insurance company that is authorised by the state to issue SR22s.
SR22a Forms: Similar to an SR22; there are used in Georgia, Texas and Missouri. In Georgia & Texas these are certifications used for repeat violators of financial responsibility laws. SR22a in GA & TX must be paid in guaranteed funds and policies must be paid in full for a 6 month term. In Missouri, SR22a are used for policies where drivers on a policy are restricted to only driving certain cars.
SR22 Filing : Is what insurance companies DO with your SR22 Form. In some states, insurers handle the SR22 filing for you; They print or electronically transmit the form to the appropriate state government office for processing. In other state, you’ll be handed a SR22 Form and YOU will be responsible for the filing.
SR22 Bonding: Very common in Ohio and other states that allow bonding in lieu of insurance. Drivers are told by the courts to secure a SR22 bond, so they go to an agency, ask for a SR22 bond and that’s what they get, a bond. It’s important to note the difference between an insurance policy and a bond; when an at-fault accident occurs, the insurance policy will absorb the cost, the bond will pay the cost and then request repayment from the bond holder. Sort of like a line of credit for the driver that must be repaid. This comes as quite a shock to most drivers who think they’re insured.
SR26 forms: A filing done by insurance companies to cancel a SR22 or SR22a. Most states require notice in advance (usually 10 days) when a SR22 is being canceled. To avoid mix ups in SR22/SR26 filings, it a GOOD idea to get your insurance bills paid ON TIME.