Drivers convicted of certain criminal acts in California may be required to obtain SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance may also be called a:
- Certificate of insurance OR
- Financial responsibility filing
This article focuses on answering the question: what is SR-22 insurance? Review the definition of SR-22 insurance, the uses of this type of insurance in California, costs associated with SR-22 insurance, and more. Call (310) 896-2723 to get additional information about SR-22 insurance from the Simmrin Law Group.
Defining SR-22 Insurance in California
SR-22 insurance is not a standard insurance policy. In fact, it is considered a certificate of insurance. Put simply, an SR-22 is a special document:
- That proves that a driver has car insurance AND
- That is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Drivers only need to obtain SR-22 insurance after they violate certain legal codes in California. Many drivers will never need to obtain SR-22 insurance.
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Situations Requiring SR-22 Insurance
The court system in California can require drivers to obtain SR-22 insurance in response to certain legal missteps. Drivers are commonly forced to acquire SR-22 insurance after they are:
- Convicted for driving under the influence (DUI)
- Convicted for driving without insurance
- Charged with failure to pay child support
Causing a significant number of accidents or committing multiple traffic violations may also cause the court to order a driver to get SR-22 insurance.
SR-22 Insurance and DUI Charges in California
Many drivers associate SR-22 insurance with a DUI conviction. The court system requires drivers to provide proof of SR-22 insurance before they can regain their driving privileges following a DUI conviction.
Additionally, drivers must have proof of SR-22 insurance if they wish to drive with an ignition interlock device (IID) after they are convicted of a DUI. Until a driver gets SR-22 insurance in these situations, they will be unable to legally operate a vehicle in California.
Steps to Obtain SR-22 Insurance
Obtaining SR-22 insurance requires a driver to contact their insurance company. Note that a driver must have a car insurance policy before they can get SR-22 insurance. This is because SR-22 insurance isn’t a stand-alone type of insurance. It is a proof of insurance that must be filed with the DMV.
Once a driver contacts their insurance company, the company can add SR-22 insurance to their existing policy. Drivers who do not have a car insurance policy will have to set one up before they can secure SR-22 insurance.
Note that some insurance companies do not respond favorably to requests for SR-22 insurance. Some insurance companies will:
- Cancel insurance policies based on criminal charges
- Increase policy rates because of an SR-22 request
Additionally, not all car insurance companies offer SR-22 insurance. Drivers must contact their insurance company to find out if they can get SR-22 insurance. Some drivers must find a new insurance company to secure the SR-22 insurance ordered by the court system.
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Costs to Obtain SR-22 Insurance in California
There are a number of costs associated with obtaining SR-22 insurance. Drivers can expect to pay a filing fee to their insurance company. This fee may be around $50. Additionally, the DMV requires a reissue fee after they receive an SR-22 form. Drivers can expect to pay $125 for the DMV reissue fee.
Furthermore, obtaining SR-22 insurance can come with additional costs as:
- A driver’s insurance premiums increase
- Drivers lose discounts for being a good driver
- Insurance companies charge fees for the policy
However, drivers should not try to drive without securing SR-22 insurance. This action can lead to additional criminal charges. Drivers accused of driving without proper insurance can get help from a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles by calling (310) 896-2723.
California Drivers May Need SR-22 Insurance for Years
The DMV often requires drivers to maintain SR-22 insurance for a period of years. DUI charges, for example, require drivers to keep SR-22 insurance for a least three years. During this time, drivers must:
- Make all payments to their insurance company on time
- Get new insurance quickly if they are dropped from their policy
- Not cancel their policy unless they replace it immediately
Drivers may only get rid of SR-22 insurance once the DMV deems that the insurance is no longer necessary.
Learn More About SR-22 Insurance with a Lawyer
Many drivers in California aren’t sure what SR-22 insurance is. You can get help understanding this form of insurance from the team at the Simmrin Law Group. You can also reach out to us for help handling traffic violation charges, which may allow you to avoid SR-22 insurance altogether. Find out more by calling (310) 896-2723 or completing our online contact form.
You can count on our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles to help you handle DUI accusations and other charges. Reach out to us now for a FREE initial case evaluation.