In the event that you find yourself in an accident, whether your fault or not; or, you’re pulled over by the police and do not currently have any auto insurance, this could cause you a whirlwind of trouble. As it is the law in every state for you to carry proof of insurance at all times, failure to do so can result in costly penalties, and possible legal trouble. In the event that you are cited for not having auto insurance, it will be necessary for you to file what is called a SR-22 which provides law enforcement and state officials with evidence that you indeed have purchased car insurance, and you are therefore responsible for financial damages. The SR-22 serves as additional proof, or secondary receipt, that you indeed do have insurance from the time it was filed.
An important thing to note is that not all insurance companies deal with SR-22s. Generally it is automatically submitted to the state upon purchasing car insurance – to prove that you actually are covered. While there are various types of car insurance, such as liability, full coverage, owner policy, and general user policies, it is wise for you ask the insurance company to file the SR-22 anyway, so proof of insurance is provided to the state quicker.
There is a misconception that many have that if you don’t own a vehicle, then they don’t need to file an SR-22. In this scenario, the car insurance only covers liability, and if you are found to be in the wrong, liability will not cover anything that happened to the car that you’re driving.
If you choose to relocate out-of-state, you’ll still need to file an SR-22 in that respective state. Even though requirements for getting insurance may be more lenient, and the price might be much lower, this has no bearing on the fact that an SR-22 still needs to be filed by law.
There are a couple of states that don’t require an SR-22, and they can cause you difficulty. Many of them will not file one if you choose to move out of state. New York and North Carolina are two such examples. There is an appeals process that exists if you are rejected for your request for an SR-22. You can request that they review your account, as you are relocating out-of-state.
In closing, one of the most important factors you need to consider is that if your insurance lapses, or is canceled, your insurance company will tell the state that you’re no longer insured and pull your SR-22. At that point, your drivers license becomes suspended, and the length of suspension depends on the state you are in. Generally, and SR-22 must be on record for about two years.
It is always better to be safe than sorry – so, simply by following these guidelines, and keeping in honest communication with your insurance company regarding your SR-22, should be all you need to help save you many hassles and possible legal woes.