If you have been charged with a serious traffic violation, you may be required to get an SR-22 form from your auto insurance provider to keep your driver's license.
Thing #1: SR-22 Isn't a Type of Insurance
An SR-22 form isn't a type of insurance; it is a form that states you have the minimum liability insurance that is required by your state. This form is issued, upon your request, by your insurance provider. It is a formal legal document that you can share with your state's motor vehicle department to show that you are carrying the minimum liability insurance on your vehicle. Despite being commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, it is not a type of insurance, but a form that shows you have the right insurance coverage level.
Thing #2: Helps You Keep or Reinstate Driving Privileges
If you are a driver with a clean driving record, free of accidents and tickets, you are not going to generally need to get an SR-22 form from your insurance provider.
SR-22 forms are usually required for one to maintain or reinstate driving privileges in specific situations, such as having three or more speeding tickets in a short span of time or a conviction of a serious moving violation, such as a DUI, or you were involved in an accident and you didn't have auto insurance when the accident occurred. You may be required to get an SR-22 when you fail to keep up with your court-ordered child support in some situations.
Thing #3: You Have to Ask Your Insurance Company for an SR-22 Form
If you are required by the courts, or the department of motor vehicles, to provide an SR-22 form, you will need to start by asking your insurance company for one. Now, just because you have car insurance that meets the state's minimum doesn't mean your insurance provider is obligated to provide you with the form.
Your insurance provider could refuse to provide you with this form, in which case you will need to find a new insurance provider that will provide you with an SR-22 form. This is where the term "SR-22" insurance comes into play — you need to find an insurance provider you will provide you with this form, and generally, most insurance providers, before providing you with this form, will require you to pay your entire insurance premium upfront, instead of in monthly installments.
You will also likely face a higher premium due to requesting the form and the driving violations that lead you to request the form.
If you find yourself in a legal situation where you need an SR-22 form, reach out to your insurance provider to see if they can provide you with the form. If not, you will need to find a new provider, and be ready to pay your full premium upfront.
For more information about SR-22 insurance, reach out to a local insurance company, like Illinois Insurance Center Inc.