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Key Takeaways

  • SR-22 status generally must be kept up for at least three years after a DUI-related license suspension.
  • Drivers of vehicles with fewer than four wheels, such as motorcycles, who break the law are given the SR1P designation.
  • California has a higher average annual cost of $2088 for full coverage auto insurance than the rest of the US, which is $1557 annually.

What is SR-22 Insurance?

The SR-22 requirement in connection with California DUI convictions is a subject of considerable uncertainty and misunderstanding. Therefore, we dissect it and explain everything in this article.

Paperwork called an SR-22 is submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to demonstrate that a driver has an active auto insurance policy. When a driver's license is suspended for a serious infraction like a DUI or reckless driving conviction, SR-22s are often necessary. Auto insurance providers submit these documents to the DMV on behalf of policyholders to demonstrate that the right insurance is being upheld.

Way.com can assist you in understanding what you must do, precisely what an SR-22 form signifies, and how much your premium will increase if you have lately been informed that you require an SR-22 file. If you have this knowledge, you might be able to manage your circumstance and be more ready for the specifics of your SR-22 requirement.

How to get SR-22 insurance

It would be best to contact your auto insurance provider to receive a California SR-22. Unfortunately, once you inform your firm that you require an SR-22, they become aware that a serious event has occurred.

Your insurance will either be canceled, or the certificate will be sent to you after the firm consults your DMV record to determine why you require the form. On the other hand, your insurance rates will probably (but not necessarily) go up if you get an SR-22 from your present employer. Typically, your insurance provides the SR-22 by electronically submitting paperwork to the DMV.

Many auto insurance companies don't offer SR-22 coverage, and not all of them do. If your employment is terminated and you are forced to look for an SR-22 elsewhere, you will probably have to pay a high rate because you will now be viewed as a "high-risk" driver by vehicle insurance companies.

All drivers in California are required by law to have auto insurance, and as a result, the state has a program that matches you with an insurer if you cannot get an SR-22 on your own. Fortunately, other factors besides a DUI are taken into account by vehicle insurance providers when determining whether to increase your premiums. For example, most car insurance companies will also consider your residence, marital status, driving history, age, and driving experience.

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How long will I need the SR-22?

SR-22 status generally must be kept up for at least three years after a DUI-related license suspension. After that, you don't have to reapply every year.

The insurance policy will continue to be on file with the DMV until it is no longer required, provided that either (1) your insurance carrier doesn't dump you after issuing your SR-22 or (2) you don't cancel the policy.

Your insurance provider must inform the DMV if you cancel or are dropped from coverage. In that case, you must get an SR-22 from a different auto insurance provider right once to prevent a fresh driver's license suspension. For the DMV to eventually remove your SR-22 status and reinstate your license, you must keep up uninterrupted coverage.

The DMV may notify your auto insurance provider that you no longer have an SR-22 if you don't make a payment, resulting in a new license suspension unless you re-file the SR-22.

Car insurance after a DUI in California

Since you'll probably need to submit an SR-22 to have your driving privileges back if you're found guilty of a DUI in California, SR-22 insurance is frequently referred to as DUI insurance. A DUI charge doesn't need you to inform your insurance provider, and it probably won't influence your auto insurance, but a DUI conviction will.

As DUIs remain on your DMV record for ten years, your insurer will either find out about the conviction when you ask them to file an SR-22 or attempt to renew your policy. Insurers review this information before reissuing coverage.

You won't be qualified for a good driver discount in California for ten years after a DUI. Once this period is up, the DUI will no longer appear on your driving record, and you will once more qualify for the discount. Although you might be able to get the conviction erased from your record earlier, if you continue to work with the same insurer, they will still include the DUI when calculating your SR-22 insurance rates.

However, the DUI will lower your car insurance costs over five to ten years if there are no more incidents on your driving record.

Difference between the SR1P and SR-22 in California

Drivers of vehicles with fewer than four wheels, such as motorcycles, who break the law are given the SR1P designation.

Let's make it clear what an SR-22 form is before we proceed. A "Certificate of Financial Responsibility," or SR-22, verifies that you have at least the required amount of insurance in a given state but is not insurance itself. To lawfully drive in California, you must have bodily injury liability coverage of at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage liability.

Insurance providers must also offer you underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, but you have the option to decline these policy options in writing.

If your driving privileges were suspended due to a serious infraction, you must provide proof of insurance to get your license back. When you need an SR-22, your insurance provider must submit the SR-22 form to the DMV as evidence of your coverage.

The DMV will be informed that you are still covered each time your policy is renewed. The DMV will be notified if your coverage expires or is canceled, and you risk losing your driving privileges. An SR-22 form must typically be kept for three to five years following a severe infraction, but the court system sets the precise time frame.

The average cost of California SR-22 insurance

If you have a significant traffic infraction on your record, you should anticipate a significant increase in your premium. California has a higher average annual cost of $2088 for full coverage auto insurance than the rest of the US, which is $1557 annually.

However, the average annual premium for full coverage in California with a DUI is $5010, a 142% increase. Just your auto insurance policy premium is included in it. Most insurance companies also charge a cost for submitting the SR-22 form.

You may be perceived as a high-risk driver if you are in danger of having your license suspended. Unfortunately, the only way to get your license back is by getting an SR-22 form and an auto insurance policy.

Due to the higher possibility of accidents, high-risk drivers in California must pay extra for auto insurance. Before granting you coverage, auto insurance companies assess the danger of doing so.

They're looking for signs that you might be responsible for mishaps that might necessitate paying out a claim. In general, your car insurance will cost more the higher risk you are deemed to be. For example, you may be considered a high-risk driver if you have a history of moving violations, accidents, or multiple penalties.

Car Insurance Companies Annual Premium SR-22 and DUI
Mercury $522 $888
UAIC $540 $1152
CSAA $453 $1518
Farmers $759 $1533
Inter-insurance $489 $1629
Allstate $729 $2409
State Farm $756 $2763

You might need to look around a little to locate coverage because not all auto insurance providers provide SR-22s. However, when you do, your premium will probably be more than before your driving infractions.

However, you can gradually return to more reasonable auto insurance premiums by maintaining a safe driving record to lower your risk of penalties for speeding or other moving offenses. Additionally, make sure to pay your premiums on time to keep your coverage from expiring.

If you maintain a clean driving record for three to five years, you can be eligible for regular coverage once more and experience a decrease in prices.

How much more expensive is SR-22 insurance than regular insurance?

SR-22 insurance typically costs roughly twice as much as standard insurance. The rationale is that this group of insurance plans is only available to drivers who pose the greatest risk; higher risk entails higher claims costs for insurance providers.

An SR-22 requirement typically results from a serious traffic infraction. Even though it is more expensive, SR-22 insurance has a benefit in that it can help you get back on the road when there aren't many other options.

You may still benefit from an SR-22 even if your license has been suspended or revoked. In other words, getting an SR-22 is a step in the right direction toward improving your driving history.

Therefore, although SR-22 insurance will cost more than the required minimum coverage, it is an essential step to resume driving after a significant infraction.

When do I need SR-22 insurance?

If you want to keep or get your driving privileges back after a significant offense in California, you might need to have an SR-22. By submitting a certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles, your insurer with an SR-22 notifies the department that you have at least the minimum liability insurance necessary in California.

An order from the state or a court will let you know if you need to file an SR-22. Your car registration and driver's license may be suspended if you need an SR-22 but don't obtain one.

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Reasons you may be required to file an SR-22:

If your license is suspended or restricted due to a serious infraction, California will demand an SR-22. The following issues will require you to have SR-22 in California:

  • DUI
  • Reckless driving habits
  • Three or more traffic violations.
  • Drunk driving while you are below 21.
  • Accidents when you are uninsured
  • Failure to report an accident resulting in property damage over $1,000 or bodily injury or death.
  • Not paying what a judge says you owe if you're sued after an accident.

Even if you weren't driving at the time of the accident, you might need an SR-22. This is because your driving privileges could be revoked if the police cannot determine who was behind the wheel, but you were the car owner, and it was uninsured. The same thing can transpire if your uninsured car gets involved in an accident when it is not being driven and rolls away from its parking space.

Nonowner SR-22 insurance in California

What happens if you don't have a car yet and require an SR-22? Perhaps an incident while operating a friend's or relative's car caused your license to be suspended. You might be able to obtain non-owner SR-22 insurance to restore your license if this occurs to you.

You must first purchase non-owner auto insurance. When you don't own a car, this type of policy offers liability coverage for you. The insurance provider can then deliver the SR-22 paperwork to the DMV. You'll need to look around to find a business that will underwrite you because not all insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance, and not all companies file SR-22 papers.

Company Average Annual Rate
Farmers $522
USAA $789
Travelers $819
State Farm $1038

How an SR-22 will impact your insurance in California?

You will undoubtedly pay more for insurance after submitting an SR-22. The amount you'll pay depends on the incident's seriousness. While minor accidents or suspension-related issues might not have as big of an impact, DUIs could considerably increase your insurance prices.

You should also be aware that insurance companies may be less likely to cover you. So while you won't lose your insurance completely in the middle of a policy term, you might have more trouble finding coverage when it's time to renew. But, again, the Way.com app can get the best prices regardless of your driving history and is your greatest option for comparison shopping.

The good news is that your SR-22 will be revoked, and you can resume driving normally after three years of faultless driving.

Bottom-line

SR-22s are a major pain in the neck for your auto insurance rates, but they are not death warrants. You can nevertheless locate a solid insurance plan at a cost that works for you. Use Way.com to locate the greatest bargain.

Way.com will perform all the legwork necessary to finalize your new auto insurance, including locating the best offers from the leading insurance providers. Way.com will even revoke your previous policy on your behalf.

The Way.com app will also offer you new quotations each time your policy is up for renewal to guarantee you always have the best rate and get the coverage you want. The Way.com app has become the top insurance app in the nation due to its high level of customer care, earning a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by Way.com’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with way.com

Frequently asked questions

How long do I need SR-22 in California?

An SR-22 will be required for three to five years. This demonstrates to the DMV that you are maintaining at least the bare minimum levels of insurance coverage.

What happens if I cancel my SR-22 insurance?

Your insurance provider notifies the DMV that you are currently insured with coverage that meets at least the state's bare minimums when they issue you an SR-22. The company will inform the DMV if you stop paying your auto insurance premiums or terminate your coverage. You run the danger of having your driving privileges revoked or suspended.

How much does an SR-22 form cost?

High-risk car insurance is more expensive than regular or preferred coverage. That's because of the reasons the DMV initially demanded an SR-22, such as an accident, a DUI, or a string of moving infractions. For instance, the average annual premium for full coverage auto insurance in California following a DUI is $5010. Additionally, most insurance providers demand a fee for submitting the SR-22. As a result, each supplier will charge a different amount.

How do I get a restricted driver's license in California?

Serve 30 days of your 4-month license suspension before applying for this limited license. Then, visit a DMV office (an appointment is suggested). Show proof that you've enrolled in a DUI program. Show proof of insurance (SR 22). Pay a $125 APS charge. With an IID installed, you can request a restricted license immediately.

How do I get rid of an SR-22 in California?

After three years, you can get your SR-22 removed in California by alerting your insurance provider, who will then revoke the SR-22 file with the state. In addition, the DMV may occasionally notify you when your SR-22 term is about to expire.

What is the difference between SR-22 and SR-1P?

Like an SR-22, an SR-1P is used for vehicles with fewer than four wheels, such as motorcycles. It is necessary after violations like being discovered driving without insurance after an accident or committing traffic violations repeatedly.

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