Despite common misconceptions, an SR-22 isn't an actual insurance policy. It is a guarantee to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles that you are carrying the level of insurance required of you by your court order. The SR-22 court order is usually the result of a serious violation such as driving under the influence or driving without insurance. If you're facing an SR-22 order, there are a few things that you should know before you buy.
Where Do You Get an SR-22?
An SR-22 can only be obtained through an auto insurance agent. You can purchase it from any licensed agent in your state. The reason you have to work with an insurance agent to get it is that you have to pay for the insurance policy used to guarantee that SR-22 certificate. You cannot get the SR-22 without that car insurance policy.
What Happens to the SR-22?
Once you pay the policy premium for your SR-22, the formal SR-22 certification will be sent to the state to show that your policy is in force. It will include the details of your coverage limits so that the state knows that your policy meets the requirements they set forth. You will have to keep the policy in force for your court-mandated term, which can be for several years.
How Much Is an SR-22?
The cost of the SR-22 itself is usually only a small filing fee. The real expense comes in the actual insurance policy required to secure it. Your cost for that policy will vary based on the offense. For example, if you were charged with driving under the influence, your policy premium will likely be higher than if you were ordered to carry an SR-22 for driving without insurance. Your premium will also be affected by the type of car you drive, where you live, and the other standard insurance rating factors.
What If You Don't Own a Car?
If you've been ordered to carry an SR-22 but had to sell your car, you might wonder what you should do. The timeline for your SR-22 coverage won't begin until you actually have the policy in place. Instead of waiting until you buy a new car, you can ask your insurance carrier about a non-owner SR-22. In this case, you receive insurance coverage that is designed for your own financial responsibility, not to protect a car. You can only get a policy like this if you don't have a car registered in your name or access to anyone else's vehicle. If you do have access to a car, no matter whose it is, you'll have to get a policy that includes coverage for that vehicle.
You'll have to sign a statement that confirms that you don't have a vehicle. If you do purchase a car before the policy term runs out, you'll have to notify your insurance company immediately. You may have to pay a premium increase for the remaining policy period, but you need to add the car right away to ensure coverage.
What about Leaving the State?
If you move out of state after you've been ordered to hold an SR-22, you'll have to maintain that SR-22 policy in your former state even though you don't live there anymore. In most cases, you will have to transfer that SR-22 to an insurance company that is licensed to carry insurance in both your current and previous states.
Before you do anything about your SR-22 order, it's important to understand the basics. With information like this, you'll be better prepared and able to get the coverage that you need. That way, you can restore your driver's license when you are eligible. To learn more about this certificate of insurance, visit a website like http://www.greatnortherninsuranceagency.com.