Which States Require an SR22?

Published: 27th January 2010
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If you've ever been convicted of a DUI or DWI, being at fault in an auto accident while not carrying appropriate insurance coverage, driving with a suspended license or some other serious driving offense, you may be required to file an SR22 form with your local Department of Motor Vehicles. This form simply verifies that you currently carry the required insurance coverage in order to continue driving legally in your state. Most states require them but specific rules may vary among them somewhat.

How to File Your SR22

The SR22 form should be filed by your auto insurance company with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as long as your policy is effective and meets minimum coverage requirements. Should your policy ever lapse or be cancelled, the insurance company will notify your state appropriately. The SR22 will then be revoked, as will your driver's license, until another form is filed by the same or a different insurance company on your behalf. If you have ever been convicted of any serious driving offenses, you need to ensure you purchase auto insurance from a company that offers this service.

SR22 Requirements

Normally, most states will ask a person with a driving offense record in their past to file an SR22 form with the DMV for at least three years from the date of conviction. Some states will require it for more or less time, and very few will not require one at all. Ensure you contact your state's DMV directly to find out the specific requirements that you must meet.

Insurance Coverage Considerations

In addition to filing an SR22 form, another issue drivers with a record will face is trying to find an auto insurance company that will cover them with their respective offenses, and do so at an affordable rate. This will vary between companies and states, especially since each state requires different types of minimum insurance coverage. Remember as well that only certain companies are approved by each state to file SR22 forms with their respective DMVs.

SR22 Exceptions

Almost every state requires SR22 forms to be filed with their respective DMV offices but there are a few exceptions. If you lived in a state which required SR22 forms and you move to Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma or Pennsylvania, you must continue to meet the SR22 requirements in the state where you lived before. However, if you live in one of these states when convicted of a driving offense, an SR22 is not required.

Other exceptions are found in New York and North Carolina. These states do not require you to file an SR22 form, and it's very difficult to find an insurance company which will issue one for another state when you move to one of these.

As a basic rule of thumb, if you currently are under obligation in your state to file an SR22 form and you then move to another state, you will need to maintain the filing requirements as long as deemed necessary by your former state of residence. You will also need to ensure that your insurance policy continues to meet the required minimum coverage for both your new state and former state of residence.

Enforcement of SR22 Requirements

The DMV, not the local law enforcement, is charged with enforcing SR22 requirements. This means that should your SR22 form be revoked, the police will not come knocking on your door. You also do not need to carry the SR22 form with you or in your vehicle; however, should you be pulled over by a policeman, he or she will be able to look up your record and see if you are fulfilling any necessary SR22 form filing requirements. If they see that your form has been revoked or never filed in the first place, they may arrest you and impound your vehicle. Subsequently, you can risk losing your driver's license.

Associated Fees

It's also important to note that there may be fees required by either your insurance company or the DMV in order to file the SR22. You may pay these fees upfront or through higher premiums; you simply need to address the issue directly at your local DMV branch.

Always ensure you are meeting the requirements of your current and past state of residence if you have ever been convicted of a major driving offense or had your license revoked for any reason. Remember that requirements may change at any time in the future, and it is your responsibility to ensure you are operating your motor vehicle within the limits of the law.Most states require an SR22 for major convictions such as a DUI or DWI, driving while license suspended or revoked and at fault accidents without insurance to name a few. Visit Southeast Insurance Agency for your next dui insurance rates quote today.

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