Can I obtain an SR-22 without auto insurance?

Getting an SR22 without purchasing car insurance is usually not possible, though regulations differ between states. Filed through your insurance company, an SR22 proves you can pay for car insurance.

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 4, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • An SR-22 is not a unique type of car insurance available to only a select few motorists
  • In some case, an SR-22 is required before one is able to purchase auto insurance
  • An SR-22 is filed by your insurance company and proves that you are financially responsible to pay for minimum insurance coverage
  • The necessary length of an SR-22 varies according to the state you live in

Getting an SR-22 without purchasing car insurance is usually not possible. Since states differ in terms of insurance regulations, it is important for you to know what the law is in your state.

Your state motor vehicle department, insurance agency, or licensed car insurance carrier are the best resources for finding out the legal requirements where you live.

Before you take your car out on the road, always be sure that you have the legally mandated insurance coverage.

Getting caught without proper insurance coverage will open up the door to a host of unnecessary problems.

Enter your ZIP code now to see a side-by-side comparison of car insurance quotes in your area!

Is SR-22 a type of car insurance?

Many people confuse the SR-22 issue because they don’t understand what it is. SR-22 is not a special kind of car insurance applied only to specific people.

Rather, it is a filing with the state in which a driver attests to having the financial resources to pay for minimum car insurance coverage.

The filing is usually prepared by your insurance company in accordance with the policy you carry and then sent to the state for their records. However, not all states have SR-22 regulations.

Of those that do, many impose this filing on drivers who have had insurance policies canceled for lack of payment. The SR-22 is also sometimes imposed for the following offense:

  • Repeated speeding violations
  • Multiple DWI/DUI convictions
  • Multiple accidents
  • License suspensions or revocations

If you are required to file an SR-22 form with your state, you will most likely be obligated to fulfill the obligations of that filing even if you move to a new state.

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Why can’t I get an SR-22 without purchasing car insurance?

The simple fact of the matter is that an SR-22 is simply a record stating that you have the financial resources to purchase and maintain car insurance.

If you’re not purchasing auto insurance, then there is no need for an SR-22. In many states that use the SR-22 filing, it’s not even possible to do so without car insurance because the insurance company is responsible for filing the notice.

The only exception to this rule is in New Hampshire which does not require drivers to purchase minimum liability insurance if they have the financial resources to self-insure.

In other words, as of 2010, you can forgo buying car insurance if you can prove that you can afford to pay for claims out-of-pocket in the “Live Free or Die” state.

In this case, the SR-22 is the needed documentation that proves a driver has such financial resources and can be classified as self-insured.

What if my financial circumstances change during the term of my SR-22?

Since the SR-22 filing is proof that you have the financial resources to pay for your insurance, any change in your circumstances which negatively affects your ability to make your payments requires you to be prepared to cancel your policy if need be.

In such cases, a terminated policy means you must surrender the registration on your vehicle and keep it off the road. Depending on your state and the reason you were required to file the SR-22, your license may even be suspended for a period of time.

Regardless of the change in your financial circumstances, as long as you still are able to make your insurance premiums on time, the existence of the SR-22 really serves only as a formality.

The SR-22 is not designed to punish you by taking away your driving privileges if your financial circumstances change. As long as you can make your insurance payments, you’re good to go.

SR-22 regulations differ from one state to the next. If you have any questions regarding the filing or how it affects insurance rates, feel free to contact your insurance company or your state motor vehicle department.

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How long does a driver need to maintain an SR-22?

Regulations vary from state to state, according to the reasons the SR-22 was imposed, so you’ll have to check with the individual court to determine the length of imposition.

However, as a general rule, most states impose a period of 24 to 36 months for most SR-22s. These would typically be those imposed because of insurance policy lapses or convictions for driving without insurance.

It is possible to have an SR-22 required for longer periods of time for more serious offenses like DUI/DWI.

It is your responsibility as a driver to inform your insurance company that you need an SR-22 certificate. They will collect the required information from you then file the form with your state.

It’s also your job to inform them when the SR-22 has been lifted so they can cancel it. You will be required to furnish proof that it has been lifted before your insurance company will file the SR-22 cancellation.

If your insurance policy is canceled for any reason during the SR-22 period, your insurance company is required by law to report it to your state. Cancellation of your policy could result in the revocation of your driving privileges.

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If I move to a new state, is my SR-22 canceled?

The issue of moving to a new state in relation to an SR-22 is a tricky one. Some states require that you complete the terms of an SR-22 imposed by your previous home state, while others don’t.

As a general rule, it’s suggested that you let it run its course as long as you are still covered by the same insurance company when you move to your new state. Otherwise, trying to file paperwork with both states can lead to complications down the road.

If your new state requires a new insurance company, you’ll have to discuss the SR-22 with them.

Even if you’re required to file an SR-22, you can still compare car insurance rates online by typing in your ZIP code below!



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