Car Insurance for DWI Offenders

DWI car insurance rates are $149.67/mo higher than standard rates on average. Your state may require SR-22 coverage to reinstate your license.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 25, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Having a DWI on your record will make it difficult to find cheap auto insurance coverage
  • The first thing you’ll need to do is complete an SR-22 form so your insurance company will notify the DMV of your auto insurance coverage
  • Shop around for rates from multiple companies to find the best deal

If you have a DWI or a DUI conviction, it is going to be a little more difficult to get car insurance.

DWI insurance is available but at a much higher rate. It is also very closely supervised by the insurance company and the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Monitored through an SR-22 form, high-risk car insurance is not only available for drivers with DWI convictions, but it is mandatory before getting your driver’s license reinstated.

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The Difference Between DWI and DUI

There is no difference between a DWI or a DUI. Both refer to driving a motor vehicle with Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that exceeds the state law limit.

Most state laws have a .08 BAC threshold limit. If you are at or exceed the BAC, you seriously risk conviction for a DWI or DUI.

Each state handles DWIs a differently, and your BAC will be a big determining factor regarding whether your license gets suspended or immediately revoked.

If you are pulled over while driving under the influence of alcohol, you will get arrested, and a judge will then determine your fine and/or sentence.

Most states will not sentence you to jail time for your first offense, but if you have repeat DWI or DUI offenses, you can expect to serve extended time in jail. It is highly probable that you will need DWI insurance even with a single offense.

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DWI Insurance and High-Risk Car Insurance

DWI insurance provides liability insurance for drivers who have been fined or convicted of driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content that is higher than is allowed by the state’s limit.

Once you are fined for a DWI, you will find it difficult to get standard auto insurance because you are now considered a high-risk driver.

As a high-risk driver, your auto insurance premiums are going to be much higher than you would pay normally.

To get car insurance with a DWI on your record, you will have little choice except a high-risk driver insurance at a high rate.

The liability insurance that you get will have to meet the state’s minimum requirements.

Some high-risk insurance companies will allow you to purchase higher coverage amounts and possibly even buy collision or comprehensive insurance as well.

DWI Insurance and the SR-22 Form

If your license is suspended or revoked because of a DWI, then you will need to obtain DWI insurance before your license can be reinstated.

You will need to apply for high-risk insurance and, once you are approved for it, the insurance provider will send a complete SR-22 to the DMV as proof that you have purchased the necessary auto insurance for your state’s requirements.

The DMV will then process the reinstatement of your driving privileges provided all other legal requirements (such as alcohol counseling) have been satisfied.

The insurance company is required by law to notify the DMV of any changes you make to your insurance policy.

If you drop coverage below the legal requirements, if you cancel your policy, or if your policy is terminated by the insurance company, the insurance company will immediately notify the DMV and your license will then be suspended or revoked pending further review.

It will not be reinstated until another SR-22 is once again filed on your behalf, either by the same insurance company or a different one.

Once you have high-risk insurance, you must keep it.

If you find a better rate somewhere else, be sure to buy that policy before canceling to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Make sure your premiums are always paid on time so that the insurance company does not terminate your policy and notify the DMV that you no longer have proper auto insurance.

DWI Car Insurance Rates

It is not easy to find low DWI auto insurance rates for high-risk drivers. The least amount of coverage you need must be enough to satisfy the state’s liability requirements, and that is usually not sufficient coverage if you are ever in an accident.

The best thing to do is to shop around for high-risk insurance to find out where you can get the most coverage for the least amount of cost.

As a high-risk driver, you will not be able to get discounts that are normally offered to low-risk drivers, such as a good driver discount. 

DWI car insurance rates are $149.67/mo higher than standard rates on average. However, if you keep your record clean for approximately three years, you can usually apply for standard auto insurance again and drop the high-risk insurance coverage.

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