Getting an SR22 Car Insurance Bond

SR22 car insurance bonds are often required for high-risk drivers who lost their licenses for (1) a DUI, (2) many traffic tickets, or (3) an uninsured driving conviction.

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • An SR22 is a form that proves financial responsibility after multiple DUIs, several tickets, or other traffic violation
  • An SR22 will not raise your insurance rates; however, usually high-risk drivers are the only ones required to file an SR22
  • Not every insurance company offers SR22s, but almost all companies are familiar with the filing process

An SR22 bond for car insurance is simply a court ordered proof of financial responsibility required by your state in order to keep or gain back your driving privileges.

Most individuals are not required to carry an SR22.

Individuals who are required to have an SR22 have lost their license either to DUIs, a high number of traffic tickets, or were pulled over with no insurance.

In order for these drivers to keep or receive back their driver’s licenses, they are required to have their insurance company file an SR22 to their state which proves that they have paid the insurance and are covered.

If at any time their insurance is canceled due to nonpayment or cancellation, the insurance company will file an SR26. An SR26 simply cancels out the previous SR22.

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Is an SR22 bond a type of car insurance?

Although it is sometimes called SR22 insurance, an SR22 is not necessarily a special type of insurance.

An SR22 is the name of the form that is used to report to the Department of Insurance that you have appropriate car insurance coverage.

For more information about SR22 filings, you can check out the website for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Once you have a car insurance policy, your insurance company will file the SR22 to the appropriate place so that they know you are following the appropriate insurance requirements and are able to drive and keep your driver’s license.

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What is an SR22 bond and how does it affect my car insurance rates?

An SR22 has no effect on your insurance rates.

Some car insurance companies do require a small fee to file an SR22 with the state, normally around $25.

However, the risk factors that cause an individual to file an SR-22 might cause the rates to go up.

For example, if it is discovered that in the last two months a driver has had 5 traffic tickets, those traffic tickets will be seen as a risk factor and cause the individual’s insurance to go up.

The SR-22 itself does not increase insurance rates; the actions that require the filing do increase the rates, however.

How long do I need an SR22 bond?

State requirements for SR22 insurance vary so check with your state insurance department to find out exactly how long you need to carry it.

For many states, there is a minimum term of three years, but you may be required to keep it for a longer time period in more severe cases.

You are required to carry an SR22 because it was court ordered. If you are unsure of why this was court ordered it would be best to contact your state’s DMV.

Most individuals understand the reasons that lead them to have to have an SR22. Some of these are DUIs, traffic tickets, and driving with no insurance.

If you are unsure if you need an SR22, chances are you are not required to carry one.

However, to be on the safe side it is best for you to contact your state DMV.

Do all car insurance companies offer SR22 bonds?

Although many insurance companies offer SR22 bonds, not all of them do.

If you need to show proof of insurance with an SR22 and are currently with a car insurance company, you should call your agent and ask if they file SR22s.

If your insurance company does not file SR22s or if you do not have an insurance company with which you are currently working, there are a number of ways to find a company that offers them.

Even if an insurance company files SR22s, they may choose not to insure you.

If you are considered to be high risk, whether is it because of a DUI or you have a high number of accidents on your record, an insurance company may not give you an insurance policy.

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How do I file an SR22 bond?

You simply need to inform your insurance company that you are required to file an SR22 within your state. Most insurance companies are bound by state law to offer SR22 filing in order to do business and are familiar with the process.

If at any time you decide to cancel or are dropped from your insurance because of non-payment or other reasons, your insurance company will then be required to file an SR26.

In other words, it notifies the state that you are no longer covered by that particular insurance company.

If your new insurance company does not file an SR22, your driving privileges could be suspended by the state.

Whenever you are required to carry an SR22 and switch insurance companies, you must notify that insurance company of the need for an SR22.

The insurance company will then take on the responsibility of ensuring that it is filed to your state and send you the proper notification.

Every state handles SR22 a little bit different, and each state has it own unique laws when dealing with an SR22.

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References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SR-22_(insurance)
  2. https://www.sr-22-insurance.org/sr26-form.php
  3. https://www.naic.org
  4. https://www.dmvnv.com/50_state_dmv_list.html
  5. https://www.thebalance.com/proof-of-insurance-101-527410

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