Who Needs SR22 Insurance?
An SR-22 insurance is usually required if you have been pulled over and found to be driving without a valid insurance. An SR-22 certificate filed with your local DMV is proof that you are in compliance with the state's minimum requirements regarding auto insurance, and failure to maintain this financial responsibility for a given time frame (usually three years) will lead to the immediate revocation of your driving privileges.
Other than driving uninsured, here are some other reasons why you may be required to hold SR22 insurance policy.
A DUI/DWI conviction
Having been caught driving while intoxicated puts you in a high-risk category, and the legal system says that you must file an SR-22 form. Other major traffic offenses will also lead to an SR-22 requirement.
Driving with an invalid driver's license
If you have been caught driving without a license or with an expired or revoked one, you will be asked to file an SR-22.
Repeated traffic offenses or too many tickets in a short time frame
The number of tickets, as well as the time frames, varies from one state to another. Consult with your local DMV and/or state authorities for the specific details.
Moving from a state that has SR-22 requirement to one that doesn't
There are currently six states that don't have an SR-22 requirement: Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Delaware, New Mexico, Minnesota and Kentucky. However, if you resided anywhere else at the moment of the conviction and move to any of these six states, you must still hold the SR-22 policy for the required time frame.
Similarly, if you move from a state with higher liability requirements to another state with lower ones, you must still hold the original limits even though you no longer reside there. For example, if you hold an SR-22 in Colorado where minimums are of 25/50/15 and move to Massachusetts where minimum liability is of 20/40/5, you must still hold the limits on your Colorado policy and keep filing the SR-22 in Massachusetts until the end of the three years.
There are also a handful of rather hilarious scenarios that could lead to an SR-22 requirement. Keep in mind that some of these are hypothetical and a good lawyer could get you out of trouble, but still they are worth mentioning:
- sleeping in the back seat of your car while intoxicated and with the car keys in your pocket;
- walking towards your car while intoxicated and holding the keys in your hand;
- a DUI conviction for riding a bicycle while intoxicated, even if you don't even own a car and had no car keys in your possession at that moment.
You can get a SR-22 requirement even if you don't either own a car or operate one on a frequent basis. This is called a non-owner's SR-22 and is explained more thoroughly in another article.