If you have been told that you need SR-22 insurance then you might be confused about what it entails. Some people need SR-22 to legally drive after committing certain traffic violations. If the courts told you to obtain SR-22, here is everything that you need to know.
What SR-22 is (and isn't)
SR-22 isn't a separate insurance policy, which tends to confuse people. While it's called SR-22 insurance, it's not insurance in itself. SR-22 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. Basically, it's just a document that your insurance company will send to the court. It confirms that you have an active insurance policy, and it contains your state required minimum coverage.
Cost of SR-22
The cost of SR-22 varies between states and insurance companies. It's generally a small processing fee that you pay the insurance company to create the certificate and send it to the court. However, because of your violation that caused you to need SR-22 in the first place, you may see an increase in your insurance rates.
How to get SR-22
To get SR-22, you will need to make a new auto insurance quote if you're already covered. If you are doing it online, you just fill out your information like usual. At one point on the quote, it will ask if you are required to carry SR-22. At that point, click "yes" and follow the instructions. You can also call your insurance company and explain to an insurance agent that you need SR-22. You may only be asked to pay the fee, or the agent may recalculate the quote for you and you can pay the difference on your new premium as well.
If you don't own a car
If you don't own a vehicle, the court will still expect you to purchase insurance with an SR-22. People who don't have their own vehicle can purchase Acceptance Insurance, which is a non-owner auto insurance policy. If you borrow people's cars or rent cars frequently, you will be covered by SR-22 no matter which car you are driving and it will suffice the court's requirements. The policy basically puts the insurance on your license, so whichever car you drive is covered by the limits you have chosen.
A non-owner policy also looks good to insurance companies when you do purchase a car. When insurance companies see a long lapse in coverage, it makes you look like a risky driver, even if the reason is as simple as not owning your own vehicle. The non-ownership insurance gives you continuous coverage, which can lower your rates in the future.
How long does an SR-22 take?
The amount of time that it takes for the SR-22 to reach the courts depends on the insurance company. You will want to ask whether it's being sent my mail or fax. You might have an option to pay a little more to send it via fax. If it's being faxed, it will likely be sent out the same day or the following day. If it's being sent out by traditional mail, it could take up to two weeks to get into the correct hands. If you need an SR-22 to have your license reinstated, you might want to shop around insurance companies to find one who will send it out immediately.
If you don't obtain SR-22
If you don't obtain SR-22, you could be considered in contempt of court. The punishment might be an additional court hearing and fines. The punishment could simply be a delay in reinstating your license if your license has been suspended. For example, you may required to have SR-22 for six months before you receive your license. If you decide to wait six months to get the SR-22, you could be waiting another six months for your license to become reinstated.
If you have been told to get an SR-22, do it as quickly as possible, even if you don't own a vehicle. It's important to do what the courts ask so you can drive legally. After you have had the SR-22 for the required time period, you won't need one anymore. Visit a site like http://www.greatnortherninsuranceagency.com and talk with an insurance agent to learn more about SR-22 insurance.