The SR-22 is something that most people do not understand too well. This is the reason it is important to learn a few facts about this particular type of insurance, especially if you are going to be stopping by the DMV.
At its core, the SR-22 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, which is sometimes referred to as a CFR. The misconception is that sometimes this certificate is confused with car insurance when it is not. The SR-22 is merely a certificate that will be filed with the DMV. This form will be completed when you get car insurance.
The filing of this certificate must be done as instructed because it is court-mandated. It helps to verify that the car insurance owner has effectively maintained his or her car insurance liability coverage active. The following are five facts you should know before walking into the DMV.
- Awareness is Important
The first thing you should know about this certificate is who actually needs the SR-22.
This certificate is required for any person involved in a traffic accident and was unable to produce proof of insurance. This certificate is also necessary for anyone who was convicted of a traffic offence but couldn’t show insurance.
In essence, if you were caught driving a car without proper insurance, then you are definitely going to need the SR-22. The following are additional reasons you might need this certificate:
- A person with a serious moving violation like a DUI
- A person who was at-fault during an accident and did not have insurance
- A person who has numerous traffic tickets, especially in a short period of time
- A person with a revoked or suspended license
- Understanding the Cost
Cost is something you probably have been thinking about for some time. Most people do not like to deal with any additional costs. Money is hard to come by and losing it when you do not have to really does hurt.
This mandatory certificate is a cost you have to deal with, but it is a superfluous cost because other people do not have to deal with it, which probably stings a little more. Understanding the cost to have this certificate is a little complicated; for one, each state has its own prices so that might make things a little difficult for you.
Second of all, you are going to need to buy car insurance to be eligible to receive your certificate. Depending on your record, buying insurance is going to cost you a pretty penny.
After getting your insurance, you are still going to have to worry about the nominal fee that insurance companies usually charge to file the SR-22. The fee is somewhere between $15 to $25, so go ahead and call your insurance company to find out their fee.
- Getting the Certificate
The next thing you should understand is the process of obtaining the SR-22.
The first thing you should know about the process is that you can only obtain this certificate through an insurance company.
Now, this does not mean a person can go through an insurance company in order to obtain the certificate because it will only be valid if the SR-22 is submitted by an insurance company that has been officially filed with the state.
Just go ahead and ask the insurance company you are considering if they have filed with the state before you buy the insurance policy. It might feel strange asking this question, but all you are doing is protecting yourself and ensuring your money is not wasted.
Those who have moved from one state to another will still need to fulfill your former state’s SR-22 requirements.
- Maintaining the Certificate
It is important that once you get the certificate that you learn how to maintain it. First of all, you are going to need to keep this SR-22 insurance for about three years though this varies from state to state.
There are a lot of things you have to do to maintain your certificate; for one, you cannot miss a payment or your insurance company is obligated to inform the DMV.
The problem arises when a person simply cannot pay. This is an obligation now, meaning you may be risking your ability to drive if you fail to pay your insurance company. You are going to have to learn to budget and cut unnecessary expenses whenever you find them so that you can always pay for your insurance.
Yes, living within a particular budget is going to require a bit of an adjustment on your part, but you know how essential driving is for modern living, so make those adjustments.
- Avoiding the SR-22
Those who have to get the SR-22 will have no way to avoid it, but once those three years pass, you can definitely avoid dealing with this additional cost.
There are a number of ways you can avoid this expense, and it involves becoming a better and law-abiding driver. For example, you shouldn’t drive without insurance again. You should also make an effort to avoid driving under the influence of any kind of drug, especially illegal substances.
It may be important to consider taking additional driving classes to try to get used to traffic laws so that you do not get a ticket for violating any other laws.
There are traffic school classes that specialize in these types of lessons, and you need to take advantage of them. Keep in mind that there are some insurance companies that may even give you discounts if you actually take and complete these types of classes since you are proving that you are determined to be a less risky driver.
Getting yourself acquainted with some of these facts will help you be more prepared when you go into the DMV. It may be a good idea to talk to your insurance company about the SR-22 to find out more about it because your representative is probably going to have enough knowledge to offer even more clarity if you need it.