Merrill Burchell, Car Insurance Writer
You need an SR-22 if a judge or your state department of motor vehicles has informed you that you do. An SR-22 form, also called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, may be required if you are trying to reinstate or maintain your license after being convicted of certain driving violations. These include DUI/DWIs, reckless driving, driving without a license or insurance, or repeat offenses. You can only get an SR-22 form from your car insurance company. It confirms that you have an active policy with at least the minimum insurance coverage legally required in your state.
In most cases, you’ll have to file an annual SR-22, certifying your insurance coverage, for 3 years. However, the time period can range from 2 to 5 years depending on the state and the reason for the SR-22. Also, depending on the state, this time period can start on your offense date, conviction date, license suspension date or reinstatement date. Make sure you know how long you have to maintain your SR-22. If you cancel your insurance before the time is up, your license or registration can be suspended or revoked.
Most states use the SR-22 form. Eight states don’t: Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. Two states—Florida and Virginia—use the SR-22 but have a different form for DUI/DWI convictions, the FR-44. If you move from one state to another, you will need to maintain your SR-22 certification with your original state through an out-of-state filing, even if your new state doesn’t require SR-22s.
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