To file an SR-22 certificate in California, purchase at least the state’s minimum liability car insurance coverage. The insurance company will file your SR-22 with the California DMV on your behalf.
More specifically, if you’re applying for a new policy, indicate on the form that you need an SR-22 certificate. If you have an existing policy that you need to change, contact your insurance company to let them know, and proceed from there.
Drivers must keep their minimum-insurance certification active with the state for 3 years to fulfill California’s SR-22 insurance requirements. As long as you maintain your policy, your SR-22 documentation stays active. But your insurance company is also required to notify the state if you cancel your policy or allow it to lapse prematurely.
How to file an SR-22 in California
- Compare SR-22 car insurance quotes.
- Buy a car insurance policy that covers California’s minimum insurance requirements.
- Contact your insurance company about getting an SR-22 certificate.
- Maintain your policy for 3 years.
You will need to maintain your SR-22 insurance even if you move from California. In that case, you would need to get an insurance policy in your new state and have the insurer file an SR-22 certificate for you. If your new state does not require SR-22 certification, you can buy the legal minimum insurance in that state to avoid having your license suspended while transitioning to your new state.
Once your new policy is in place, California considers you to be abiding by your SR-22 requirement. However, if your California coverage lapses before you have a new policy, the clock resets. In that case, California will inform your new state that you’re in violation of your required SR-22 period.
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