What is SR 22 Insurance and When Should You Get It?

Have you ever heard of SR 22 insurance? A driving license is the basic legal requirement for operating a vehicle on the road. If your vehicle is hit by a driver without a valid license, you have a sure claim for compensatory damages. You can file this claim and get maximum compensation with the help of an Orange County car accident attorney.

When you are driving in California with a valid license, a point system is maintained for your license. Traffic infractions such as moving violations result in a deduction in these points. After you get a certain number of points, your license may get suspended. You may also face license suspension following an offense such as DUI.

Once the suspension period is over, you will then be required to provide proof of insurance before you can get your license and start driving again. This proof is typically known as SR-22.

What is SR 22 Insurance?

An SR-22 is a form or certificate which confirms that you meet the minimum liability insurance coverage requirements of your state. In California, this means that you must carry $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage.

You will typically be required to provide an SR-22 certificate when you apply for reinstatement of your license. Once you provide it, the form is added to your driving record and remains on it.

When is SR 22 Insurance Required?

In California, you are required to get an SR-22 certificate after your license privileges have been revoked for a traffic violation. Here is a look at some notable violations which can lead to license suspension and require you to get an SR-22.

Hit-and-run

A hit-and-run crash will typically result in a license suspension. If you had your license suspended following a hit-and-run, you will be required to get an SR-22 insurance.

Driving under the influence (DUI)

If you have been charged with DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI), you very likely face a license suspension. If that is the case, you will need to file an SR-22 before your license is reinstated.

Too Many Points

Traffic violations cause you to earn penalty points on your license. In California, offenses like running a red light, or causing an at-fault accident results in a single point. More serious offenses like DUI or a hit-and-run result in 2 points. You face license suspension if you earn 4 or more points in a year, or 6 or more points within 2 years. Once your license is suspended, SR-22 is a key requirement in getting it back.

At-Fault Accident

If an accident is caused due to your negligence, you may earn traffic points. If the crash also results in bodily injury or fatality, you may face an imminent license suspension. You will then have to reapply for auto insurance and produce an SR-22 document.

How to Get an SR-22?

Your insurance company provides the SR-22 certificate. However, you will first need to have minimum auto liability insurance before you ask the insurer for an SR-22. If you own a vehicle, the minimum insurance coverage must cover bodily injury and property damage. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can apply for non-owner coverage with bodily injury liability only.

In both cases, you will likely face above-average insurance rates. This is because an insurance company will deem you as high-risk after you’ve had your license suspended for a traffic violation. You will need to pay an additional cost for the SR-22 certificate. The average cost of SR-22 in California is $1,592.

Once your insurer provides the SR-22 insurance certificate, you can send it to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or have your insurer send it to the DMV.

How Long Must You Carry SR-22 Insurance? 

The actual duration for which you are required to carry SR-22 in California depends on the nature of your offense which led to license suspension. For minor violations, you are required to carry SR-22 for three years. However, you will need to carry SR-22 for as much as 10 years for more serious offenses.

Hiring a Reliable Orange County Car Accident Attorney

If your license was suspended following a car crash in Orange County, CA, it is important to consult a qualified attorney at the earliest. Here at the Crockett Law Group, our car accident attorneys can help you seek damages from the at-fault party. If an insurer tries to pin fault on you, we also work with you to fight against it and defend your rights. Reach out to us to discuss your case with our attorneys.

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