SR-22 insurance sounds vague and somewhat intimidating, so we are going to break it down and explain the what, who, and why.
What is SR-22 insurance? Surprisingly, SR-22 insurance isn’t insurance at all, it’s not coverage or an insurance policy. Rather it is a document that verifies that someone has car insurance. According to the Washington State DOL (Department of Licensing) SR-22 is “proof you have a way to pay for any damages you may cause while driving,” and it is a document showing “financial responsibility.”
What does the mysterious “SR” stand for? The “SR” of SR-22 stands for “Safety Responsibility.”
If an individual needs SR-22 insurance then they would contact their insurance company. The insurance company would produce the actual SR-22 document and then file it with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).
Who needs to file a SR-22 document? Those that want to reinstate their driver’s license after they have had it suspended as a result of being convicted of a driving violation. Such driving violations that may cause a driver’s license suspension include but not limited to; DUI (Driving Under the Influence), reckless driving, and driving without insurance.
SR-22 is essentially a financial penalty that the state imposes on drivers who have had their driver’s license suspended. To reinstate their driver’s license an individual must pay for SR-22. The cost can range anywhere from $30 extra per month on upwards of $200.00 per month. Documentation is usually required for a number of years. For example; here in Washington State, if someone is convicted of their first DUI, they would be required to carry SR-22 for three years.
The SR-22 may be required whether you own a vehicle or not. If the policy holder fails to pay the premiums, the SR-22 is cancelled and an SR-26 is filed with the DMV. When the DMV receives the SR-26, the policy holder’s license is suspended until a new SR-22 is filed.
Hopefully we have provided some clarity. If you’ve been charged with a crime or have lost your driver’s license, give us a call, our criminal defense attorneys can help 206-459-6392, David O Defense.