An SR-22 is a certificate of insurance or a proof of financial responsibility required by certain states of certain drivers. Within such states, this certification can be demanded for in various situations ranging from as a condition for the reinstatement of a suspended license to an arrest for a DUI.
Though SR-22 certificates are not required, SR-22 issues in Massachusetts tend to arise when a driver licensed by the state registry is arrested for a relevant offence in another state where the certification is required. For this reason, under the rules of the Mass Automobile Insurance Bureau, the issuance of the form is mandatory upon request.
As a result of the lack of requirement of an SR-22 in the state, Massachusetts has one of the strictest insurance regulations in the country and it possesses compulsory liability insurance coverage requirements that must be met before a driver is legally permitted to operate within the state.
Generally speaking, factors that affect insurance rate determination in the United States are driving record, occupation, credit score, age, type of vehicle and so on. The same factors affect insurance rates in Massachusetts with the exception of the credit score. The requirement of an insurance certification is seen as a blot on a driver’s record and, hence, would affect insurance rates negatively.
A driver with such certification would have insurance premiums that exceed those of standard policies by an average of 98%. Despite the fact that the state of Massachusetts doesn’t require the certification, the same increase in insurance premiums would be the result of any violations that impact a driver’s record negatively.
Other than the effect on insurance premiums, drivers in Massachusetts may still be required by the state to pay certain for the violation of driving laws. For instance, a violation of car insurance laws in the state can result in fines ranging from $500 %5,000. A $500 fee would also b required as reinstatement fee for drivers with suspended licenses.
In the event that your license has been suspended, you would be required to purchase insurance coverage and file an insurance certification with the state to have it reinstated. This is so whether or not you have a car. The most appropriate policies for such a situation are non-owner or operators insurance policies.
To file an SR-22 with the state requiring it, you should contact your insurance provider. For the processing of the form, you would probably be charged a small fee by the provider. This fee varies from insurer to insurer but rarely exceeds $100 if ever. Depending on the rules and regulations within the state where the filing is required, you may be required to file the form within a timeframe.
After paying the processing fee and purchasing an insurance policy that meets with the minimum liability coverage requirements of the state requiring the filing, the form can be filed. Upon acceptance of the filing, it must be maintained for the mandated period of time and insurance coverage during this time must be continuous with no lapses.
The minimum liability coverage requirements of Massachusetts are:
If you are a driver within Massachusetts with an out of state SR-22 filing, the state still requires you to maintain the filing while also meeting the minimum liability coverage requirements of Massachusetts.
The certification is generally required to be maintained for three years but this could be longer depending on the severity of an offence and the number of offences on the driver’s record.
What to do if the SR-22 lapses
A lapse in coverage at any point during the filing period would result in another suspension of a driver’s license because insurance providers are required by law to report the cancellation of a policy. Once the license is suspended, the insurance policy would have to be renewed and reinstatement fees would need to be paid before it can be reinstated.
How to go about cancelling my filing when I no longer need SR-22 coverage
In Massachusetts, auto insurance is compulsory for every driver to possess and even after an SR-22 mandate has been completed, drivers must still continue to hold insurance coverage that is in line with the state requirements. The safest way to go about a filing cancellation is to fist contact the relevant state authorities to confirm the completion of the mandate before directing the insurance provider to cancel the filing. After cancellations, favorable adjustments would be made to a driver’s insurance premiums.