Some drivers may be required by law in Montana prove their financial responsibility following a license suspension or revocation. This can be proven by filing an SR-22 certificate of insurance with the state Motor Vehicle Division.
The suspension of a license within the state is usually preceded by certain traffic and driving violations and these violations also call for the filing of an SR-22 form with the state. Due to the classification of Montana as an at-fault state, whichever driver is legally proven to be at fault for an accident is required by law to cover all costs accruing from the accident. Other than accidents, the following situations can result in having to file an SR-22:
In Montana, failing to file the required SR-22 form and driving without insurance could also result in the following penalties:
The real financial impact of an SR-22 lies in its effect on the insurance premium and not on the cost of filing. The cost of filing would vary from provider to provider but is unlikely to exceed $100. The insurance premiums payable by a driver in Montana, however, increases after the filing of the form.
This increase in the cost of insurance is due to the implicit classification of a driver as high risk by the filing. This high risk status thus encourages insurance policy providers to require higher premiums to account for the legally recognized, riskier driver. That being said, the average cost of SR-22 insurance in Montana is about $3,427 or $286 per month.
Depending on the situation, there are three types of SR-22 auto insurance forms that can be filed for in Montana. They are:
If you have committed an offence worthy of an SR-22 filing in Montana but have no car, you would still be required to file the form with the state. Failing to do so and driving on the streets of Montana would be illegal and would attract severe penalties from the state.
In a similar vein, if you have no license but are required to file the SR-22 form, until the filing of the form your license request would not be approved and a suspended or revoked license would not be reinstated.
The filing of an SR-22 form in Montana is to be carried out by a licensed insurance provider. All you have to do is find an insurance provider that offers the services you need and meets your liking. A filing fee is to be paid for the services of the provider and you are to purchase a policy meeting the requirements of the state before the filing can be completed. The requirements to be met are:
The form is to be sent to the Secretary of State within 30 days of the filing notice.
If you have an SR-22 in another state but need to drive in Montana, your SR-22 in the other state must be maintained and you must check to ensure that your liability coverage meets the requirements of the state of Montana. The same applies if you have an SR-22 in Montana but wish to move to another state.
The duration of time for which an SR-22 filing must be maintained in Montana is to be determined by the court and would be communicated to individuals along with the need for filing. Factors such as the number of past offences on your record and the severity of the current charge would influence the duration of your required mandate.
What to do if the SR-22 lapses
In the event that your SR-22 insurance coverage lapses or is cancelled during your mandated period of maintenance, your license would be suspended again. Along with this, your duration of maintenance might be reset and additional penalties may be awarded by the state.
How to go about cancelling my filing when I no longer need SR-22 coverage
Upon the completion of your mandate, you can contact the state to verify if your time has been completed. Once confirmed, your insurance provider can be contacted to cancel the filing and make the necessary adjustments to your insurance rates.