In Rhode Island, an SR-22, filed by an insurance provider on behalf of clients, is a certificate that is required by the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof that the client carries an auto insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements for driving within the state. These requirements are usually mandated by law and a failure to meet them if they are required of you would mean that a suspended license would not be reinstated.
There are certain situations for which the DMV would require an individual to file an SR-22. Some of these are:
In cases of DUI, the SR-22 insurance is required to come into effect the moment you have your driving privileges restored and the Rhode Island DMV will not reinstate a suspended license without an appropriate auto insurance policy on file.
Insurance providers within the state typically charge a small processing fee of about $20 to $50 for filing an SR-22 on behalf of a client but this fee is not the end of the financial impact of the SR-22.
Being required to file an SR-22 by the Rhode Island DMV is tantamount to being classified by law as a high risk driver. Such a classification subsequently reflects on your insurance policy in the form of higher premiums. These higher premiums would be required by most insurance providers but there are some policy providers that specialize in SR-22 insurance and might be able to offer slightly cheaper policies.
If you have been convicted of an offence that requires the filing of an SR-22 with the state and you wish to keep driving, whether or not you own a car, you must file the SR-22. The SR-22 is a proof of your financial responsibility as a driver and without proving that responsibility to the state, you would not be legally allowed to drive.
In the event that your license has been suspended, the state would require you to file your SR-22 and purchase a valid auto insurance policy before it can be reinstated.
Filing of an SR-22 in Rhode Island must be done through a certified insurance provider. As such, the first step in filing your SR-22 is to find an insurance provider who does so. If you have an insurance provider who doesn’t, you would need to get another. After getting a policy provider, you would be charged a processing fee by them for filing the SR-22 on your behalf.
The SR-22 is however not the only requirement of the certification you require. An insurance policy in line with Rhode Island laws is also necessary. This policy must meet the following minimum liability coverage requirements to be valid:
Upon the purchase of an insurance policy meeting the above requirements and the payment of the filing fee charged by the policy provider, the SR-22 insurance can then be filed with the state. This can be done electronically by the policy provider.
After acceptance of the form, a notice would be sent by the DMV permitting you to drive again.
If you have an SR-22 out of state and recently moved to Rhode Island, the state DMV expects the out-of-state SR-22 to be maintained until completion of the mandate. Similarly, if you are required to maintain an SR-22 in Rhode Island and you move out of state, you are still expected to maintain it until the completion of your mandate. In both cases, a failure to see out the completion of the SR-22 mandate would result in a suspension of your driving privileges.
It would be wise to also contact the local DMV in whatever state you might find yourself in, to compare the requirements and determine if your policy is still appropriate.
Depending on the severity of the charge against you and the number of offences you have on your record, you would be instructed by the state to maintain your SR-22 policy for a period of not less than three years.
What to do if the SR-22 lapses
Ever insurance provider is required by law to report the cancellation or lapse in payment on an SR-22 policy. Thus, any gap in you SR-22 coverage would be reported to the DMV and could result in your license being suspended again. Once this happens, your policy would have to be renewed and your license would have to be reinstated before the SR-22 maintenance period would continue its countdown.
How to go about cancelling my filing when I no longer need SR-22 coverage
At the end of the mandated filing period, you would need to contact the Rhode Island DMV to confirm the completion of your SR-22 requirements. Once this has been confirmed, you can then proceed to contact your insurance provider and have them cancel the SR-22 filing.