The SR-22 is not an insurance policy in and of itself but is a form that demonstrates and proves that you meet certain auto insurance requirements applicable to you. It is proof that the driver meets certain levels of financial responsibility as set by Local DMVs.
For instance, Utah law requires you file for an SR-22 if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, DWI or reckless driving; involved in multiple accidents; or issued multiple speeding tickets.
The price of an SR-22 filing is usually low (rarely exceeding $50) but being in the position of needing such a form qualifies one to be classified as a high risk driver and this would result in an increase in the cost of your car insurance policy by as much as 50%. The price of the filing is mostly due to the fact that the auto insurance company technically files the SR-22 for you.
However, the increased premium is due to the increased risk you pose to other motorists and property. The extent of the increase in the price of the premium is sure to vary from one provider to another and comparing rates before settling with any provider might help you secure a more affordable policy.
Other than the increased insurance rates, Utah law requires that your policy contains minimum insurance liability coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $65,000 maximum per incident and $15,000 for damages to another person’s property.
Three types of forms are available in Utah. They are:
The operators’ certificate which allows you file for an SR-22 in cases when you don’t own the vehicle you are driving.
Owners’ certificate, which allows you to prove financial responsibility coverage for a car you own.
Operators-owners certificate which is designed to provide coverage for a vehicle regardless of whether or not they are owned by the driver.
If you are going to be getting behind the wheel and driving in the state of Utah, whether or not you own a car, you would be required to file an SR-22 if you have committed any of the relevant offences. In such a case, you would need to purchase a non-owner policy and file for the SR-22 before your license could be reinstated.
Let’s break this down according to scenarios.
If you have an insurer, contact them if the need to file for an SR-22 ever comes up. Most insurance providers file the form for their customers but if yours doesn’t, find another that does.
You would have to pay a filing fee for help if your insurer in filing the form with the state. The fee is unlikely to exceed $50.
Verify the minimum liability coverage of your insurance policy. The filing the SR-22 requires your insurance policy to meet certain liability coverage requirements, so, call your policy provider to ensure that you meet the requirements.
Submit your SR-22. Most insurance providers in Utah would take care of these for you and bill you accordingly.
Once this is all done, you would have to confirm the new rate on your insurance policy with your provider and the duration of time you would be required to maintain the SR-22 for.
If you have an SR-22 in Utah but are moving to another state, the SR-22 must be maintained for as long as is expected in the state where it was filed. The same applies if the reverse is the case. What this means is that an SR-22 filed in Utah must be maintained in your absence and if you are from another state and have filed an SR-22 there, you have to maintain it while driving in Utah.
It would be prudent to contact your insurance providers and verify if your policy is adequate for the new area you find yourself in.
Depending on the severity and number of your transgressions, you might be required to carry around and maintain an SR-22 policy for a period of time ranging from as little as three years to the rest of your life. For instance, first time offenders or minor offences might result in you having to carry your SR-22 for three years but repeat offenders and serious offenders may be required to do so for much longer.
In the event that the SR-22 lapses due to whatever reason (like a failure to renew your policy or missed payments), your insurer is required to notify the state and your license would probably be suspended as a result. Your license would be appropriately reinstated following the renewal of your policy and payment of whatever reinstatement and court fees are necessary.
Once your mandate is completed, your insurance rates should be going back to normal but before you make any changes to your policy, verify with your insurance providers and the local DMV first.