Same same but different. Useful information on the SR-22 and what it means for drivers
While an SR-22 may sound like a stealth fighter out of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, the insurance document is serious business for those drivers with a suspended license due to major traffic violations. Also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), the SR-22 is provided by your car insurance company and is mandatory to have in some states to show proof of car insurance before your license is re-instated.
The CFR is a sort of probation for drivers with any of the following major traffic violations on their record:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) convictions;
- Driving reckless;
- At-fault accidents while uninsured;
- Having your license suspended or revoked.
Having too many traffic tickets in quick succession or being a repeat traffic offender may also trigger the need for an SR-22 but the requirement varies from state to state and not every state requires one.
For example, Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania do not have SR-22 requirements but those states do require that if you move there from an SR-22-state, such as Texas, then you’ll be required to maintain the SR-22 even if you no longer live there.
However, neither New York or North Carolina require an SR-22 and if you’re a Texan moving to the Empire State, you won’t be required by the state to continue your SR-22 relationship based on your Texan driving record even if Texas does.
How long you’re required to carry the SR-22 will depend on what state you live in. In some states, a judge will determine how long you will need to have the SR-22 but typically the amount of time required to fulfill this requirement is three years but it may be longer depending on the severity of the violation and what state you live in.
The SR-22 will be filed with your state’s DMV by your insurance company to show you have car insurance and your insurance company will also terminate the CFR by filing a separate form with your state’s DMV when your obligation is complete. It’s also important to note that your insurance company is also required to inform the state if you fail to renew or cancel your auto insurance which may lead to the suspension of your license. There may also be a filing fee for the SR-22, depending on what state you live.
Although the SR-22 requirements are similar in many states there still some differences across the board so drivers required to maintain an SR-22 should always check with their insurance carrier for any changes as well as how moving to another state will affect their obligation to maintain their SR-22.