What You Need To Know About DUIs and the SR22

  • June 10, 2016 /

There seems to be a lot of mystique surrounding the SR22. Many people are aware of the fact that if you have been convicted of a DUI, you will be required to file an SR22 with the state of California. However, many people believe that the SR22 is an insurance policy that drivers must have in order to drive after a DUI. This assumption is partly true, but not the entire truth.

What Is an SR22 Filing?

The SR22 is not a type of insurance, but rather a certificate that is filed with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. However, the driver will need to procure a state-approved insurance policy for high risk drivers in order to file the SR22. The three types of SR22 filings include the Owner’s Certificate, an Operator’s Certificate and the Owner-Operator’s Certificate.

Minimum Liability Coverage for SR22 Filings

The minimum liability coverage for a high risk driver is determined by each state. For California, these limits are:

$15,000 for the total amount paid for bodily injury for one person
$30,000 for the total amount paid for bodily injury for all people
$5,000 for the total amount of coverage for property damage

In insurance industry terms, these limits are expressed as 15/30/5.

How Do I File the SR22?

If you are in need of an SR22 filing, first you must obtain a qualifying insurance policy from an insurance carrier that offers high risk policies. After choosing the policy that fits your needs and budget, you do not need to do anything else. Once your policy is in place, your insurance company will file the SR22 for you. Some insurance companies, like Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions, will file your SR22 electronically with the DMV. When you work with a Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions agent, it only takes 15 minutes to get your SR22 filed with the DMV.

How Do I Keep the SR22 Filing Up to Date?

The only action you need to take to keep your SR22 filing current is to keep paying your insurance premiums on time and in full when they come due. Renew your policy before it expires to make sure it is not canceled. The earlier you renew your policy, the less likely you will be to have your policy canceled.

Alternatives to the SR22

The SR22 is a certificate that proves your financial responsibility to the state. However, California does provide an alternative to an SR22 filing. You can place a cash deposit of $35,000 with the state treasurer to ensure your financial responsibility. For most people, this alternative is not a viable option, so the SR22 is usually the best choice.

When is California SR22 Insurance Required?

An SR22 filing may be required in California if you have too many points on your driving record or if you have been ticketed or have been in an accident without insurance. However, the most common reason drivers are required to file a California SR22 is for a DUI arrest or conviction.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, but you have not yet gone to court, your license has probably been suspended. You may qualify for a restricted license that will allow you to drive to destinations like work or school, even before your court date. However, you will need to have an SR22 on file before you can get your restricted license. If you have been convicted of a DUI, you will be required to keep the SR22 on file for at least three years.

Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions can provide you with SR22 insurance when you need it most. Call one of our customer service representatives at 866.822.7755 for a free quote.

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