A number of circumstances may lead you to seek an SR22, which is becoming an increasingly popular requirement in California in conjunction with IIDs (ignition interlock devices). Knowing what an SR22 is and what the process is for obtaining one is important so that you can take the right steps to reinstate or maintain your license after a driving incident. With a little information, the process can be quite smooth.
What is an SR22?
An SR22 is a form your insurance files and submits to California Department of Motor Vehicles verifying that you have insurance coverage. This is used to prove you have met insurance requirements following certain infractions. Most commonly, SR22s are required when an individual reinstates his or her license after a DMV suspension or revocation. SR22s are also commonly used in conjunction with ignition interlock devices installed following a DUI conviction, a growing alternative that allows DUI offenders to keep their license while on probation. This insurance form may also be required if an individual was uninsured at the time of an accident or if an individual has obtained too many points on his license in a particular timeframe. SR22s are required in DMV legal proceedings, not in criminal court proceedings, because an SR22 is related to driving privileges, not sentencing imposed by the court.
How to obtain an SR22
Obtaining an SR22 is a fairly simple process. It is your responsibility to notify your insurance company that you need an SR22, and the insurance company will do the rest. Insurance companies deal with SR22s in different ways, so be prepared for a variety of outcomes. With most insurance companies, you can call a special number and if you already have car insurance, they will add an SR22 form to your policy. Some insurance companies allow you to sign up online. While California law prohibits insurance companies from changing your plan in the middle of a policy term, companies may handle SR22 requests in different ways when a policy term has concluded. Some insurance companies may cancel your plan, while others may increase your rates. Unfortunately, once you have requested an SR22, you will be considered a high-risk driver.
If you know you will be driving your own car, you can file for a regular SR22. However, an SR22 must cover any vehicle you plan to drive, even if you plan to drive a car that does not belong to you, such as a friend’s vehicle. If you plan to drive a vehicle owned by another party, you must file for a non-owner’s SR22. This will cover you even if you are not driving your own vehicle.
California Assistance with Insurance
If you are struggling to find an insurance company that will cover you, you can request to be matched with an insurance company through California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). California law requires that all drivers are insured, so you are entitled to this matching service. You can either call them at 1-800-622-0954 or visit their website at http://aipso.com/ca/.
Looking for more?
If you are looking for more in-depth assistance with DUIs, SR22s or have any other questions, we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us for legal assistance. We understand that navigating the various requirements and legal steps after an incident can be daunting or confusing and we are here to assist you through the process.