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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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If you have never been in an accident or lost your car insurance coverage, you may not know what an SR22 form is. If the occasion ever arises when you must file such a form, it’s a good idea to know what it is so that you can fill it out correctly and promptly.
Essentially, the SR22 form is a proof of insurance form required by your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are several occasions when such a form may be necessary, but the most common is following an auto accident. If you ever cause damage to another person’s property, you are responsible for proving that you are financially able to pay for the damage. In most cases, this financial responsibility means that you carry a liability insurance policy on your automobile.
Other occasions where an SR22 form may need to be filed are any time when you are required to provide proof of insurance but are unable to do so. If you are pulled over and do not have your insurance card, you may need to fill out the SR22. Similarly, if your insurance coverage drops below the state requirements, or if your insurance policy is canceled, the insurance company will notify the DMV of these changes.
Additionally, if you ever have your license suspended due to unpaid tickets or DUI convictions, you will need to provide the SR22 form in order to prove that you have insurance prior to obtaining your driver’s license.
What is included on the SR-22 form?
The SR22 form is a one page form that asks you several questions about your auto insurance coverage, such as who your car insurance company is and what your policy number is. If you were involved in a car accident, you will also need to fill out an accident report form detailing what happened in the accident and providing the information for yourself and any other vehicles in the accident.
If the police came to the scene of your accident, the form may already have been filed when the police report was processed. It’s always a good idea to fill out your own form as well, however, so that you can be sure all of the necessary information is provided to the state.
How do you get the SR-22 form?
If you are involved in an auto accident and file a claim, your insurance company will probably send you a copy of the SR22 to fill out as a courtesy. Otherwise, you can obtain a copy of the form from your insurance agent. You may also be able to download the form online at the DMV website or obtain a copy from the local DMV office.
Once you obtain the form, you will have a limited time in which to complete it and send it back. This time limit varies from state to state, ranging from 30 days to as little as 10 days. The time requirements will usually be listed on the form itself.
Failure to complete the form and return it in a timely manner will cause your driver’s license to be suspended. At this point there may be some additional steps needed to reinstate your license. You can check with the DMV to see what you must do at this point.
What if I don’t have car insurance?
In order to file the SR22 form, you will need to carry an auto insurance policy. If you already have auto insurance, the information will be easy to update. On the other hand, if you are filing the SR22 due to a lapse in coverage, you will need to purchase auto insurance prior to completing the SR22 form.
Depending on the circumstances, purchasing insurance at this point may be difficult. If your driver’s license has already been suspended, you might not be able to obtain an insurance policy through a normal carrier. You may need to obtain high-risk insurance or be added to another person’s auto insurance policy.
The best way to avoid this situation is to carry the proper amount of liability insurance on your vehicle at all times. If you do ever need to file the SR22 form, however, you will at least know in advance what is required from you so that you can fill out the form promptly and stay within the law.