SR-22: When do you need it?  by Nolo Press

SR-22 (the “SR” stands for “safety responsibility”) is a document that verifies that someone has automobile insurance. The SR-22 is prepared by an insurance company and then filed (by the insurance company) with the department of motor vehicles (DMV).  The SR-22 is not an insurance policy. It is evidence that you have a policy.

Typically, an SR-22 is required when a driver seeks to reinstate a driver’s license after being convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, or some other driving violation that’s resulted in a suspension. The SR-22 may be required whether you own a vehicle (owner SR-22) or not (non-owner SR-22). The SR-22 is usually required for a number of years – for example, five years following a DUI conviction. If the policy holder fails to pay the premiums, the SR-22 is cancelled and an SR-26 is filed with the DMV. When the DMV receives the SR-26, the policy holder’s license is suspended until a new SR-22 is filed.

How are premiums determined?

An insurance company takes many factors into consideration when determining your insurance rates (premiums).  Some factors may seem unfair. For example, drivers with higher education or who are married will generally receive better rates than a driver with a similar driving record. Below are the major factors affecting rates

Driving record and accidents. Moving violations, DUIs, and accident claims trigger higher rates.
Credit score. Bad credit scores trigger higher rates.
Miles driven.  Drive less, pay less.
Occupation. Jobs involving driving or heavy commutes may trigger higher rates.
Location. Higher crime rates in your neighborhood or a density of population (cities) will cause rates to rise.
Age. Drivers under 25 pay more; drivers between 50 and 65 pay less.
Gender and marital status. Women have fewer accidents and pay less than men. A married person is considered more stable and will receive a lower rate than a driver with a similar record.
Type of car. The more powerful or expensive, the higher premium because high performance cars attract riskier drivers and expensive cars are more costly to repair.

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