Have you received notice that you need to purchase Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22 insurance)? You may be wondering, what is SR-22 insurance? There may be many reasons that the state is requiring you to purchase this type of auto insurance and this usually pertains to people who do not have a clean driving record. For example, you may have drunk driving convictions, reckless driving convictions, a driving without proper insurance conviction, or too many at-fault accidents.
SR-22 drivers are required by the state to meet specific liability requirements to prove their financial responsibility, meaning that they know that you will be able to cover the costs of any bodily injury or property damage in case of an accident. In other words, the state believes that you are a high-risk driver and may cause an accident. Because of your previous driving offenses, the state needs proof that you will be able to cover costs in case of any accidents.
If you have any concerns about your traffic record or if you are questioning the state's requirement for additional insurance coverage, contact our Naperville DUI lawyer for a free consultation at (630) 425-0250.
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Who Needs an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a form of insurance that is required to prove that you are adhering to the Illinois state minimum auto liability insurance requirements and that you will be able to pay for the consequences of your negligent driving habits.
This liability insurance coverage is issued for drivers who have had their driver’s licenses suspended or revoked due to severe traffic violations or major driving infractions such as DUI convictions, traffic accidents without insurance, or numerous traffic offenses. Furthermore, individuals who have been convicted of mandatory insurance violations three or more times must file, too.
What is the Process of Getting SR-22 Insurance?
If you are required by the state of Illinois to possess SR-22 insurance, the circuit court will inform the Secretary of State, who will then send you a notice about the SR-22 insurance requirement. At that point, you'll receive detailed information on how to go about filing procedures for an SR-22 document. To do this, you must contact insurance companies in Illinois, or your current insurance agent, and fill out the proper forms for your auto insurance policy.
Once you've completed the entire SR-22 filing process and you have purchased the additional coverage, then you must return to the DMV with proof of your liability coverage (such as a new insurance card) in order for them to approve and issue your SR-22 document.
If an SR-22 requirement applies to you and is not met it can result in suspension or revocation of your license and registration until proof of insurance coverage is provided. Even after meeting all requirements, they will usually stay on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for three years or longer and may come at an extra cost due to higher risks associated with high-risk drivers.
How Do You Get SR-22 Insurance?
If you need to file an SR-22 form with your state, the process is relatively straightforward. First, contact your existing auto insurance provider and see if they offer SR-22 filings. Depending on your current car insurance policy and current insurer, you may be able to add the SR-22 car insurance to an existing policy. However, some insurers may be unwilling or unable to provide SR-22 auto insurance, so you may need to shop around for a new policy that will suit your needs.
It is important to wait for a notice from the Secretary of State before filing the SR-22. It is important to ensure that your driver's license displays your current address. If you need to make changes to your address, you can visit ilsos.gov or go to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Department (DMV). Upon receiving the notice from the Secretary of State through the mail, there is a 90-day window to file the SR-22 form in order to avoid the suspension of your driver's license.
How Much Does an SR-22 Cost?
Having an SR-22 certificate on file does not come with an ongoing monthly fee. Rather, most major car insurance companies include a one-time filing fee for the SR-22 paperwork — usually around $25 — in the SR-22 insurance policy. While the SR-22 filing fee itself is typically low, it's possible that your auto insurance premium costs could increase after you file for an SR-22. This is because insurers will consider drivers with blemished driving records to be high-risk and their premiums may reflect this risk by increasing sharply.
How Much Will an SR-22 Increase the Cost of My Insurance?
Auto insurance companies use various factors to determine how much an SR-22 policy will increase your insurance rates. For example, if you've had frequent at-fault accidents or multiple major traffic violations on your driving record in the past three years leading up to acquiring an SR-22 filing requirement, then this could increase your insurance costs and you will be paying much more compared to a driver without such a filing requirement.
How Do I Know When My SR-22 is Up?
The process of acquiring an SR-22 can be intricate, and individuals often lack clarity on the duration of its required possession because SR-22 varies by state. As per the regulations in Illinois, an SR-22 insurance document needs to be recorded with the Secretary of State for a duration of three years. If you cancel your insurance premium, your driver's license will be suspended immediately.
To determine if you have fulfilled your SR-22 certification obligation and to learn when you can remove the high-risk SR-22 label from your driving record, you can contact the Secretary of State. Canceling SR-22 coverage prematurely can result in consequences such as license suspension or fines. Therefore, when obtaining an SR-22, it is crucial to understand the timing involved and when the clock starts ticking. It is important to monitor the duration of your SR-22 auto insurance policy and once three years have passed, you can reach out to your current auto insurance company to remove the SR-22 insurance coverage.
How Do I Get My SR-22 Removed?
It may feel frustrating to have to pay extra insurance for three years, but luckily you don't have to stay in that situation forever. When the 3-year filing period is up, you'll need to request that your current insurance company removes the SR-22 auto insurance policy.
Once removed, it's possible that your insurance premiums will go down since they may have increased after getting the SR-22 in the first place - but this isn't always the case. It's important to note that if your insurance policy lapses or is canceled while the SR-22 is still active, then the DMV will be notified and your license could be suspended as a result. So make sure all of your payments are on time until you successfully receive confirmation from your insurance carrier that it has been dropped from your policy.
In Illinois, if you want to get out of obtaining SR-22 insurance, you have the option to deposit $70,000 in cash or securities with the State Treasurer, file a surety bond, or file a real estate bond that has been approved by a court of record. Individuals who are not residents of Illinois can have their financial responsibility proof waived by submitting an Out of State Affidavit Financial Responsibility Insurance Waiver.
The affidavit pertains solely to the insurance requirements in Illinois. If you return to Illinois before three years have passed since accepting the insurance waiver, your SR-22 requirement for Illinois will be reinstated. If assistance is required to complete any of the aforementioned tasks, please contact our law office, Naperville DUI Lawyer, to ensure a successful legal process.
Contact Our Experienced Naperville DUI Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation!
If you have received a letter of notice that you are required to have SR-22 insurance, our experienced lawyers Naperville DUI Lawyer in Illinois can help you understand your rights in Illinois and how to go about filing for an SR-22 insurance policy. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process. Call today at (630) 425-0250 for a free consultation!