Alabama SR-22 Insurance

SR22 is a document often required by a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proving that a driver is carrying the state’s required minimum amount of vehicle liability insurance.

SR22s are typically needed for a driver to reinstate their driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction or uninsured auto accident. Drivers who do not own a vehicle but still wish to reinstate their driving privileges may need to provide non-owner SR22 policy. Once an SR22 expires or is cancelled, the insurance company will issue an SR-26 certifying the cancelation of the policy.

Six states – Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania – do not require SR22 insurance. If a driver is required to carry SR22 and he or she moves to one of these six states, they must still continue to meet the requirements legally mandated by their former state.

All vehicles in Alabama must carry a minimum liability insurance policy. An Alabama driver who is unable to produce proof of insurance, could have their registration suspended, would be required to pay a fee to have it reinstated and provide an SR22 filing for 1 year.

An SR-22 is a document issued by an auto insurer to the State indicating that you carry sufficient insurance to satisfy that state’s Financial Responsibility Law.  States demand one from a driver when they have either been convicted of specific crimes or have failed to show evidence of financial responsibility in the even they are found to be at fault in an accident.  Should an SR-22 be required, you are barred from driving until you provide one and maintain the underlying insurance to support the proof of financial responsibility.

Non Owners Insurance in Alabama

If you do not own a vehicle, but need to have an SR-22 in order to drive, you will need to obtain an Operator’s Policy also known as a Named Non Owner Policy, which provides you with liability insurance coverage should you operate a vehicle that is uninsured.  Otherwise, you will need an auto insurance policy that provides liability coverage for both you and your auto.

How an SR-22 Affects your Alabama Insurance Rates.

Because the insured has a blemished driving record, they will not get the lowest rates for coverage.  That being said, one should comparison shop and compare rates for the policy itself as well as any fees related to filing an SR-22.  It should also be noted that if you need to have an SR-22 processed quickly, the fees to do so will not be inexpensive.

Limitations of SR-22 Coverage in AL

Another thing to note is that the policy itself may have terms and conditions that may limit coverage under certain circumstances.  For example, should you be involved in an accident and you are using the vehicle in commission of a crime (and the definition of crime includes driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs) coverage for damage to your auto may evaporate.  In addition, the limits for third party liability coverages in the event the auto is used during a crime will be reduced to the statutory minimum required by the state.

Once the period for which your need to supply an SR-22 ends, you will then have much more flexibility to select an insurance policy as more insurers will be willing to insure you with a better rate.  In addition, you will no longer need to pay any fees associated with processing the document

How Long Will I Need to File and SR-22 in Alabama?

You will need to maintain proof of financial responsibility for the period specified by the ALEA when you apply for a reinstatement.

What Happens if I Fail to Maintain my SR-22 in AL?

Failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility will result in your insurance company sending an SR-26 to the state advising that your policy is canceled.  This will result in your driving privilege being suspended again, and the period for which you will need to provide SR-22s will start from zero again.  For example, you are notified that your driving privilege has been suspended until you file an SR-22, and you will have to prove financial responsibility for three years following the initial filing.  You cause an SR-22 to be submitted and, because you failed to pay an installment on your premium, your policy has been canceled after six months.  An SR-24 gets filed and your driving privilege is again suspended until you prove financial responsibility.  You get another policy and and SR-22 issued.  You will have to keep filing SR-22s for three years after the second SR-22 is filed.

Why would I need to file an SR-22?

In Alabama, your driver license can be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Manslaughter or homicide by vehicle resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, including a person who is adjudicated as a youthful offender based on an underlying charge of manslaughter or homicide by vehicle, but there shall be no disclosure, other than to courts and law enforcement agencies by any entity or person of any information, documents, or records relating to the youthful offender’s arrest, conviction, or adjudication of or finding of delinquency related to such manslaughter or homicide by vehicle;
  • You have been convicted of driving or being in actual physical control of any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving or under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving.  If it is your fist offense, only a court can order a revocation under these circumstances.  If it is a second or subsequent offense, the revocation can be ordered either by the ALEA or a court.
  • You have been convicted of a felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
  • You failed to stop, render aid, or identify himself or herself as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another;
  • You committed perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the Director of Public Safety under this article or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles;
  • You have been convicted upon three charges of reckless driving committed within a period of 12 months;
  • You have been convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle belonging to another which act does not amount to a felony.

In Alabama, your driver license can be suspended either administratively by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) or by court order for the following reasons:

  • You have committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction.  For example: you have been arrested for driving while under the influence.  The ALEA can suspend your license pending the resolution of your case as a conviction would cause your license to be revoked.
  • You have been convicted with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles as to indicate a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways.  Alabama assigns a point value for moving violations and your license is subject to being suspended if you are assigned a specific number of points over a two year period.  The period of suspension is as follows:
Number of Points Suspension Period
12 – 14 60 days
15 – 17 90 days
18 – 20 120 days
21 – 23 180 days
24 or more 1 year
  • You are habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle, such fact being established by a record of accidents, or by other evidence.
  • You have been found to be incompetent to drive a motor vehicle.  An example of this would be when you do not have the cognitive ability to drive a car.
  • You have permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of such license;
  • You have committed an offense in another state which if committed in this state would be grounds for suspension or revocation;
  • You have been convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; or
  • You have been convicted of racing on the highways.

In these cases, you will need to prove financial responsibility in order to get your driving privilege restored.  In order to do that, you will need to do one of two things.  Furnish an SR-22 issued by an insurance company showing that you have an insurance policy covering you for at least the statutory minimum.

How Do I Get My Driving Privilege Restored After it Has Been Revoked or Suspended.

In order to get your driving privilege restored, you will need to file a Request for Reinstatement Requirements with the ALEA.  They will respond advising you when you are eligible to have your driving privilege restored. 

They will also advise you of the reinstatement fee which can be paid by cash, cashier’s check, money order, Visa, Mastercard or Discover Card.  If the susepension or revocation is not alcohol or drug related, the reinstatement fee is $100 for a suspended license and $175 for a revoked license.  For alcohol and drug related suspensions and revocations, the fee is $275.  In addition, there is a $25 drug related fee and an Igntion Interlock Fee of $150.

In addition, the following items may be required:

  • An SR-22 which needs to be maintained until a date specified by the ALEA.
  • Any suspensions from other states cleared.
  • Clearances for any citations
  • A hearing to make a determination regarding reinstatement
  • A notarized release for an accident judgment
  • Any other information relevant to having your license reinstated.

In cases that involve an alcohol or drugs, suspensions and revocations can be stayed if the driver has an igntion interlock device installed on their vehicle.  An ignition interlock device requires that the driver breathe into a breathalyzer before they start their car.  The breathalyzer will then test for alcohol consumption and prevent the car from being started should the driver be intoxicated.  In addition, the ignition interlock device will request a breath sample at random intervals while the driver is operating the car.  One thing it won’t do is shut the car off while you are driving should you be intoxicated.

It is required that the ignition interlock device be calibrated every 30 days.  Failure to do so, will result in the time the ignition interlock device needs to be installed extended by six months.  In addition, the following actions will also result in this extension:

  • A breath sample at or above the minimum blood alcohol concentration level of 0.02 recorded four or more times during the monthly reporting period unless a subsequent test performed within 10 minutes registers breath alcohol concentration lower than 0.02.
  • Any tampering, circumvention, or bypassing of the ignition interlock device, or attempt thereof.

There is a fee for installation and purchase of the device as well as for maintenance.  These vary, so you may want to shop for the best deal.

In summary, If you have had your driver license suspended or revoked, you will need and SR – 22.  In addition, there will be several steps you need to take in order to partially have your driving privilege restored so that you may be able to drive again even after you have been sanctioned.