SR22, SR22 form, or SR22 certificate is a document often required by a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proving that a high-risk driver is carrying the state’s insurance requirements minimum amount of vehicle liability car insurance as well as bodily injury coverage.
SR22s are typically needed for a driver to reinstate their driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, reckless driving, 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 provider will issue an SR-26 certifying the cancellation 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 an Arizona 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 Arizona must carry a minimum coverage liability insurance policy to ensure financial ability to pay for property damage should the situation occur. An Arizona driver who has had their registration and/or license suspended for most reasons could be required to provide an SR22 filing for 3 years from the date of reinstatement.
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 Arizona
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 Car Insurance Rates
Because the insured has a blemished driving record, they will not get the lowest rates for coverage. Insurance premiums for a driver with an SR22 can easily run over twice the rate of non-SR22 drivers in some cases. That being said, one should comparison shop and compare insurance quotes from a licensed insurance agent for the policy itself as well as any fees related to filing the SR-22 certificate. 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 Arizona SR22 Insurance Coverage
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 SR-22 car 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 an SR-22 in Arizona?
You will need to maintain proof of financial responsibility for three years after your driving privilege is restored.
What Happens if I Fail to Maintain my SR-22 in AZ?
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 you have a suspended license again 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 Arizona, your driver’s license can be suspended for driving under the influence either by the court or the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD.) You may also receive an implied consent suspension if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a drug or alcohol test. Lastly your license can be suspended for failure to follow vehicle insurance laws by not having insurance.
Your driver’s license can be revoked if you have been convicted of certain alcohol and drug related offenses.
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.
- Produce a certificate from the Office of the State Treasurer showing that you have $40,000 in cash or certificates of deposit deposited with them.
- Furnish an SR-22 issued by an insurance company showing that you have an insurance policy covering you for at least the statutory minimum.
Once I File Proof of Financial Responsibility, How Do I Get My Driving Privilege Restored
If your driver license has been suspended, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of Ten Dollars, an application fee and prove financial responsibility with either a certificate from the Office of the State Treasurer or SR-22 from an insurance company. If the MVD has a picture of you stored in their database, you may complete the process online. Otherwise you will need to visit one of their offices in order to have your license reinstated.
If your license has been suspended for insurance violations, you may be able to apply for a restricted license to allow you to travel to and from work, while on the job and to and from school. When you apply, you will need to file proof of financial responsibility either with a Certificate from the State Treasurer’s office or SR-22.
If your license has been suspended for Driving while Under the Influence, your restricted license will allow you to drive to and from work, while at work, to and from school and to and from your treatment program. Before you are eligible for a restricted license, you must complete 90 days of the suspension period. You must verify your eligibility with the MVD before you apply and you must have no outstanding withdraw actions on your driving record. In addition, you will be required to;
- Install an Ignition Interlock device on any car you will be driving.
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. The device will also take a picture of the person breathing into the device and note through its GPS locating capabilities where you took the test. Should the driver test positive while operating the vehicle, it will notify the Motor Vehicle Department of when and where, you tested positive. Upon notification, you will be sanctioned by them. One thing it won’t do is shut the car off while you are driving should you be intoxicated.
Arizona law requires that the device be calibrated every 75-90 days. You will be charged a fee for the calibration and the costs should be taking into consideration when shopping for an ignition interlock device. Failure to properly maintain the device will result in a resumption of your license suspension.
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.
- Provide a Verification of Installation Form which certifies that the Ignition Interlock device has been installed.
- Comply with or provide proof of completion for any alcohol treatment program.
- Pay all fees.
- Supply proof of financial responsibility either with a Certificate from the State Treasurer’s office or SR-22 from an insurance company.
If your license has been revoked, you will need to reapply for your license after the period of revocation has ended. After it has ended, you will be required to fill out an Investigation Packet for the MVD. As part of that procedure, you will be required to have an assessment with an Approved Evaluator who will determine if you have a condition that impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Fees for the assessment are your responsibility and you may want to do comparison shopping as they vary. An Approved Evaluator can be;
- A substance abuse counselor who is either nationally certified, certified by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners or an equivalent agency in another state,
- A substance abuse counselor who works for the federal government and practices in the state of Arizona,
- A psychologist, physician, physician’s assistant, or certified nurse practitioner who is licensed to practice in the State of Arizona or any other state, or
- A psychologist, physician, physician’s assistant, or certified nurse practitioner who works for the Federal Government and is practicing in the state of Arizona
If you are approved by the Motor Vehicle Department to reapply for a license, you will be sent a Permission to Reapply Notice that contains further instructions on how to proceed. These will vary from case to case. In all cases, you will need to provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a State Treasurer’s Certificate or SR-22 from an insurance company.
You may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device and provide a Verification of Installation form. You will be required to have the device on your vehicle for at least one year. There will also be additional requirements which need to be satisfied in order to have your driving privilege restored.
You will also be required to pay a $20 reinstatement fee.
In summary, if you have been convicted of an Arizona DUI / DWI or have had your license suspended for failure to prove financial responsibility, you will need an 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. Before driving consult a BAC (blood alcohol calculator) to ensure you are below the legal limit.