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 Arkansas
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 Rates in Arkansas
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
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 Arkansas?
You will need to file an SR-22 for three continuous years.
What Happens if I Fail to Maintain my SR-22
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 Arkansas, your license can be suspended or revoked for;
- Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Refusing a request by law enforcement officer to be tested for alcohol or narcotics intoxication.
- Leaving the scene of an accident in which you are involved without identifying yourself.
- Failing to notify the Department of Finance & Administration of a reportable traffic crash in which you were involved.
- Giving false information when you apply for a driver’s license.
- Failing to show proof of financial responsibility by failing to settle a financial judgment made against you for damages resulting from a motor vehicle crash.
- Attempting to change the information on your license or using another person’s license when attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
- Failing to appear for re-examination when requested to do so by the office of Driver Services.
- Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or death caused by a motor vehicle crash.
excessive points against your driving record. Arkansas assigns anywhere from three to
14 points for every moving violation a driver is convicted of. Should a driver accumulate 10 points
during their current licensing period, a warning letter will be issues.
Subsequent to that, once the driver accumulates 14 points, they will be
subject to an administrative hearing in which their license may be suspended
or (in serious cases) revoked.
At the hearing, you may be ordered to complete a Driver Improvement Program which will deduct three points from your license and possibly avoid having it suspended. In some cases no action at all will be taken. In others you may be placed on probation and subject to sanctions should you be convicted of a future moving violation. The hearing officer may also order additional restrictions on your driver’s license such as only allowing you to drive to and from work or school. They may also order that your license be suspended.
Should it be ruled that the license is suspended, the suspension period is as follows:
|Number of Points
|14 – 17
|18 – 23
|24 or more
- Allowing another person to use your driver’s license.
In addition your license can be suspended or revoked if you fail to provide any information about a drivers license you have or have had, or present false information or altered documents when you apply for a driver’s license.
The period of suspension is determined at the time it is ordered. Should the matter involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the suspension or revocation period is as follows
|Sanction Period and Type
|6 month suspension
|Second (within five years of the first)
|24 month suspension
|Third (within five years of the second)
|30 month suspension
|Fourth (within five years of the third)
|4 year revocation
Once I File Proof of Financial Responsibility, How Do I Get My Driving Privilege Restored?
In addition to filing an SR – 22, you will have to pay a $100.00 per offense reinstatement fee. Example – your license has been suspended for failing to prove financial responsibility and leaving the scene of an accident without identifying yourself. In this case, your reinstatement fee will be $200.
You are allowed one time to pay a single $100 reinstatement fee if your suspension stems from multiple offenses. In order to qualify, you will also have to do the following:
- Pay all court costs or fines that led to the suspension and revocation of the license,
- Graduate from any court ordered program and
- Provide the sentencing court with a reinstatement letter from the Department of Finance and Administration showing all outstanding suspension or revocation orders.
If your license was revoked, you will also have to take and pass all phases of the Arkansas Driver’s License Exam. This includes a vision test to make sure your vision is adequate for operating a motor vehicle , a written examination covering driving procedures and laws and a driving skills test in which an examiner observes your familiarity with and ability to drive a motor vehicle.
If your license was suspended or revoked due to a drug or alcohol offense, you will have to do the following:
- Complete a state sanctioned Drug and Alcohol Education or treatment program. They must submit the “original” signed completion certificate to Arkansas Deparment of Finance and Administration’s Office of Driver Control (Driver Control.)
- Individual must attend a Victim Impact Panel class and submit a completion certificate to Driver Control.
- Individual must have
an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period equal to
the driver’s license suspension time. They must submit a “Confirmation of
Interlock Requirement” form to Driver Control.
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.
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.