Colorado 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 Colorado must carry a minimum liability insurance policy. A Colorado driver who has had their license suspended must carry a current SR22 for as long as mandated by state law. Failure to do so could result in further suspension of their driver’s license.

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 Colorado

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 Colorado 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 Colorado

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 Colorado?

You will need to file an SR-22 for three continuous years.

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

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 CO?

In Colorado, you would need to file an SR-22 if you are subject to a restraint action against your driver’s license.  Restraint actions include revocation or suspension of your driving privelege.

Your driving privilege can be revoked if you commit the following Major Offenses:

In addition, your driving privilege can be revoked if you are

  • Stopped and have a blood alcohol content of more than .08
  • Stopped and refuse to take a breathalyzer test
  • Convicted of an alcohol or drug offense.

Your driving privilege can be suspended if

  • You were convicted of a no liability insurance ticket or did not have insurance
  • You have been ticketed or were involved in an accident while under a no insurance suspension
  • You were given an Affidavit and Notice of Suspension by an officer at at traffic stop becsuas you could not prove you had insurance

It can also be suspended if you

  • Fail to pay child support (Note that you will only need to make arrangements to meet your child support obligations if your license is being suspended for this reason only.)
  • Fail to pay a ticket
  • Have too many points against your license.

    Colorado assigns a point value for each moving violation.  Should you accumulate enough points during a specific time frame, a hearing will be required to determine if your license should be suspended and if you are eligible for a probationary license.

    For persons over 21 the thresholds are 12 points in 12 months and 18 points in 24 months.  For those between 18 and 21 the thresholds are nine points in 12 months, 12 points in 18 months and 14 points from age 18 – age 21.  For persons between 16 and 18, the thresholds are six point in 12 months and seven points prior to turning 18.

Once I File Proof of Financial Responsibility, How Do I Get My Driving Privilege Restored?

If your license was revoked for a major offense, you will need to;

  • Fill out and submit an Application for Reinstatement
  • Pay a $95.00 Reinstatement Fee and
  • Pass the eye, written and drive tests.

In addition, a hearing to determine reinstatement eligibility may  be required to determine eligibility if the revocation is the result of:

  • Committingvehicular homicide or assault while driving a motor vehicle.
  • Being convicted for failure to stop and render aid.
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony.

Those who have been convicted of motor vehicle theft, trespass or criminal mischief causing damage to a motor vehicle will also have to submit documentation from the court that they have made restitution.

If your license was revoked for an alcohol or drug related offense, you will also need to;

  • Fill out and submit an Application for Reinstatement
  • Pay a $95.00 Reinstatement Fee and
  • Pass the eye, written and drive tests.

First offenders will need to certify that they understand that they will be subject to more serious penalties for subsequent offenses.  Those who re-offend will have to provide either an Affidavit of Enrollment in a Level II Treatment Program or show that they have successfully completed and have been discharged from one.

Interlock Ignition Option

In some instances, the Revocation can end early if the driver agrees to have a license with an Ignition Interlock Device restriction and install an Ignition Interlock Device in their car.  In instances where the driver is a repeat offender, this restriction will be mandatory in order to have their driving privilege restored.

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.

Should the driving privilege be restored subject to an Igntion Interlock Device restriction.  The drive test must be done in a vehicle with the Ignition Interlock Device installed.

If your licesnse was suspended due to insurance related issues,  you will only need to file the Application for Reinstatement and pay the $95.00 Reinstatement Fee in order to have the suspension lifted.

Those whose license has been suspended for a point violation must also file the Application for Reinstatement and pay the $95.00 Reinstatement Fee in order to have the suspension lifted.  In addition, they must show evidence of insurance either via an SR-22 or by providing a copy of the declarations of their insurance policy.

If the suspension was due to failure to pay a fine or penalty, the driver must show evidence that they complied with the court’s order to pay the fine.  In addition, they must file  the Application for Reinstatement and pay the $95.00 Reinstatement Fee

Conclusion

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.