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 Florida
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
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.
Why would I need to file an SR-22?
In Florida, you are required to respond to damages in which you are liable on account of crashes involving a motor vehicle in the amount of.
- $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident for Bodily Injury
- $10,000 per accident for Property Damage.
Financial responsibility for these damages can be established either by
- Maintaining an auto insurance policy with at least the minimum Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability limits
- Maintaining an auto insurance policy with a minimum Combined Single Limit of $30,000 or
- Depositing $30,000 with the State of Florida.
If you have been convicted of driving without insurance, your Driver License will be suspended. If the conviction involves a vehicle you own you will either need to
- File an SR-22 or
- Surrender your license plate
In order to get your license reinstated.
If the conviction does not involve your own vehicle, you need to proved its tag number to get your license reinstated.
If you did not carry insurance on the date of a crash in which you were involved, you will be required to;
- Provide signed releases or payment agreements from all the other parties involved in the crash or
- Deposit the amount of the damages claimed as security.
In addition, you must file an SR-22 to have your driving privilege reinstated.
An SR-22 will also be required to reinstate your license after the period of a mandatory revocation ends. Mandatory Revocation occurs under the following circumstances.
- Conviction of murder. In this case, the revocation is permanent.
- Conviction of Manslaughter while Driving Under the Influence when the driver has a history of DUI related offenses. This revocation is also permanent.
- Conviction or plea of nolo contendre of Driving Under the Influence. Should you need an SR-22 for this reason, note that you will need limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $50,000 per accident for property damageliability
- Conviction or plea of nolo contendre of any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
- You are convicted of a felony for the possession of a controlled substance if, at the time of such possession, the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
- Failure to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another.
- Perjury or the making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the department under this law, or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles.
- Conviction, or forfeiture of bail not vacated, upon three charges of reckless driving committed within a period of 12 months.
- Any violation of the law against lewdness, assignation, and prostitution where such violation has been effected through the use of a motor vehicle.
- Conviction where the court feels that the seriousness of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the conviction warrant the revocation of the licensee’s driving privilege.
- Conviction of defrauding any other person to solicit or cause to be solicited any business from a person involved in a motor vehicle accident for the purpose of making, adjusting, or settling motor vehicle tort claims or claims for personal injury protection benefits
- Conviction of paying a commission, benefit, bonus, rebate, kickback, or bribe, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, or engage in any split-fee arrangement, in any form whatsoever, to induce a patient to use a specific healthcare facility.
- You have been declared a habitual traffic offender. This happens if, over a five year period you have been convicted of the following:
- Three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
- Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
- Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.
- Fifteen or more moving violations
In addition, after a mandatory revocation, you will be required to take the written, behind the wheel and vision tests as well as pay a reinstatement fee.
An SR22 is also required if your driver license has been suspended. Florida assesses points against your driver license upon conviction of a traffic offense, if you accumulate enough points during a set time period, your license will be suspended as follows:
|Time Period||Number of Points Accumulated||Suspension Period|
|12 months||12||30 days|
|18 months||18||90 days|
|24 months||24||1 year|
You will be sent a warning letter should you approach the point threshold that would mandate a suspension. In addition to filing an SR-22 you will also need to complete an Advanced Driver Improvement course and pay the reinstatement fee.
In addition, your driver license can be suspended for the following reasons:
- You have been accused of committing an offense which, upon conviction, would require a Mandatory Revocation of your driver licensee’s
- You have been convicted of of a violation of any traffic law which resulted in a crash that caused the death or personal injury of another or property damage in excess of $500.00
- It has been determined you are incompetent to drive a motor vehicle. In order for a suspension of this kind to end, you will need to show evidence that you are able to safely operate a motor vehicle. In certain instances, you may be required to wear a medical bracelet while operating a motor vehicle.
- You permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of the license or identification card or has knowingly been a party to the obtaining of a license or identification card by fraud or misrepresentation or to the display, or representation as one’s own, of a driver license or identification card not issued to him or her.
- You committed an offense in another state which, if committed in this state, would be grounds for suspension or revocation;
- You failed to stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal for the second time in five years.
- The court orders the suspension because it feels that the seriousness of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the conviction warrant the suspension of the licensee’s driving privilege.
In these cases, you will have to file a reinstatement fee at the end of the suspension period.
In certain instances you may be able to obtain a hardship license so you can drive for employment related purposes. As part of the application process you will also be required to complete an Advance Driver Improvement Course.
The Advance Driver Improvement Course is a 12 hour course that is given in 12 one hour units with a minimum 24 hour break after completing six hours of instruction. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.
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.