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 Georgia must carry a minimum liability insurance policy. If a Georgia driver has his or her license suspended, the driver must provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR22. This SR22 will certify the driver has the minimum amount of liability insurance for a certain period of time.
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 Georgia
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 Insurance Rates in GA.
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 an SR – 22 in Georgia, and What Else Would I Need to Restore My Driving Privilege?
In Georgia, you would need to file an SR-22 or SR-22A to get your driving privilege restored if you have
- Been convicted for Driving without insurance.
If you have been convicted for Driving without Insurance, and it is your first conviction, you will need to serve a 60 day license suspension. Once that is completed, you will need to submit proof of insurance and pay a reinstatement fee of Two Hundred Dollars. In some instances, you will be allowed by the court to plead nolo contendre to avoid a license suspension.
If it is your second or subsequent conviction for Driving without Insurance, you will need to serve a 90 day suspension, pay a Three Hundred Dollar reinstatement fee and file an SR – 22 A with the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The difference between and SR – 22 and an SR – 22 A is that the latter certifies that the driver has paid for at least six months of insurance coverage and that the insured cannot cancel it. This means that they will be unable to finance the policy and pay in installments.
- Been convicted of Driving while under the influence of Alcohol
In addition to serving your suspension period and filing an SR-22, you will need to complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction course. The course consists of:
- A NEEDS Assessment Component in which the participant fills out a 130 question evaluation which is reviewed to evaluate their alcohol and drug use and its impact on their driving, and
- An intervention component. This part is a 20 hour course in which the participant receives therapeutic education and peer group counseling about alcohol and drug use and its effect on driving.
In some instances, you will be required to use an Ignition Interlock device as a condition of reinstatement. 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.
A clinical evaluation will also be required in some cases to determine if alcohol and drug issues impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle
You will also be required to pay a reinstatement fee which varies with the offense and, if your license was revoked, you will have to take and pass the written and road tests as well as the eye test.
- Been convicted of serious moving violations. These include:
- Reckless driving
- Homicide by vehicle
- Feticide by vehicle;
- Serious injury by vehicle
- Fleeing or attempting to elude police officer; impersonating law enforcement officer
- Homicide by interference with official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal; serious injury by interference with official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal
- Aggressive driving; penalty
- Been declared a habitual violator – that is one who has had more than three convictions for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in the past five years.
Those who have been convicted of Driving while Under the Influence of Alcohol or have had their licesnses suspended may be eligible for a Limited Driving Permit. In order to receive one, you must
- File an SR – 22
- File an Application for a Limited Driving Permit. In the Application, you must show that refusal to issue such permit would cause, “extreme hardship,” to the applicant. “Extreme Hardship,” means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and therefore the applicant would be prohibited from:
- Going to his or her place of employment or performing the normal duties of his or her occupation;
- Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;
- Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
- Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner; or
- Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in suspension of his or her driver’s license or by the commissioner.
- Attend court, report to community supervision or probation, or to perform community service.
- Transport unlicensed immediate family members to obtain medical care or prescriptions, to work, or to school.
- Attend any programs or activities ordered by an accountability court judge.
The permit itself may restrict the driver to driving to and from
- Specific places
- Specific routes to be followed
- Times of Travel
- Specific Vehicles and / or
- Other restrictions that the department may require.
Habitual Violators who have served two years of a five year revocation may be eligible to receive a Probationary License good for three years. Like the Limited License, the applicant will need to demonstrate that not issuing one would cause, “Extreme Hardship.” The probationary license would also be subject to the same types of restrictions as a Limited License. In order to obtain a probationary license, you will also need to:
- Have not been convicted, or pleaded nolo contendre to a charge, of violating any state or local ordinance relating to the movement of vehicles for a period of two years immediately preceding the application for a probationary driver’s license;
- Have not been convicted, or pleaded nolo contendre to a charge, which resulted in the death or injury of any individual;
- Have successfully completed, prior to the issuance of the probationary driver’s license, a defensive driving course approved by the commissioner a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program as designated by the department;
- Submit a sworn affidavit that such person does not excessively use alcoholic beverages and does not illegally use controlled substances or marijuana. It shall be a misdemeanor to falsely swear on such affidavit and, upon conviction, the probationary license shall be revoked. No probationary license shall be issued during the remainder of the revocation period, and no driver’s license shall be issued for the remainder of the original revocation period or for a period of two years from the date of conviction under this subparagraph;
- Submit proof of financial responsibility (SR – 22) and
- Pay a Two Hundred Dollar Reinstatement Fee
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.