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 Maine must carry a minimum liability insurance policy. If a Maine 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 Maine
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 Maine Car 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
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 Maine.
You will need an SR – 22 in Maine in order to have your driving privileges restored if your license has been suspended or revoked for the following reasons:
- Operating a motor
vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI).
If you are stopped for Operating Under the Influence, and chemical tests indicate that you are intoxicated or you refuse to submit to a chemical test, your license will be suspended administratively. Under certain circumstances, the suspension period can be reduced if you agree to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car.
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 order to be allowed to pursue this option, you will need to petition the Secretary of State for permission to do so and receive their approval.
The administrative suspension period is as follows:
|Suspension for Refusal
|Suspension (No Ignition Interlock Device)
|Suspension (Ignition Interlock Device Installed)
|Fourth and Subsequent
In addition, the court may order a suspension or revocation at the time of conviction. In this instance the longer of the two suspensions is the suspension period of your driver’s license.
- Involvement in a motor vehicle accident when the driver was uninsured. Your driver’s license will be suspended indefinitely until you provide proof of insurance and an SR-22. In addition, you will be required to satisfy any court judgment. In some cases, you may ask the court to allow you to pay the judgment in installments and have your driver’s license reinstated sooner.
- Committing an offense while driving without insurance. Again, your driver’s license will be suspended indefinitely until you provide proof of insurance and an SR-22.
- Driving while license suspended. A conviction will result in an additional suspension of at least 30 days.
- Improper conduct after an accident. An example of this would be failure to exchange information or cooperate with the police officers who are investigating the accident.
- Repeat traffic
offenses, especially within a short period of time.
Upon conviction or adjudication of a traffic offense, you will be charged with two to eight demerit points against your driver’s license. If you are charged with six points in a twelve month period, you will receive a notification in the mail. If you are charged with twelve points in a twelve month period, your license will be suspended for 15 days. In addition, if your license will be suspended for 120 days after the first conviction subsequent to your license being suspended three times in a three year period.
Upon completion of a defensive driving course, you may have three points subtracted from your point accumulation for a one year period after completing a driver improvement course authorized by the Secretary of State or the Department of Public Safety.
Should you have a clean driving record for one year, you will be given one Violation Free Credit that can be applied against any demerit points you have. You can accumulate up to Four Violation Free Credits.
- Leaving the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene of an accident will result in a 30 day suspension of your driver’s license.
- Second offense of reckless operation
Your driver’s license can also be suspended for up to 30 days for,
- Failure to stop for a police officer,
- Operating alone on permit,
- Operating a motor vehicle without a license (crime),
- Passing a stopped school bus,
- Exceeding the posted speed by at least 30 miles per hour,
- Altering a driver’s license or registration certificate,
- Loaning a driver’s license (Note that loaning your driver’s license to someone who is under 21 years of age so that they can purchase liquor falls under this category even though it has nothing to do with driving a motor vehicle,)
- Unlawful use of a driver’s license,
- Displaying a suspended license,
- Falsifying an application for registration certificate or driver’s license, or
- Giving false information to a police officer.
In order to have your license restored after a suspension or revocation you will need to do the following:
- Satisfy the requirements of the court. These can include
- Paying a fine
- Serving a jail sentence
- Completing probation
- Satisfying a judgment or
- Community Service
- Submit a SR22 or proof of insurance with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- If the suspension or revocation is related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, You will be require to complete an alcohol education program
If you have been convicted of Operating Under the Influence, you may be referred to a Driver Education and Evaluation Program. The purpose of a Driver Education and Evaluation Program is to reduce the risk of re offending as well as the risk of being involved in a vehicle crash in which an intoxicated driver is involved.
Driver Education and Evaluation Programs include:
- Risk Reduction Programs. These are 20 hour educational programs held over the course of three days in which participants learn about high risk alcohol and drug choices and how to identify and change high risk behaviors. The programs also include an assessment component and depending on the results, you may be referred into treatment services. The cost of these programs is Three Hundred Dollars, and
- Treatment Programs – these are a wide range of programs that provide alcohol and substance abuse counseling and treatment. Fees and types of programs vary and in many cases health insurance coverage is available.
- Pay the reinstatement fee. Currently the reinstatement fee is $100.00
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.