New Hampshire SR-22 Insurance

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 New Hampshire

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 an SR-22 in New Hampshire.

You would need an SR-22 in New Hampshire for the following reasons:

  • Individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are mandated to file proof of insurance for a minimum of three (3) years from date of conviction for a first offense.  If you are convicted of a subsequent offense, the period is extended to five (5) years.  It should also be noted that New Hampshire law requires a revocation for conviction of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs for a period between 90 days and two years.  It should be expected that you should serve the maximum revocation as the maximum period is the default period of revocation.
  • If someone is being decertified as an habitual offender, before license/operating privileges can be restored, that person must file proof of insurance for a minimum of three years from the date of his/her habitual offender decertification hearing.

    In New Hampshire if you will be subject to a hearing to determine if you are a habitual offender if you have committed any three of the following major offenses in a five year period:
    • Making a false statement to procure a license or registration
    • Commit fraud related to an auto title or lien
    • Concealing a vehicle’s identity
    • Use a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent
    • Illegal possession of a vehicle’s master key
    • Driving with a fake driver’s license
    • Driving after a license has been suspended or revoked
    • Failure to stop and render aid
    • Failure to file an accident report
    • Failure to yield to a driver going the opposite direction when making a left turn
    • Disobeying a police officer
    • Reckless driving
    • Driving while intoxicated (BAC > 008 if over 21.  BAC > .02 if under 21)
    • Driving while intoxicated and
      • Speeding in excess of 30 mile per hour over the speed limit
      • Colliding with another vehicle
      • Eluding a police officer or
      • Having a passenger under 16 in your car
    • Vehicular manslaughter
    • Vehicular homicide
    • A felony in which a motor vehicle is used
    • Passing a stopped school bus
    • Racing on a public road
    • Driving under the influence of drugs
    • Possession of drugs in a motor vehicle

In addition, you may be considered a habitual offender if you have committed any 12 of the following in a five year period.

  • Crossing an unbroken line
  • Speeding
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving without submitting an SR-22 if one is required.

Any three of the above offenses counts as a major offense for the purposes of determining if you are a habitual offender.

A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is required before you are declared a Habitual Offender.  Should this happen, you will be prevented from obtaining a driver’s license.  In most cases, the you will be unable to be considered to for decertification as a Habitual Offender by an Administrative Law Judge for four years, however, the period can be shorter or longer depending on the ruling by the Administrative Law Judge.  In addition, he or she may require that you perform certain actions, such as take an alcoholeducation course, before taking decertification as a Habitual Offender into consideration.

One thing to note is that should your license be suspended or revoked, the suspension or revocation period will have to be served after you have been decertified as a Habitual Offender.  For example, your license has been revoked for two years due to a conviction for driving while intoxicated.  Three months after the revocation starts, you have also been certified as a Habitual Offender for four years.  At the end of the four year period, you are decertified as a Habitual Offender.  Once decertified, you will still have to serve the remaining 21 months of your revocation before you can drive again.

  • Individuals who appear at administrative hearings for certain offenses, such as Demerit Points, may be mandated to file insurance as a condition of retaining a license, or if the license is suspended, as a condition of restoration.

    In New Hampshire, upon conviction of an offense involving a motor vehicle, you will be assessed anywhere from one to six demerit points.  When you are assessed with demerit points, you will be notified of the assessment, as well as how may points are on your driving record.  Should the number of points exceed a certain threshold, your license will be suspended based on your age as follows:

Under 18 Years Old

Time Period

Number of Points

Suspension Period

One Calendar Year

6

Three Months

Two Calendar Years

12

Six Months

Three Calendar Years

18

12 Months

18 – 21 Years Old

Time Period

Number of Points

Suspension Period

One Calendar Year

9

Three Months

Two Calendar Years

15

Six Months

Three Calendar Years

21

12 Months

Older Than 21 Years

Time Period

Number of Points

Suspension Period

One Calendar Year

12

Three Months

Two Calendar Years

18

Six Months

Three Calendar Years

24

12 Months

  • Individuals found at fault for an uninsured accident are mandated to file proof of insurance for a minimum of three (3) years from the date of the accident. Please note the filing period will be extended following defaulting a payment agreement or if a judgment is obtained.
  • You have been convicted of:
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident.
  • Conduct After Accident.
  • Subsequent (2nd) offense Reckless Operation.  Reckless behavior is defined in the New Hampshire Criminal Code as, “act(ing) recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct.  Examples of Reckless operation include
    • Operating a vehicle in such a manner that, the lives or safety of others shall be endangered
    • Engaging in a bet, wager or race with respect to operating a motor vehicle
    • Driving a vehicle for the purpose of making a record, or
    • Driving in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Conviction of a first offense results in a fine of $500 – $1000 plus any penalty assessment and a 60 day revocation of your license.  Conviction of a second offense increases the fine to $750 – $1000 and your license will be revoked for a period of 60 days to one year.
If you are required to file an SR-22, you will not be allowed to drive or register a vehicle until you file one.

In addition to filing an SR-22, what else will I need to do in order to get my license restored?

In the event your license has been revoked, you will need to retake the written driving and vision tests in order to have your driver’s license reinstated.

You will be also required to pay a reinstatement fee of One Hundred Dollars.

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.