If you ever get a speeding ticket, DUI or commit other serious driving infractions, then you might be required to get an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate. Rules and names differ by state, but SR-22s and FR-44s are names for the documents that the state will require some drivers to have on file in order to prove financial responsibility.
Basically, they prove that the driver carries the required minimum auto insurance as set by state law. It's important to realize that these are not the same as the auto insurance cards that most drivers have to keep with them.
When is FR-44 or SR-22 Insurance Required?
Drivers are usually required to get FR-44 or SR-22 insurance if they are convicted of a major traffic violation. Qualifying accidents might include:
Therefore, you will only face a SR-22/FR-44 requirement if you get caught committing a serious driving infraction. All in all, you can think about these requirements as penalties for breaking the law, and reassurance that you will be able to take responsibility for any future mistakes.
How to Get an SR-22 or FR-44 Document Filed With the State
The rules that govern mandated auto insurance are called financial responsibility laws. Thus, both of these forms are called certificates of financial responsibility (commonly referred to as CFRs).
In most states, applicants will have to pay a filing fee. This fee is in addition to car insurance premiums, so it might not be reflected on a quote from an auto insurance company. Typically, the fee is about $25, but it might be higher in some places.
These certificates must be requested from an auto insurance company. In turn, the insurer will file the necessary documents with the state. If FR-44 or SR-22 insurance lapses before the state lifts the requirement, the insurer will also be required to notify the state about the lapse. This could result in severe penalties from the state, which is why it is imperative that you never let your policy lapse under any circumstances.
However, obtaining the form is usually no more difficult than telling a major insurer that one is required. Of course, premiums for the kinds of high-risk drivers that require these certificates are almost certain to be higher than they are for low-risk drivers. Not all insurers issue this kind of insurance, but most of the larger companies do. Therefore, work in partnership with your agent to find the best insurance solutions to your SR-22 or FR-44 requirements.