For most drivers, insuring a vehicle is a matter of shopping for the best rate and coverage. However, some drivers are also required to obtain an SR-22 certificate. That often happens when an individual has a record of reckless driving. Authorities and insurers may consider the policyholder a high-risk driver.
State DMVs then require the offender to provide proof of active, valid auto insurance. The SR-22 is not an insurance policy but verifies that the driver carries an active policy. To clear their records, those required to produce an SR-22 must follow all driving laws and not have additional infractions.
Get the SR-22 Immediately
Any time a driver has several instances of reckless driving, they may be considered high-risk. If the state DMV designates you as a high-risk driver and requires you to provide proof of active, valid vehicle insurance, it’s critical to comply immediately. Your current insurer might not be able to issue an SR-22 certificate. If that is the case, they will provide you with the name of an agency that will issue the form.
Serious driving infractions can drive up insurance costs, so there is no such thing as an inexpensive SR-22. However, some insurers help clients get the best rate for their circumstances. For instance, California drivers can visit www.iisinsurance.com/sr-22-insurance/ to find the best price if they are required to get a certificate.
After You Get an SR-22
A judge may advise you of the requirement for an SR-22, or you could get a letter. Once you reach that point, it is essential to understand and avoid repeating problems that require the certificate. Per Forbes, some issues that lead to the requirement include:
- A DUI conviction
- Causing multiple car accidents
- Traffic offenses such as reckless driving or repeat traffic offenses
- Causing a car accident and not having insurance
- A suspended or revoked license
Avoid Further Problems: Practice Safe Driving
In time, drivers can recover from the impact of an SR-22 requirement. While a record of the issue can remain in your file for as long as ten years, drivers who follow all the rules can often have the SR-22 requirement rescinded in three years. That can help lower insurance premiums significantly.
Maintaining active coverage at all times and following the law to improve your driving record is essential. Indiana Department of Transportation offers the following recommendations to ensure you are driving safely:
Never drive impaired. If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver or arrange other transportation like Uber or mass transit. Consider staying where you are until you’re sober, and always report impaired drivers. Wear a seat belt in a vehicle with an impaired driver because it could save your life.
Follow defensive driving practices and avoid driving aggressively. Ignore drivers who make gestures, and try to get out of the way of aggressive drivers. Do not challenge these drivers or attempt to hold your lane or speed up.
Be an attentive driver. Get enough sleep to be alert when you know you must drive. Avoid long night drives, and keep your car’s interior temperature cool. Avoid using a cell phone while driving. Stop if you need to respond to a call. Take breaks often to stretch and remain alert.
You’ll share the road with commercial vehicles and motorcycles, so learn how to drive safely around them. For instance, trucks often need a lot of turning distance, so don’t crowd them. Always follow at a safe distance. Be on the lookout for pedestrian and bicycle riders and slow down when approaching them.
Follow the SR-22 Rules
State DMV agencies can require citizens with poor driving records to obtain an SR-22 certificate that proves they are insured. Although having an SR-22 on record drives up insurance rates, drivers can eventually have the certificate removed if they follow safety rules and avoid repeating past offenses.