Does an SR-22 Raise Insurance Rates?

Keep a hard copy of a SR-22 in the vehicle to present to an officer when pulled over.
Keep a hard copy of a SR-22 in the vehicle to present to an officer when pulled over. (Image: Police car isolated on white background image by Christopher Dodge from

Auto insurance rates are determined by a number of factors including accidents or claims, a lapse in insurance and personal ratings such as credit scoring and age. The need for a SR-22 filing is established by a court-ordered judgment issued in response to one or more motor vehicle infractions. Often these judgments are accompanied by a suspended or revoked license, requiring the filing of a SR-22 prior to reinstatement.


SR-22s are usually required after a drunk driving conviction, discovery of driving without insurance or an at-fault accident while driving without insurance, a hit-and-run accident, or the failure to comply with alcohol testing. Multiple vehicle infractions that lead to a suspension of a license also require a SR-22 filing in most states.

Effect on Rates

Insurance rates, in relation to the issuance of a SR-22, are affected because of the related traffic violation or infraction, which raise rates whether or not a court-ordered SR-22 is in place. Some insurance carriers charge a small filing fee for a SR-22, although for many this is just a standard service with no additional charges incurred. Driving without insurance and other SR-22-related violations can knock preferred drivers into a standard rate, in addition to the points added to the driver's record. This, in turn, will “rate up” insurance policies and result in higher premiums.

Penalty Terms

Penalty terms vary on SR-22s, with the lowest usually around one year and some carrying a lifetime penalty. The average term ranges about three years, with DUI or DWI convictions carrying a five-year term in some states. Penalty terms can increase with subsequent motor vehicle infractions and unsatisfied legal judgments can force a SR-22 into a lifetime term. Any insurance lapse during an original SR-22 term resets the clock back to the original full penalty term.


SR-22s are guarantees or an assurance by an insurance carrier that a policyholder carries the proper liability insurance requirements for the home state. Sometimes called SR-22 certificates, certificates of financial responsibility, SR-22 bonds or SR-22 insurance, these filings are sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles by the insurance company, who will also notify the DMV of a policy lapse. SR-22s are sometimes filed electronically, but policyholders must carry a paper copy inside the vehicle at all times during the penalty term.

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