SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility
What is SR-22 Insurance?
SR -22 is our state's way of monitoring whether or not problem drivers
maintain proper car insurance. The SR-22 certificate or "Financial
Responsibility Form" is issued by your insurance company to the DMV,
where it is kept on file. It is essentially a guarantee of coverage, ensuring
that you are maintaining California's required minimum liability coverage.
As long as you keep current auto insurance, your driving privileges are
not suspended. However, if your car insurance coverage is dropped, canceled
or lapses for any period of time, your car insurance company will notify
the DMV right away. Upon receiving this notification, the DMV will immediately
suspend your driving privileges by issuing an Order of Suspension.
Our state's Compulsory Financial Responsibility Laws, Vehicle Code
Sections 16000-16078, are in place to protect drivers by ensuring that
both drivers and owners of motor vehicles are able to handle any financial
responsibility that would arise in the event of a traffic accident. It
requires your liability insurance to cover any and all vehicles that you
either operate or have registered in your name. Carrying these minimum
levels of insurance coverage ensures drivers and owners can pay the costs
associated with damage or injury, regardless of fault. Additionally, the
laws help to keep uninsured drivers off the streets and highways in Riverside.
The DMV requires proof of insurance from all drivers. Drivers who have
not been arrested or convicted of
DUI may provide proof of insurance by showing a copy of either their insurance
binder or card, but DUI offenders must file the SR-22 Financial Responsibility
Form with the DMV.
It is important to note that the SR-22 form is separate from SR-1 form,
which is required for drivers who were involved in an accident, or who
have been ticketed for driving without proof of insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions About SR-22 Insurance
What do I need to do to obtain a restricted license? After having your license suspended for a first time DUI, you can get
a restricted license 30 days from the effective date of the suspension,
if you meet the following requirements:
- Pay a $125.00 fee to the DMV for the reissuance of your driver's license
- File your SR-22 form for three years
- Provide proof of enrollment in an approved alcohol program, either the
AB-541 or SB-762 class
If your license was restricted by either a DUI or a Wet and Reckless conviction,
the following applies:
- You must file an SR-22 proof of insurance form with the DMV for three years,
beginning after your four-month suspension has ended
- You must also maintain the insurance policy that the SR-22 was filed under
- Once you file your original SR-22, you do not need to renew or re-file
it at any time
- If your car insurance coverage is dropped, canceled or lapses for any period
of time, your car insurance company is required to notify the DMV right away
- Upon receiving this notification, the California DMV will immediately suspend
your driving privileges by issuing an Order of Suspension stating that
you must file another SR-22 with the DMV or your license will be suspended
Is maintaining proof of insurance with an SR-22 required for any other
driving offenses or issues? Filing an SR-22 is required in the following situations:
- When your driving privileges are reinstated following a DUI suspension
- If you were convicted of a DUI offense and part of your sentencing involved
a DUI school, you will be required to show an SR-22 if your four-month
suspension is not completed when the DMV receives notice of your conviction
- After your license has been revoked or suspended
- After you are involved in a traffic accident as an uninsured motorist
- After you have failed to provide proper proof of liability insurance to the DMV
- When you receive too many tickets in a short period of time, or if you
commit repeat traffic offenses
- When you apply for a probationary or hardship permit
Does the SR-22 only apply in California? The SR-22 is valid only in California, so if you move to another state,
you will need to look into the local requirements.
What happens after my three year SR-22 filing period ends? You file a SR-26 form stating that you are no longer required to have a
valid SR-22 on file with the California DMV.
What's the minimum amount of liability insurance I am required to carry? California Law requires that each driver carry a minimum, $35,000 of liability
insurance. This figure is broken into three types of coverage:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
It is recommended that you contact the California Department of Insurance
before purchasing an auto insurance policy.
In what situations am required to provide Evidence of Financial Responsibility? Any time you are stopped for a traffic violation by a police officer.
Failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility to a peace officer
is grounds to issue a citation. If you are convicted, by law you can be
fined $500.00 and may have to pay additional costs of fees associated
with your case. The court may also issue an order impounding your vehicle.
If you are involved in a traffic accident, you must provide proof of insurance
to the other driver.
Note: In California, any time you are involved in a car accident you are
required to report it to the DMV if any of the following happened in your accident:
- Someone was injured, regardless of the severity
- Anyone was killed
- The amount of property damage was more than $750.00
Each driver is required to file a report with the DMV within 10 days of
the accident. This is required regardless of whether you caused the accident
of not, if you were a driver involved in an accident where one of the
above occurred you must file this report with the DMV. The fact that the
accident happened on private property also does not excuse your requirement
notify the DMV.
Riverside DUI Lawyer Defending Your Rights
When you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you face a
wide range of negative consequences, including the necessity of carrying
SR-22 coverage. Come tothe Law Offices of Scott Henry as early as possible
after your arrest for help from an experienced Riverside DUI attorney
who will fight to defend you against the charges.
Contact the Law Offices of Scott Henry today
for an initial consultation and to learn more about how an attorney from
the firm can help you.