If you have committed a serious driving violation, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or causing an accident without insurance, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may require you to obtain SR-22 insurance. What is this, and how does it affect you? In this article, we explain it to you.

What is SR-22 insurance?

SR-22 insurance is not actually insurance, but rather a certificate that your auto insurance company sends to the DMV to show that you meet the minimum liability coverage required by the state. The minimum in California is 15/30/5, that is, $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage.

SR-22 insurance is required when the DMV suspends or revokes your driver’s license for any reason, such as:

  1. Being convicted of DUI or reckless driving under the influence
  2. Be declared a negligent driver
  3. Being involved in an accident without insurance
  4. Failure to pay a fine or compensation to a victim

SR-22 insurance allows you to restore your driving privileges or continue driving with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle.

What types of SR-22 insurance exist?

There are three types of SR-22 insurance, depending on whether or not you own the vehicle you drive:

  1. SR-22 Driver and Owner: Covers any vehicle you drive, whether yours or borrowed.
  2. Owner’s SR-22: Covers only the vehicle you own and will drive during the period of suspension or revocation of your license.
  3. SR-22 non-owner: Covers the vehicle you drive occasionally, as long as it is not yours, rented, commercial, or domestic.

It is crucial that you do not let your SR-22 insurance expire or be canceled, as this could result in a new suspension or revocation of your license. If you change insurance companies, you should make sure the new one issues you an SR-22 insurance and sends it to the DMV.