What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 is a certificate filed with the Washington State Department of Licensing showing Proof of Financial Responsibility. The SR- stands for safety responsibility, Certificate of Financial Responsibility. It is a document that verifies that someone has automobile insurance. An SR-22 filing is not an insurance policy it is simply evidence that an insurance policy is in force.
Who Requires it?
The Washington State Department of Licensing will require someone to obtain a Proof of Financial Responsibility. The Proof of Financial Responsibility will show how you are going to pay for damages if you are involved in a car accident. Proof of Financial Responsibility can either be in the form of an SR-22 filing that is done with your liability insurance provider, or by placing a certificate of deposit for at least $60,000 issued by the Washington State Treasurer or the Department of Licensing.
Who Needs an SR-22 Filing?
An SR-22 filing may be required by the Washington State Department of Licensing when someone was involved in an accident or convicted of a traffic violation who was not able to provide proof of financial responsibility. You might also be required to have an SR-22 filing if you have been convicted of a DUI, have had an at-fault accident while driving without insurance, have a revoked or suspended license, or have had repeat traffic violations or too many tickets in a short period of time.
Where do I get an SR-22 Certificate?
An SR-22 certificate of proof of financial responsibility can be obtained from an automobile insurance provider. The insurance provider will file the SR-22 with the state. If you move out of state it is important to know that you will be required to still fulfill the SR-22 requirements of the previous state and the liability limits in the new state need to meet the requirements of the former state.
How Long do I Have to Have an SR-22?
Providing proof of financial responsibility in most cases is required for 3 to 5 years. It is possible that you will be required to have the SR-22 for a longer period. It is also important to note that continuous coverage must be maintained during that period of time. If your policy has a lapse in coverage or cancels, the insurance company is required by law to notify the Washington State Department of Licensing of the gap in coverage.
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Image Credit: SR-22 by Jeremy Brooks on Flickr