Will I Need SR-22 Insurance If Convicted of DUI?
How Auto insurance Works After a DUI conviction
If you have been convicted of DUI, one of the concerns you may have is whether you will need SR22 insurance and whether there is a way to prevent your insurance premiums from increasing massively.
How auto insurance works after a DUI conviction can be really confusing. Besides the criminal consequence and license suspension that accompany a DUI conviction, you may also be required to purchase SR22 insurance and pay significantly higher insurance premiums before you are allowed to drive again.
If you’re facing DUI charges in Washington, it is very important to hire an experienced DUI attorney who will work to get the charges reduced or dismissed and avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction. Call Bugbee Law Offices at (509) 337-5082 to find out how we can help.
What is SR22 Insurance?
In actuality, there is no SR22 insurance. What this refers to is a certificate of endorsement from your insurance provider that is required by the state in order for your driver’s license to be reinstated after it was suspended or revoked for a moving violation, such as a DUI.
If you are convicted of a DUI and your license is suspended, by either a court or the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you will need to file an SR22 certificate before you will be allowed to drive again. An SR22 certificate will be required by the DMV to prove that you have met the minimum insurance requirements necessary to drive legally in the State of Washington.
How Do I Obtain SR22 Insurance?
Your SR22 certificate is an agreement between the state and your insurance provider that requires the insurance provider to notify the state if your coverage ends for any reason. If that happens, then your license will be suspended once again.
To obtain an SR22 certificate, you will need to contact your insurance provider and request that they add the SR22 information to your policy and file the certificate with the DMV. If you are not insured, you will need to shop around for a new policy and notify the insurance provider that you need an SR22 to be filed.
Many of the major insurance carriers will drop you or dramatically increase your insurance premiums after you request an SR22 certificate. However, there are companies that specialize in SR22 filings that will provide you with the same coverage and at a premium price that is the same or comparable to your previous insurance premiums.
How Long Will I Need an SR22?
The SR22 requirement applies to everyone, whether you own a car or not and whether you are from Washington or another state. If you are notified that you must have an SR22 filed, you will be required to carry SR22 insurance for 36 consecutive months.
If the underlying insurance policy is not renewed at least 15 days before it expires, the insurance provider will notify the DMV and your license will be suspended again. If you allow your insurance coverage to lapse during this time, then your required time with an SR-22 will be paused and continued after you regain SR22 insurance and your license has been reinstated.
How Will SR22 Insurance Affect My Insurance Premiums?
Drivers often experience substantial increases in their insurance premiums when they request an SR22 from their current insurance provider. Since there are few other circumstances other than a DUI where an SR22 is required, requesting an SR22 tells the insurance provider that they need to increase your rates or drop your coverage altogether.
Typically, your insurance will be dramatically affected by the duration of the 36-month SR22 probationary driving period. After this, your premiums will begin to decrease, as long as you do not obtain any further driving infractions.
Strategies and Alternatives to Filing an SR22
There are certain strategies and alternatives to filing an SR22 that can save you both time and money, while still satisfying the DMV. One way is by obtaining a Certificate of Deposit for at least $60,000 from the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). Another is by purchasing a Liability Bond for at least $60,000 from a bonding company authorized by the state.
If this is something that you would like to hear more about, please contact Bugbee Law Offices, P.S. in Spokane, Washington. Call us at (509) 337-5082 or send us a message via our contact page, so that we can evaluate your situation and determine if there is a solution that fits your particular circumstances.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2016 Bugbee Law Offices, P.S.