What is SR-22 Insurance?

by Aaron Black • April 30, 2020


Police car light activatedSR-22 auto insurance is required for those convicted of a DUI or certain other serious driving offenses as part of the criminal sentencing. Insurance companies are averse to risk so the insurance policy premiums will be pricey.

Don’t be fooled by the name. SR-22 insurance is not an insurance policy. It’s a certificate that serves as your proof of insurance. SR stands for “Safety Responsibility.

You’ll need to pay a small fee to have this certificate on file with the state’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) so you can begin driving again once the suspension or revocation period of your driver’s license is over.

Drivers’ licenses are suspended or revoked for these reasons:
  • If you were impaired by alcohol or drugs while driving
  • if you were responsible for a serious wreck
  • if you have a spat of driving dangerously citations adding as many as 12 points against the license within the last 12 months
  • if you failed to get an SR-22 certificate during your license suspension
Those who are caught driving without an SR-22 certificate on file will have their license and vehicle registration voided.

If you don’t have a vehicle you’ll need to have a non-owner SR-22.

The SR-22 certificate allows the state to know that you have high-risk insurance in the amount of coverage required by law.

The length of time you’ll need an SR-22 is usually three years, or a judge can alter the time. A DUI conviction can increase the time to five years.

As well as submitting the SR-22 to the MVD you may also need to take an eyesight test, pass the written exam to confirm you know the rules of the road and a driving test with an MVD instructor.

What if you have an Insurance Policy?

If you have an active auto insurance policy, your insurance company will file the SR-22 certificate with the MVD as evidence that you have the proper insurance coverage.

Those who don’t pay their insurance premiums will have their SR-22 canceled and an SR-26 submitted to the state notifying the government of the cancelation. In that case, the driver’s license is again suspended.

It’s common for auto insurance companies to cancel policies held by high-risk drivers after a conviction. If the company doesn’t cancel you it will significantly increase your policy rates, sometimes as much as 40 percent, according to Valuepengin, one of the companies that track insurance rates to Inform consumers in making spending decisions.

Getting Re-Insured

If your insurance provider canceled your policy, you’ll need to explore other companies for the rates they charge at-risk drivers, but be sure the quote covers everything that Arizona law requires.

Arizona’s minimum insurance coverages are:
  • Bodily injury liability is $15,000 per person and $30,000 for a crash
  • Property damage liability, $10,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury, $15,000 per person and $30,000 per crash
  • Underinsured bodily injury, $15,000 per person and $30,000 per crash
You may, of course, increase the amount of coverage beyond the minimums.

Insurance companies determine the price of your policy using several criteria.
  • Driving record
  • If you’ve been convicted of a DUI or a crash
  • Credit score
  • How many miles you drive
  • Occupation
  • Where you live
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Type of vehicle you drive

Defending your Driving Privilege

Losing the privilege to drive is life-changing. You’ll have to depend on family, friends, public and commercial transportation. Without reliable transportation, it can be very tough to get and hold a job.

The best thing to do is avoid a DUI conviction in Phoenix, AZ leading to an SR-22 by presenting a strong and aggressive defense of the charge against you.

These are common DUI defenses:
  • The arresting officer may not have had a legal reason to stop you in the first place. The officer must have had probable cause or reasonable suspicion to make the stop.
     
  • Any search of the vehicle must have been done with a search warrant unless the incriminating evidence was in plain sight.
     
  • It’s also in your defense to respectfully invoke your Fifth Amendment right which prevents you from incriminating yourself. The officer’s questioning should stop.
     
  • Maybe the officer failed to advise you of your Miranda rights, the right to remain silent and the Sixth Amendment right to have an attorney at your side during questioning to protect your rights.
     
  • Anything you do say to the officer will be included in the officer’s report and will become evidence against you. However, the report may contain misinformation or omissions that will benefit you by raising a reasonable doubt.
     
  • Part of your defense is to probe the arresting officer’s record for any disciplinary actions or if he officer has previously made inconstant statements.
     
  • In DUI cases the field sobriety test may not have been properly administered and the test results of a breathalyzer or a blood draw may have been faulty or the breathalyzer calibration was not accurate.
     
  • An alternative is a plea agreement for a lesser charge that doesn’t require an SR-22.

Free, Confidential Legal Advice

If you have been charged with a DUI or other serious driving offense, the Law Office of Aaron Black offers a free, confidential legal consultation.

I’ll listen to your side of what happened at the traffic stop and afterward, ask questions and answer any questions that you have. You don’t have to hire me to get my consultation.

During this Coronavirus pandemic the justice system is operating and we can practice social distancing in several ways.

Contact Phoenix DUI Defense Attorney, Aaron Black or call (480) 729-1683. My line is open day and night, weekends and holidays. I’m also available by text, email, and FaceTime online. I will respond promptly unless I’m in court.

I defend DUI and other criminal cases in Arizona’s justice, municipal, state, and federal courts.
 
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wanted to inform clients and potential clients I am still available for consultations. I am always available by phone, text and/or email. We can also use Facetime for social distancing. The criminal justice system is not stopping due to COVID-19.


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