Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • When you are convicted of a major moving violation or you’re involved in an uninsured accident, the Department of Motor Vehicle may require that you to file an SR-22 showing that you’re financially responsible at all times
  • You have to file an SR-22 or your driving privilege will be suspended or revoked
  • If you don’t own a car but you still need your driving privilege, you need to purchase a nonowner’s car insurance policy through a company that offers SR-22 filings
  • A nonowner’s policy will pay for liability claims made against you while you’re driving a vehicle that you’re borrowing or renting
  • One advantage of having a non-owner’s policy is that you can build an insurance history so that you can find lower rates when you buy a car

When you break the law you have to pay the consequences.

Anyone who’s required to file and SR-22 with the DMV has been found guilty of breaking the laws of the road.

One of the great things about policies through the Department of Motor Vehicles is that drivers are often given second and even third chances to comply with the state’s vehicle code.

When the state is giving you a chance, they still want to see that you’re financially responsible enough to keep your driving privilege. This is the main reason why you’re required to apply for an SR-22 and file it through the department.

If you don’t own a car, the requirement might seem a bit pointless. In the eyes of the department, it’s not. Here’s how you can get an SR-22 even when you don’t own your own car.

If you’re looking for SR-22 insurance, enter you zip code above and start comparing rates.

What exactly is an SR-22?

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An SR-22 is often mistaken for an insurance policy. What it actually is is an insurance certificate that an insurance company issues and files with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This SR in the name of the filing stands for Safety Responsibility because the filing is required when drivers need to prove that they are complying with mandatory insurance laws.

You don’t always have to file an SR-22 when you’re licensed. In fact, not all states have SR-22 proof requirements.

Typically, a licensed driver must file this evidence of future responsibility showing that they are continuously meeting minimum limit requirements when they have driving related issues on their record. Some reasons you might need to file one include:

  • You’ve been convicted of Driving Under the Influence and you need to file an SR-22 after the mandatory 30-day suspension to get your license back
  • You’ve been convicted of multiple minor violations and a serious violation like reckless driving
  • You recently had an accident and didn’t have insurance on your vehicle at the time of the crash
  • You’ve been cited for driving without a license or without insurance multiple times

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How long do you have to file an SR-22?

When you buy insurance, you have to pay a fee to the insurer to draft the filing and to submit it to the company. The fee is usually around $25 to $50 per term just for the filing.

While the requirements vary from state to state, most states require that you file the certificate for three consecutive years after the requirement begins.

Can you get an SR-22 when you don’t even own a car?

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You might think that it sounds a bit odd to be shopping for car insurance when you don’t own a car but it happens every day in the marketplace. In fact, many car-free licensed drivers shop for and buy auto insurance policies.

You might not be able to buy a standard policy, but you can find specialty insurers that offer different types of products.

When you need to file an SR-22 and you don’t own a car, you should be shopping for a nonowner’s car insurance policy through a carrier that offers this type of substandard product.

Since owning a car isn’t a requirement, you can purchase coverage and still satisfy the filing requirement for as long as the DMV requires you to file.

Who is nonowner’s car insurance for?

Not everyone qualifies for nonowner’s car insurance and some carriers won’t even issue people with suspended licenses a policy.

This is why you need to shop the market to find a specialty carrier that will issue SR-22 insurance to applicants who have a suspended license and need the coverage to reinstate it. Some of the requirements to get a policy include:

  • You must be 21 or older
  • You must have three years of established licensing experience
  • You must not own a vehicle
  • You must be driving a vehicle that you’re borrowing or renting (the owner can’t live in your household)
  • You must have an acceptable driving record (some carriers accept high-risk drivers)

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What are the benefits of having a nonowner’s auto insurance policy?

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No one wants to be required to prove that they are being financially responsible drivers but when you’ve broken the law in the past you don’t have a choice.

Fortunately, when you’re required to file an SR-22, even when you’re not a car owner, there are some advantages to buying nonowner’s insurance.

Here are the reasons to look on the bright side:

Being car-free doesn’t always mean that you don’t need at least a minimum amount of insurance coverage to protect your finances. Make sure that you understand SR-22 requirements before you ignore them.

If you want to find a nonowner’s policy that will satisfy your state’s requirements as soon as possible, get quotes via a comparison website and apply for your policy right away.

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