Fausto Bucheli Jr


August 19, 2022

Edited By

John Davey
Cheap SR-22 Insurance in Washington

Here at Cheap, we’ve got you covered with the cheapest SR-22 insurance quotes in Washington State.

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and we all have those days when we don’t drive quite as well as we should.

Fortunately, SR-22 car insurance has you covered for those less than perfect days.

If you’ve committed a serious driving offense in Washington State, SR-22 insurance is essential to have in your insurance portfolio.

What Is SR-22 Car Insurance and What Does It Mean for You?

Although it’s sometimes referred to as ‘financial responsibility insurance’, SR-22 insurance is not actually a typical insurance policy.

Instead, it’s an official form that you’ll need to carry with you to prove that you have taken on the financial responsibility of meeting Washington’s minimum auto liability coverage requirements.

Key Point: Minimum Auto Liability Coverage

Auto liability coverage is a type of insurance that helps to pay for any damage you may cause to property or the injury/death of a third party while driving.

Each U.S. state has different minimum liability requirements, but there are always three key aspects that are included:

  • Bodily injury coverage per person.
  • Bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • Property damage coverage per accident.

The minimum auto liability requirements in Washington State are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability insurance per accident.
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $10,000 underinsured property damage.
  • $10,000 basic personal injury protection (PIP).

While every driver in Washington must meet the minimum liability insurance coverage requirements outlined above, only some drivers will be ordered to carry an official form that proves they meet these financial responsibility requirements. This form is called SR-22 insurance.

If you haven’t been ordered to carry SR-22 insurance and don’t have a revoked or suspended driver’s license you want to reinstate, then you don’t need to carry an SR-22 certificate.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance and for How Long Do They Need It?

Each state has its own list of violations for which SR-22 insurance form filing is needed. In Washington, you will need SR-22 if you commit one of the following traffic offenses:

  • Driving with a suspended license.
  • Driving without insurance coverage.
  • Reckless driving.
  • DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol).

Depending on how serious your traffic violation is, you may need SR-22 insurance in Washington for up to three years.

If your driver’s license has been revoked for an offense, the three-year period starts after the license is restored.

There are also certain situations where you will need to have SR-22 insurance even if you don’t own a vehicle.

Perhaps you are driving someone else’s car or a rental, in which case you’d still need non-owner SR-22 insurance.

If you committed a minor offense, you generally won’t need SR-22 insurance in Washington.

Key Point: What is a Minor Offense?

There are a few common, or minor traffic violations that you could be fined for. These include:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Negligent driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Driving with a suspended license.

Also, insurance premiums for minor offenses will not be as high as those associated with SR-22 insurance coverage.

How Do You Get SR-22 Insurance in Washington?

If you have been convicted of an offense, your car insurance company will file an SR-22 form on your behalf.

However, some insurers may consider your offense to be ‘high risk’, in which case they will not provide this service to you.

Once you do receive SR-22 coverage, you will have to pay much higher car insurance rates than before your conviction.

You will need to take the following steps to file for SR-22 insurance in Washington State:

  1. Find an Insurance Provider: If you already have insurance, check with your provider whether they will issue an SR-22 form for you. If they don’t, you’d need to find an insurer that does.
  2. Pay the SR-22 Filing Fee: Your insurer will charge you a filing fee for managing the SR-22 form on your behalf.
  3. Verify your coverage: Ensure that your insurance policy meets the minimum requirements of Washington State.
  4. Submit your SR-22 Form: Your insurer should file your SR-22 form with the Washington Department of Licensing and provide you with a verification once the form is filed.
  5. Wait for Confirmation: Once the state accepts your SR-22 form, you should receive a confirmation letter from the Department of Licensing and one from your insurance company.

It is important to note that if you allow your SR-22 insurance to lapse, your insurance provider is required to report the lapse to the Department of Licensing.

Types of SR-22 Insurance in Washington

When you apply for SR-22 insurance, you will need to specify the exact type of SR-22 insurance you need, depending on your circumstances.

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

If you do not own a car but still drive a car you do not own, you will need to file for non-owner car insurance. This is for drivers who:

  • Don’t plan to own a car.
  • Don’t share a household with someone who owns a car.
  • Still want to drive on occasion (e.g. a rental or borrowing a friend’s car).

Owner SR-22 insurance

Owner SR-22 insurance is for Washington drivers who:

  • Already own a car or plan to buy one.
  • Share a household with someone who does own a car.
  • Want to reinstate their driver’s license.

Owner/operator SR-22 insurance

If more than one car is registered in your name or you need to drive cars you do not own as part of your job, you will need to carry owner/operator SR-22 insurance.

How to Get an SR-22 in Washington

If your license has been suspended or revoked and you want to get it reinstated, you’ll need to get SR-22 insurance through your auto insurance company.

This will probably be one of the most challenging parts of getting an SR-22 certificate, as many auto insurance companies may not want to insure high-risk drivers.

Auto insurance companies that do offer SR-22 insurance will offer it at a more expensive rate, so finding SR-22 insurance you can afford may be challenging.

Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you will need to carry your SR-22 certificate with you.

If you are caught driving without insurance in Washington state, it is considered the same offense as driving without car insurance.

If you are found to be at-fault in an automobile collision and you do not have insurance, your driver’s license may be suspended if you do not pay for the resulting damages and/or injuries.

If you were not at fault in the car accident, you won’t be able to claim compensation for medical bills or damage.

You could be criminally charged with a misdemeanor and face the following penalties:

  • A fine ranging between $200 and $500.
  • Up to one year in jail.
  • Having to surrender your driver’s license.
  • A $125 fee to reinstate your driver’s license.

If you do have SR-22 insurance but get stopped without the necessary documentation, you can submit your insurance paperwork before your court date to avoid having your license revoked.

You won’t receive a fine, but you may have to pay a service fee of $25.

Which Is the Cheapest SR-22 Car Insurance in Washington?

In Washington State, you will find a wide variety of terrain, from flat to mountainous, so it can be hard to drive in this state.

Having recently received a difficulty score of 80 out of a possible 100, Washington State has almost twice the difficulty score of South Dakota, which was ranked the easiest with a score of 42.

Despite this difficulty score, the average car insurance rate in Washington is 18.7% less than the national average.

Let’s take a look at a few of the cheapest SR-22 car insurance rates in Washington.

According to our recent research, Bristol West provides the cheapest SR-22 car insurance in Washington, with average monthly premiums of just $179.

Provider Average Monthly Price Monthly Price in King County Monthly Cost in Pierce County  Monthly cost in Snohomish County Monthly cost in Spokane County Monthly cost in Clark County
The General $186.00 $201 $197 $181 $174 $180
Bristol West $179 $194 $195 $178 $156 $176
Allstate $247 $264 $259 $250 $222 $240

Remember to never settle for the first car insurance quote you get. Shop around and find the cheapest car insurance in Washington.

In fact, it’s best to get a completely personalized insurance quote as we all have different needs and circumstances. Most good insurers will tailor your insurance quote to your needs.

Get a personalized car insurance quote.

Key Point: 

Car insurance companies usually look at your driving record, past claims, and vehicle model when deciding on car insurance rates. In Washington, car insurance companies will also look at the following factors:
  • Age.
  • Credit.
  • Education.
  • Occupation.
  • Gender.
  • Marital Status.
  • Zip Code.

How Does an SR-22 Impact Your Insurance in Washington

We looked at the auto insurance rates offered by various insurers for low-risk drivers, to compare them to the rates they offer to drivers who have been convicted of driving-related offenses.

This is how much drivers in Washington with a clean driving record can expect to pay for car insurance:

Provider King County Pierce County Snohomish County Spokane County Clark County Average
Midvale $145.00 $132.00 $114.00 $114.00 $133.00 $127.60
Bristol West $134.00 $136.00 $123.00 $110.00 $121.00 $124.80
Allstate $220.00 $225.00 $210.00 $175.00 $196.00 $205.20
Travelers $220.00 $206.00 $190.00 $194.00 $191.00 $200.20

Here’s how much drivers in Washington can expect to pay if they are considered a high-risk driver:

Provider King County Pierce County Snohomish County Spokane County Clark County Average
Midvale $239.00 $223.00 $214.00 $195.00 $223.00 $218.80
Bristol West $208.00 $203.00 $187.00 $180.00 $185.00 $192.60
Allstate $176.00 $178.00 $161.00 $141.00 $159.00 $163.00

Get a personalized car insurance quote.

How to Save Money on SR-22 Insurance in Washington

Although you will end up paying higher rates for SR-22 insurance in Washington, you can still save money. Here’s how:

  • Consider usage-based car insurance: If you don’t drive very often, opt for insurance that charges you based on how many miles you drive per month.
  • Raise your deductibles: If you do this, your insurer will likely reduce your premiums.
  • Bundle your car insurance with other policies: Opt for insurers who can offer you great prices on your other insurance needs as well, and go with one company.
  • Pay your premium in full instead of monthly payments: Enjoy a percentage discount when you pay your annual insurance premium in full instead of monthly.

Apart from SR-22 Car Insurance in Washington, What Else Do You Need to Have?

Collision and comprehensive Insurance. If you get into a car accident, or your vehicle is in any way damaged, collision and comprehensive insurance will settle the repair costs to your car.

Personal injury protection (PIP). Car insurance companies must offer you PIP if you drive a car, but not if you ride a motorcycle. PIP pays the medical bills for you and your passengers after a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM). If someone crashes into you and they don’t have car insurance, uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your medical expenses. Insurance companies in Washington must offer UM to you. UM is definitely a coverage worth having.

If you have your car on lease or loan, you will most likely need collision and comprehensive cover in Washington.

FAQs about SR-22 Car Insurance in Washington

To help you find cheap SR-22 car insurance in Washington, we at Cheap rounded up the most frequently asked questions about SR-22 insurance:

What is an SR-22 in Washington?

In Washington State, an SR-22 form needs to be applied for and filed for any driver that has committed a serious traffic offense.

How do I get an SR-22 Certificate in Washington?

Your insurance provider must file an SR-22 form for you; however, as a high-risk client, they may be unwilling to do this and you’ll need to find another insurer.

How much more do I need to pay for SR-22 insurance in Washington State as compared to standard insurance?

In general, a policy with SR-22 is more expensive than standard insurance cover. A good driver can expect to pay around $164 per month, whereas a high-risk driver may look at premiums of around $191.

Who has the cheapest SR-22 insurance in Washington?

According to our research, Bristol West offers the best option for cheap car insurance in Washington State. The average premium across good and high-risk drivers is $220.

For how long do Washington drivers need SR-22 car insurance?

The minimum required time for SR-22 insurance is three years for drivers convicted of a severe traffic offense. This period may be increased for more serious offenses.

Are You Looking for Cheap SR-22 Car Insurance in Washington?

Why not get a personalized car insurance quote for your car insurance today?