North Carolina city.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What Is SR-22 Insurance?
  • The Different Types of SR-22 Insurance
  • Does North Carolina Have an Equivalent for SR-22 Insurance?
  • How to Get SR-22 Insurance in North Carolina
  • How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in North Carolina?
  • FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in North Carolina
 

Introduction

If you’ve been convicted of a serious driving violation, North Carolina is one of the few U.S states where drivers won’t need to carry SR-22 insurance after being charged.

This simplifies the insurance requirements for North Carolina drivers who reside in the state.

But, what are the requirements for drivers from other states who have SR-22 insurance and then move to North Carolina?

Unfortunately, this can make obtaining car insurance a little more complex and time-consuming.

There are only seven states that don’t require drivers to carry an SR-22 after being charged with a serious traffic infringement. Along with North Carolina, these include:

  • Minnesota.
  • Kentucky.
  • New Mexico.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Delaware.
  • New York.
  • Pennsylvania.
 

There are two key scenarios that can be daunting for North Carolina drivers who aren’t sure whether or not they need to carry SR-22 insurance:

  • Scenario 1: You’ve been convicted of a serious traffic violation (for example, a DUI) in North Carolina and then move to a state that would usually issue an SR-22 for certain violations.
  • Scenario 2: You’ve been convicted of a serious traffic violation in a state that does require SR-22 insurance (for example, California) and then you move to North Carolina.
 

Moving states can have various unexpected consequences for your car insurance, and your SR-22 insurance is no different.

In this article, we’ll address these potential issues and go through everything that you need to know about SR-22 insurance in North Carolina.

This includes how to get it, how much it costs on average, and what to do about your SR-22 insurance when you move.

We’ve also researched car insurance companies in North Carolina to help you find an SR-22 auto insurance policy at an affordable rate. We’ve looked at insurers in these five counties:

  • Mecklenburg County.
  • Wake County.
  • Guilford County.
  • Forsyth County.
  • Cumberland County.
 

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

In states that use SR-22 insurance, the SR-22 document is sometimes called “financial responsibility insurance” but it’s not really a type of stand-alone insurance coverage.

Instead, it’s an add-on to your standard car coverage that proves you are meeting the state’s minimum auto liability coverage requirements.

Key Point: Minimum Auto Liability Coverage

Auto liability coverage is a type of third-party car insurance that pays out to the other driver if you cause injury, death, or property damage while driving.

For example, if you are at-fault in a car accident that leads to $5,000 in medical bills and $3,000 worth of property damage, your auto liability insurance will pay these costs on your behalf.

To prevent drivers from taking out insufficient auto liability insurance policies that don’t provide enough coverage, all states have set minimum coverage requirements. While these differ from state to state, three key points are always covered:

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

In North Carolina, the minimum amounts of auto liability coverage required, are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death per person.
  • $60,000 for bodily injury or death per accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage coverage per accident.
 

All North Carolina drivers—even those with a clean driving record—need to adhere to these financial responsibility requirements by carrying an auto liability insurance policy that meets these minimums, at the very least.

If you’re caught driving without meeting these state-mandated minimums, some of the penalties you may be subject to include:

  • Fines.
  • License and registration suspension.
  • Community service.
  • Jail time.
 

When drivers are convicted of certain violations, they may be required to carry SR-22 insurance.

This doesn’t change the state’s legally mandated minimums. It simply acts as evidence that the driver is meeting these minimums.

For example, if a driver with SR-22 insurance is pulled over by law enforcement, they will need to show them their SR-22 certificate, along with their license and registration.

Some of the traffic violations that may lead to being ordered to carry SR-22 insurance, include:

  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Being at-fault in a major accident.
  • Fleeing the scene of an at-fault accident.
  • A DUI conviction.
  • Driving without car insurance.
  • Getting an excessive number of points on your driving record.
  • Your license has been suspended and you want to reinstate it.
 

If you’re convicted of a major driving infringement in North Carolina, you won’t have to carry SR-22 insurance.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t face financial penalties from your insurance company if you’re considered a high-risk driver.

Key Point: High-Risk Driver

This is a term insurance companies use to describe drivers who are more likely to make a claim against their car insurance.

Because of the increased risk to car insurance companies, insurance for high-risk drivers is usually much more expensive than insurance for good drivers.

Some of the things that may lead to being classified as a high-risk driver, include:

  • Young drivers under 25 years old.
  • Living in an area with a high crime rate.
  • Having been found at-fault in a major car accident.
  • Having too many points on your driving record.
  • Having your car insurance canceled.
  • Unpaid child support payments.
 

Some states also increase the cost of car insurance for drivers with a poor credit record, but North Carolina has banned insurance discrimination based on your credit score.

If you carry SR-22 insurance in another state and then move to North Carolina, you may find it difficult to find an insurer who will offer you affordable coverage.

When requesting insurance, you’re obliged to inform the insurance company that you carry SR-22 insurance in another state.

When the insurer checks your file with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV), they will be able to see which offense you were charged with and will raise your insurance premium accordingly.

Key Point: Insurance Premium

Your insurance premium is the amount you agree to pay a car insurer in exchange for coverage.

A wide range of factors can cause your insurance premium to increase, including carrying SR-22 insurance.

If you’ve been found guilty of a serious moving violation in North Carolina and then move to another state, you will need to inform your auto insurance company in the state that you’ve moved to.

They may then offer you high-risk insurance at a higher premium, or file an SR-22 certificate on your behalf.

 

 

The Different Types of SR-22 Insurance

Although North Carolina doesn’t require you to carry SR-22 insurance after being convicted of a driving infringement, some auto insurance companies in the state still offer it.

This is done for drivers who have obtained SR-22 insurance in another state and have since moved to North Carolina.

If you need to obtain SR-22 insurance, it’s important to remember that there are three different types of SR-22 and each has unique restrictions on your driving behavior.

The three types of SR-22 insurance are:

 

 

Owner SR-22 Insurance

You may need Owner SR-22 insurance if:

  • You’ve moved from a state where SR-22 insurance is required.
  • You own a car or plan to buy a car.
  • You live in the same household as someone who owns a car.
 

Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance

If you carry SR-22 insurance, then move to North Carolina and no longer own a car, you will still need SR-22 insurance if you plan to drive—even if you don’t own a car.

Some auto insurance companies offer Non-owner SR-22 insurance for drivers who:

  • Do not own a car and don’t plan to buy one.
  • May drive someone else’s car from time to time (e.g. renting a car).
  • Live in the same house as someone who does own a car.
 

Owner/Operator SR-22 Insurance

If you have multiple cars or are required to drive vehicles you do not own as part of your job, you will need to carry Owner/operator SR-22 insurance.

 

 

Does North Carolina Have an Equivalent for SR-22 Insurance?

North Carolina doesn’t have an equivalent for SR-22 insurance. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t face serious penalties if you’re found guilty of a major driving violation.

Depending on how severe the offense is, these are some of the penalties you may face:

  • A driver’s license suspension.
  • Fines.
  • Jail time.
  • Community service.
  • Points on your driving record.
  • Increased car insurance rates.
 

If you’re caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you will face harsh penalties.

Along with the legal and financial penalties, your car insurance premiums will increase significantly after a DUI.

North Carolina has five levels of penalties for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI:

 

 

Level V

  • A fine of up to $200.
  • A jail sentence of between 24 hours and 60 days.
  • A judge can suspend the full jail sentence if the driver spends 24 hours in jail, does 24 hours of community service, and does not operate a vehicle for 30 days.
 

Level IV

  • A fine of up to $500.
  • A jail sentence of between 48 hours and 120 days.
  • A judge can suspend the full jail sentence if the driver spends 48 hours in jail, does 48 hours of community service, and does not operate a vehicle for 60 days.
 

Level III

  • A fine of up to $1,000.
  • A jail sentence of between 72 hours and six months.
  • A judge can suspend the full jail sentence if the driver spends 72 hours in jail, does 72 hours of community service, and does not operate a vehicle for 90 days.
 

Level II

  • A fine of up to $2,000.
  • A jail sentence of between seven days and one year.
  • A judge cannot suspend the jail sentence.
 

Level I

  • A fine of up to $4,000.
  • A jail sentence between 30 days and two years.
  • A judge cannot suspend the jail sentence.
 

How to Get SR-22 Insurance in North Carolina

In the U.S., federal law requires you to have an active car insurance policy in the state that you live in.

So, if you move from another state to North Carolina, you will need to find a new insurer that operates in the state.

Most insurance companies will give you a grace period of up to 90 days to cancel your insurance and find new insurance.

If you do not get insurance during this time, your insurer will notify the relevant state DMV that you do not have insurance.

Need SR-22 insurance in a different state? We’ve looked at the costs around the country to help you find the cheapest car insurance with an SR-22 certificate:

Ohio
Arizona
Pennsylvania
California
New York
Illinois

 

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in North Carolina?

Finding adequate insurance if you need to carry SR-22 insurance can be difficult.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of finding cheap insurance for you by comparing the auto insurance rates offered by these three car insurance companies:

  • AllState.
  • Mercury.
  • Elephant.
 

If you need to carry SR-22 insurance, finding affordable coverage options can be time-consuming.

According to our research, the cheapest car insurance coverage is Allstate with average rates of $204.40.

The most expensive car insurance coverage is Elephant with average rates of $423.00.

ProviderMecklenburg CountyWake CountyGuilford CountyForsyth CountyCumberland CountyAverage
Allstate$169.00$227.00$207.00$206.00$213.00$204.40
Liberty Mutual$247.00$312.00$285.00$265.00$312.00$284.20
Elephant$423.00$423.00
Midvale$297.00$301.00$146.00$160.00$300.00$240.80

Looking for personalized free insurance quotes? Save time and find affordable SR-22 insurance rates by comparing quotes on CheapInsurance.com.

 

 

FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in North Carolina

Does North Carolina have SR-22 insurance?

North Carolina does not require SR-22 insurance.

But, if you’ve been ordered to carry SR-22 insurance in a state that does have it, you are obliged to inform your North Carolina insurance company.

 

 

Who in North Carolina needs SR-22 insurance?

If you’ve been ordered to get SR-22 insurance in another state, you will need to inform your insurer in North Carolina.

Some of the driving violations that may lead to having to carry an SR-22, include:

  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Being at-fault in a major accident.
  • Fleeing the scene of an at-fault accident.
  • A DUI conviction.
  • Driving without car insurance.
  • Getting an excessive number of points on your driving record.
  • Having outstanding unpaid child support payments.
  • You have a revoked or suspended license and want to reinstate it.
 

Who in North Carolina has the cheapest car insurance for SR-22?

We researched insurance companies in North Carolina to help you find the cheapest rates for SR-22 insurance.

According to our research, you can expect to pay an average of $288.10 for SR-22 car insurance in the state.

These are the premiums offered by various insurers, from the cheapest to the most expensive:

  • Allstate provides car insurance with average rates of $204.40.
  • Midvale provides car insurance with average rates of $240.08.
  • Liberty Mutual provides car insurance with average rates of $284.20
  • Elephant provides car insurance with average rates of $423.00.
 

How long do I need SR-22 insurance in North Carolina?

Drivers are typically required to carry SR-22 insurance for three years. Instances where you may be required to carry an SR-22 for a longer period, include:

  • Allowing your SR-22 insurance to lapse.
  • Receiving repeat traffic convictions.
  • Committing a serious traffic violation.
 

What happens if I don’t get SR-22 Insurance in North Carolina?

If your SR-22 lapses, the insurer that issued it will file an SR-26 with the relevant DMV. This will notify the DMVs in all states and lead to your license being suspended.

If this happens, you will need to get SR-22 insurance in order to get your license reinstated.

If you are in an at-fault car accident and do not have SR-22 insurance, you will be held responsible for paying the other driver’s costs, including:

  • Medical bills.
  • Lost wages.
  • Repairing or replacing their property.
  • Lawyers’ fees if ordered by the court.
 

Is there a way to get around my SR-22 in North Carolina?

No. You’ll be required to uphold the terms of your SR-22 insurance and continue making payments, even if you’ve moved from the other side of the country.

Car insurance companies and the relevant state DMVs share information electronically.

If you allow your SR-22 insurance to lapse, your insurer will inform the state DMV and they will suspend your driver’s license.

 

 

Can I drive someone else’s car in North Carolina?

If you do not need to carry SR-22 insurance, you can drive someone else’s car as long as you have a valid license and meet the state’s minimum auto liability requirements.

If you do need to carry SR-22 insurance, you may drive another person’s car as long as you have one of the following SR-22 insurance policies:

  • Non-owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner/operator SR-22 insurance.
 

If you’re unsure of whether you can legally drive another person’s car, it’s best to first check with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (North Carolina DMV).