A certificate of financial responsibility is a vehicle liability insurance document required by most state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices for “high-risk” insurance policies. If that sounds even more confusing, don’t worry. Like most government forms and regulations, it sounds more complicated than it really is. A certificate of financial responsibility is more often referred to as SR22 insurance. It is a simple document that your insurance company files after you have had your license suspended or revoked. If you take the time to learn all about cheap SR22 insurance, then you will be able to reacquire your good driver status quickly.
The documentation itself is not expensive, only about $25 to $35, depending on your insurance company. The purpose of the added and documented insurance is to make sure high risk drivers have enough insurance to cover anyone they injure if they are in another accident. Statistics have shown that drivers who have had a DUI, or have had their license suspended for other reasons, are far more likely to repeat their risky behavior.
A certificate of financial responsibility, or SR22 documentation, is “proof of financial responsibility” for drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended for any number of reasons, including:
- Driving without insurance.
- Excessive violations within a certain time frame.
- Outstanding traffic or parking fines.
- At-fault accidents while uninsured.
- Reckless driving.
An SR22 or, certificate of financial responsibility is not a replacement of your auto insurance, but rather an addition to it. You must still carry all the minimum liability insurance coverage required by the state you reside in. It is very important to maintain your state required insurance plus the SR22 for the full term required by the court system. Usually this is three years, but the term can be shortened or lengthened, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. If you miss a payment or receive another infraction during the term you will have to start the time over again, your license will be suspended again, and you may face additional fines and penalties.
The best thing you can do to get cheap SR22 insurance is to keep in good standing with your insurance company, and avoid any additional violations. Most often, the need for SR22 insurance results from a DUI or DWI which is driving while intoxicated, either from alcohol or other drugs. Ignition Interlock devices may be very helpful in keeping you from taking the risk of getting another DUI. This device attaches to your car and prevents it from starting if your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit. There is also a new device out called a BACtrack. This small and affordable device transforms your smartphone into a breathalyzer, and estimates your blood alcohol content (BAC). You can also track your results over time and estimate when your BAC will return to 0.00%. This can give you the confidence you need to keep yourself on track and decrease your risk of another infraction. When you decrease your overall risk, you will also decrease your insurance costs.
All DUI convictions will remain on DMV’s records for 10 years, but that doesn’t mean you will have to pay financially for that long. Start with getting the best cheap SR22 insurance you can find, and then stick close to the rules for the three year term. Check in with your insurance agent on a regular basis for anything that can help lower your overall insurance rates. Things change quickly in the insurance industry, and you don’t want to miss out on any discounts or special programs that can reduce the need for a certificate of financial responsibility, aka SR22 insurance.