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Traffic citationIf you commit a driving violation, you might have to get a SR-22. When you do, you’ll have to keep a car insurance policy active and linked to the SR-22. If you let your coverage lapse, then you could face significant penalties. SR-22s impose more stringent requirements on drivers than a simple rule to carry insurance. Here’s why.

Understanding SR-22s

An SR-22 is a certificate that is form of driving penalty. States use them to force certain drivers to keep and maintain car insurance for a certain time. When you have a penalty, an SR-22 certificate will go on file with your state’s DMV. During this penalty, if your insurance policy lapses, the DMV will receive notification. They will then usually penalize you further because you broke an existing penalty.

You usually have to get SR-22s because you committed serious driving offenses. These might include things like getting DUIs, driving without a license or existing insurance, or causing wrecks. You have to carry insurance anyway, by law, but the SR-22 will make doubly certain that offenders do so. The reason you’ll have to prove coverage is because, due to offenses on your record, the state will label you a high-risk driver. Therefore, the necessity for you to have insurance will increase.

The thing is that SR-22s take work. You can’t simply attach a certificate to your policy and forget about it. You’ll have to keep your auto insurance active for the duration of the penalty. If you don’t you might face serious ramifications.

Penalties for Expired SR-22s

In most cases, your SR-22 will expire after a period of two or three years. As long as you have the penalty, however, you must keep the form active. That means keeping your car insurance active also. If you fail to do so, you might face many hurdles, including:

  • Your SR-22 period might start over from the beginning. Even if you let the form lapse on the very last day of your penalty, it might go all the way to the beginning.
  • Many insurers significantly raise your policy rates when you try to get new coverage. Others might refuse to insure you altogether. This will make your search for insurance all the harder.
  • Some states will suspend your driver’s license until you can re-obtain insurance and reactivate the SR-22.

Common reasons that SR-22s and policies expire are because carriers fail to renew, update coverage or pay their premiums. So, you should strive to keep your policy paid and up-to-date at all times during the SR-22 period. Talk to your Santa Ana insurance agent if you have any concerns. They can tell you a few helpful ways you can make sure your policy remains active.

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