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Understanding the SR-22 Insurance Document

An SR-22 document is an official document that serves as proof of financial responsibility under state law or by the court system. In some cases of traffic violations, this document is required once the person is convicted, and is filled out by the auto insurance company and serves as proof of liability coverage.

The SR-22 is, in effect, a statement by an auto insurance carrier that the person in question does have liability coverage auto insurance. The situations when this document is required fall under two scenarios; the first, when the individual has been in an accident and insurance is being provided. The second scenario is when a person has been convicted of a traffic offense and, at the time of the violation or at the time of conviction, was unable to show proof of financial responsibility, i.e., automobile liability coverage.

The requirements for the SR-22 vary from state to state. This means that in order to obtain a quote from an auto insurance company for providing an SR-22, the individual will need to be sure to provide their home state and possibly zip code in order to receive accurate information. There are some exceptions to the rules regarding SR-22 documentation in the following states: Kentucky, Delaware, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania do not require the SR-22, however it should be noted, if a traffic offense is committed in a state other that these, and then the individual moves to one of the listed states, the SR-22 is still required in the original state where the violation occurred.

However, most auto insurers will not offer to provide SR-22 documents for states where the documents are not required. This has some additional caveats. In the previously mentioned example of moving across state lines between states that require and do not require the SR-22 documentation, the original state will not only still require the SR-22, but any insurance liability limits purchased in the new state must meet the original state’s requirements in order to satisfy the documentation. This is true even if the minimum liability requirements in the new state are less than the original state.

Additionally, auto insurers are only allowed to extend coverage policies in specific states, therefore, an SR-22 can only come from a carrier who offers policies in the state in question. The documentation must be provided as required to the court, however, the SR-22 does not need to remain in the vehicle at all times. This law may change in the future, or change in specific states, although currently no state legislature is actively pursuing this modification to the law.

In summary, obtaining an SR-22 can be done in one of two ways. If the individual already has coverage but was unable to show proof of coverage at the time of the traffic offense, then the person’s auto insurance carrier will be able to quickly provide an SR-22 for the correct state. However, if the individual does not already have coverage, they will need to contact insurers for a quote, obtain coverage, and then the new carrier will provide an SR-22.


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