What is SR-22 Insurance?
If you have been arrested for a Seattle DUI and had your license suspended, you have probably come across the term SR-22 insurance. SR stands for “safety responsibility.” SR-22 insurance is not auto insurance, but rather an insurance policy that proves you have a way to pay for any damages that you may cause while driving.
Do I need SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 insurance is typically required when a driver seeks to reinstate their driver’s license after being convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, driving without insurance, or other traffic violation that resulted in a license suspension. An SR-22 policy may be required whether or not you own a vehicle. If the policyholder fails to pay the premiums and coverage is canceled, the insurance company will file an SR-26 with the Department of Licensing and your license will again be suspended until proof of a new SR-22 is filed.
SR-22 Insurance vs. Auto Insurance. What’s the difference?
SR-22 insurance is a document that verifies that you have auto insurance but is not the auto insurance policy itself. If arrested for a DUI you will likely be required to obtain an SR-22 policy, but you must keep an auto insurance policy as well.
Once you have obtained SR-22, the insurance company will file proof with the Washington State Department of Licensing. Below are the minimum insurance coverage requirements of Washington State:
- $25,000 – Liability insurance must be at least this to cover the injury of another person.
- $50,000 – Minimum coverage required to pay for injuries to all other persons in the accident.
- $10,000 – Minimum required to cover property damage.
Will my auto insurance rates go up?
A fee will be charged to file for SR-22 insurance, but any increase in your auto insurance will be dependent on a few different factors, including driving history, location, and age. I suggest first calling your auto insurance company to request a quote for your coverage changes. You may then want to call around to a few different insurance companies to compare rates.
How long do I need SR-22 insurance?
If your license has been suspended, you will be required to have SR-22 insurance for three years (36 consecutive months). The same is true for a DUI, physical control, or reckless driving arrest. Although you must renew your policy at least 15 days before expiration to avoid license suspension, it is recommended that you renew 45 days in advance to ensure no complications arise.
Even if you move out of Washington to a state that does not require SR-22 coverage, you must continue to meet the minimum requirements of your former state.
Have you been arrested for a Seattle DUI?
If you have been arrested for a DUI, a Seattle DUI attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Matthew Leyba is an experienced DUI attorney in Seattle, WA. For more information or to receive a free 60-minute consultation, give him a call at 206-504-3131 or fill out our contact form.