What does SR22 mean in car insurance?

We receive a lot of questions asking “What does SR22 mean?” An SR-22 is simply a financial responsibility form proving that you have insurance coverage. The insurance company files this form with the state on your behalf when you set up your insurance policy. Make sure you notify the insurance company that you need an SR-22, because not all companies provide this service.

When an SR-22 is required, it is usually required for three consecutive years. This can vary by state, and for the reason it was required. You will want to check with your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to confirm how long it is required for your specific case.

An SR-22 requirement can be issued by the state or a judge. There are a variety of reasons that they can become required. Two of the most common times they are required is after receiving a ticket for DUI/DWI or driving without insurance.

Another version of the SR-22 is an FR-44. This serves the same function as the SR-22 but it requires the driver to obtain a higher level of insurance coverage. The FR-44 is usually required in cases where a driver has not kept up their SR-22 requirement.

What many people do not know is that when you cancel an insurance policy, that company will immediately notify the state that you are no longer covered and your SR-22 form will be rescinded. It is critical that if you are cancelling your policy because you are changing insurance companies, that you set up the new policy with an SR-22 before canceling your previous policy. Otherwise, your three year requirement starts from the beginning.

For example: After two years of being with the same company that has an SR-22 filed on your behalf, you decide to switch companies. You let your policy lapse on a Tuesday and set up a new policy on Wednesday with an SR-22, that one day lapse in coverage can cause your three years start over from the beginning. Most states will not “give you credit” for the previous two years.

If you need an SR22, find out for sure how long you are required to have it. If you change insurance companies make sure that you set up the new policy with an SR-22 before canceling your previous policy.



  1. Jerry on December 11, 2019 at 7:19 am

    I have been paying my SR-22 insurance for the past 2 years and found out today that it ended in july, my question is before i contact my insurance company to possibly get a bs answer from them i would like to know if the amount that i have been overpaying can be reimbursed for the months of Aug-Dec? I am doing some research on this before i contact them to see if this is possible.

  2. Erin on September 21, 2016 at 1:29 am

    What if i pay the full cost of the required sr22 (3 years) 3 years in advance? Could the suspension on my license possibly be lifted early if I show proof to the dmv that the sr22 is paid up for the entire 3 years and that it will not lapse? I hope that makes sense.

  3. Michelle on December 30, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I was required to have an SR22 for the next 2 years (started back in 2014)
    I haven’t had a car since, now going into 2016, will that requirement expire?

  4. Cary on December 22, 2015 at 2:07 am

    My sr22 insurance will be completed in September 2016 that will make 3 years I’ve had it. If I pay it up til September today will they release me in advance or will I still be listed until September?

  5. Wondering on June 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm


    My 3 years of required SR-22 expire on June 22 (does not state what time – at 12:01am?) this year (California). However, my actual SR-22 coverage (with the third company, not my own insurance company) ends at 12:01 am on June 21 (Sunday).

    Questions that I have:

    – Do I have to purchase a one day SR-22 coverage with that third company? Why I am asking is because they want me to purchase the coverage for another year – at a few hundred dollars to ha the coverage for just one day. They are saying that they would refund “some” money paid after I cancel it on June 22 or 23.

    – Would DMV impose another 3 years of SR-22 if I do not purchase the SR-22 for one day?

    Thank you so much for any ideas!

  6. Summer slonaker on May 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    How am I sappose to get sr22 insurance in Utah when I live in Arizona?

  7. Carolyn L. Lear on May 19, 2015 at 6:48 am

    I have had my SR-22 for a few yrs, thought I will b off my SR-22, April 12th 20015, but for some reason DMV, said Sept.7th 2015, is there anyway I can get out of the SR-22 so I can be insured by my company, to drive their company truck, it is my only income. thank you, any hope for me?

    • Justine Suarez on May 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      If you had a lapse in coverage 5 months into your SR-22 requirement, that could be a possible reason. Generally, any lapse in coverage will restart the clock on the amount of time that you’re required to carry SR-22 proof of insurance. You might consider giving the DMV a call to see if they have any information as to why there might be a discrepancy.

  8. Robert on February 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Tennessee how u need keep sr22

  9. sydney on July 21, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I got a DUI in 2010 in Los Angeles, then got a restircted license and filed a SR22. In Dec 2010, I moved abroad to Australia and no longer needed my drivers license or car insurance as I dont have a car or drive in Australia. I plan to visit LA in August, but wanted to know if I am allowed to drive there still. Do I have to get another SR22?

  10. Sarah on May 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Depends on the company and the state that you live in. Auto iscuranne is regulated by each state so it can differ from state to state. Some companies might offer:-Good student discount (if you have a B or better average, so 3.0 or higher)-Driver Training discount (if you got your drivers license through an on the road’ driver training course and got a certificate stating you completed the course-Some companies offer a book to be completed to make you designate driving goals to make you aware of your driving skills.If there are 3 cars in the house and 3 drivers in the house, you will probably have to be put as a primary operator of a car, BUT if threre are 2 cars in the house and 3 drivers in the house you could probably be rated as an occational operator of the vehicle. Just offering some suggestions for you!Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Manteflex on July 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

      The only people who can anwesr your question on the insurance premium is an insurance company.The car can be in your parents name but If you will be the principal driver, then you will have to tell them that. Be careful. You are flirting with insurance fraud.