An SR-22 insurance is the increased insurance premium that a driver, with a traffic offence or violation on his record, is required to pay for a mandated period of time as proof of future financial responsibility in the event that another offence occurs in the future.
This new insurance rate must be paid after an SR-22 form has been filed with the South Carolina DMV. The maintenance of this filing hinges on the relevant individual’s consistency in maintaining their insurance policy and unless this filing is maintained for the court-mandated period, such a person is unlikely to have their driving privileges and license reinstated.
Offences and violations that require the filing of an SR-22 are:
In the event that you are a first DUI offender in the state of South Carolina, you may be required to carry a provisional license for a few months along with an ssr2 certificate if you are to drive legally.
If you have committed any of the relevant offences but are uncertain as to whether or not your license has been suspended, you can contact the South Carolina DMV to confirm the status of your license. Normally, though, the DMV would inform you if your license has been suspended or if you ever need to file for an SR-22.
Along with the filing of an SR-22 form in South Carolina, also comes increased cost of insurance. The increase in the cost of the insurance policy is due to the implicit classification of a driver as ‘high risk’ by the filing. High risk here would mean that one would have to pay insurers more to take them on due to the increased likelihood, by lay, of being involved in an accident.
Other than the cost that results from being legally classified as a high risk driver, there is a relatively insignificant filing fee of less than $50 charged by your insurance provider for filing the SR-22 form on your behalf.
There are three types of SR-22 certifications for drivers in South Carolina. They are:
If you do not have a car or license but have committed an offence that requires an SR-22 filing, you would be required to file for the operator’s form through your insurance provider and buy a non-owners insurance policy if you ever hope to drive legally in South Carolina.
The non owner policy is cheaper than the standard insurance policies because the insurers expect the carrier of such a policy to drive less frequently and as such have made the policy to provide only liability coverage.
However, if you have regular access to any single car, whether or not you own it, and you drive it regularly, you would need to get a standard car insurance policy. An alternative to this is to get added to the car owner’s policy
The SR-22 form acts as a proof of financial responsibility, required by the South Carolina DMV, in order to have a suspended or revoked license reinstated. This financial responsibility lies in your accompanying insurance plan’s ability to meet the minimum liability coverage requirements of the state. These minimum requirements are:
Once an adequate insurance policy has been purchased, the next step is having your insurer file the SR-22 form. Provided you have verified that your policy provider files such forms and makes arrangements to cater to the needs of SR-22 classified drivers, the next step is to pay the filing fee and request for the filing of the form.
After the filing fee has been paid and the form has been filed, the DMV would give a notice to confirm your form has been filed and you would only then be legally approved to drive again. In the event that you fail to maintain your SR-22 insurance coverage or there is a lapse in coverage at any time during your mandated period of maintenance, the insurance provider is required by law to file an SR-26 with the DMV, notifying them of this lapse. This would most likely result in the withdrawing of your driving privileges, pending a renewal of your policy and payment of certain fines and reinstatement fees. Another increase in your insurance rate is also sure to follow.
It should be noted again that the SR-22 must be filed through an insurer and as such you would need a car insurance policy provider that offer the service you want.
When moving out of South Carolina to another state while you are maintaining an SR-22, it is important to maintain the SR-22 within the state to continue your bid to have your license reinstated and to be allowed to legally drive in whatever new state you find yourself in. the same applies for if you are just moving into South Carolina. In both cases, it might be important to also contact the DMVs of your new locations to find out if your insurance policies still meet the local minimum liability coverage requirements.
The minimum period of maintenance of an ssr2 insurance policy in South Carolina is three years but this could still rise due to lapses in maintenance or new convictions accrued during the original period of filing.
What to do if the SR-22 lapses
If, under any circumstances your SR-22 insurance policy lapses, your provider would inform the state and your license would probably be suspended again. In addition to this, you would be required to pay reinstatement fees for your license and the period of maintenance of your SR-22 filing would be reset by the state, no matter how far along you were before the lapse.
In other to avoid this, it is advised that you renew your policy about a month before expiry to prevent any lapses in coverage. And if you need to change a policy or provider, ensure that the new policy has been confirmed before cancelling the previous one.
How to go about cancelling my filing when I no longer need SR-22 coverage
Once your mandated filing period has been completed, you can have your SR-22 filing cancelled. The safest way to go about this is by contacting the South Carolina DMV to confirm that your mandate has been completed before going on to notify your insurer that the filing should be cancelled.
Upon cancelling your policy, your insurance rates would go back to the standard rates.