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If you’re ordered to carry SR-22, understanding and obtaining the proper Certificate of Financial Responsibility is vital. An SR-22 is not a type of insurance but a different kind of certificate altogether. Proper coverage is necessary to continue driving. If you’ve been ordered to carry this type of coverage, you may be wondering how long you will need to have SR-22 in Illinois.

 

What Is SR-22 Coverage?

Not a type of car insurance but related to insurance, an SR-22 shows proof of financial responsibility and verifies that you’re currently carrying at least minimum coverage on your vehicle. It’s also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. If you’re ordered by the court to carry SR-22, you need to obtain coverage to drive legally again. Terms vary by state, but in Illinois, you must continuously have coverage for three years. Failing to do so will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
If you receive an order for SR-22, you will contact your insurance company to obtain one. You will have 90 days to get SR-22 coverage before your license may be suspended. Your insurance company will send payment to the Secretary of State as the issuer of the SR-22. It may take up to 30 days for your SR-22 application to be processed and coverage to go into place.

 

a red car on a pile of 5 100 dollar bills, with a pair of car keys also sitting on the money.

Image via Flickr by free pictures of money

When Is SR-22 Coverage Required?

SR-22 coverage may be issued for a variety of driving violations, including the following:

  • Repeated traffic offenses.
  • Multiple traffic tickets in a short time period.
  • Serious moving violations such as DUIs and DWIs.
  • Your license has been revoked or suspended.
  • Failure to follow Illinois laws for mandatory insurance coverage.
  • Frequent accidents.
  • Failure to maintain a previous SR-22 policy.

How Long Should SR-22 Be Carried?

In the state of Illinois, you must carry SR-22 for three years. You should keep in mind a few things if you’re ordered to have SR-22 coverage. Failing to carry SR-22 continuously may result in a driver’s license suspension. You must also carry acceptable insurance coverage during the time or your license will be suspended. If you have a lapse in insurance coverage while required to hold an SR-22, you may be required to start over. All of these consequences mean it’s imperative to carry insurance and keep your policy active. Drive safe and obey traffic laws closely so you don’t commit any further offenses. Following these suggestions will help get you back on your way to lower premiums.

What If I Move?

Three years is a long time, and we understand that things may happen during this time frame, such as moving. If you move and continue to reside in Illinois, you must update all of your personal information, such as your driver’s license, as soon as possible. The address on your driver’s license must match your SR-22 certificate.

If you’re moving from Illinois to another state or vice versa, you must be extremely cautious. Update your current insurance policy and SR-22 as soon as you can so you don’t have a lapse in coverage. Some states don’t require SR-22, so be sure and check with your local DMV if moving out of state. American Auto Insurance can help new or existing Illinois residents find proper coverage.

How Much Does SR-22 Coverage Cost?

The cost of your SR-22 coverage will be based on various factors and will change among individuals. Since these policies are required for high-risk drivers, they sometimes carry a hefty premium. Having an insurance company that understands the process of the SR-22 can help find you an affordable plan. American Auto Insurance can help you get the coverage you need to get back on the road. If your license has been suspended, you must also pay any necessary fees for your license and registration.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are alternatives to SR-22, but they’re quite expensive. You may make a lump-sum, cash deposit of $70,000 with the State Treasurer of Illinois. A surety bond or real estate bond is another option. A surety company can issue you a bond for $70,000. For the real estate bond option, two people must use their real estate property for $70,000 to insure you. Considering that all of these options carry a high price tag, an SR22 may be your best bet.

What If I Don’t Own a Car?

If you don’t currently own a car but need to satisfy your three-year SR-22 commitment, there are options. A standard SR-22 policy covers you as the primary driver and the owner of a specific vehicle. With non-owner SR-22 coverage, you’ll be covered as a driver of any vehicle you’re not the owner of, such as if you’re renting a car or borrowing a vehicle from someone. This allows you to remain covered, even while driving someone else’s vehicle. Non-owner SR-22 costs considerably less, but it only covers you for liability. Higher limits will protect you more in the event of an accident.

I Can’t Afford SR-22 Coverage

If SR-22 is too expensive, you have a couple of options. You can obtain a non-owner SR-22 if you fit the requirements. You must currently not be the owner of a vehicle, you won’t be permitted to drive a vehicle that anyone in your household owns, and you must meet the other requirements that Illinois has deemed necessary to have your license reinstated. Remember, the sooner you obtain your SR-22, the quicker you’ll be back on your way to driving with an affordable insurance policy. If you’re having difficulty finding affordable SR-22 coverage, American Auto Insurance can help find you a more affordable policy.

Reach Out to American Auto Insurance Today

If you have questions about SR-22 certificates or insurance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team of experts at American Auto Insurance today. We’re available by phone at 800-483-4868 for general questions. You can call your local office as well for specific questions you may have. We have been serving Illinois and surrounding areas with affordable coverage for over 30 years and are proud to do so.