Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 17, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • An SR-22 form may need to be filed with the state DMV to reinstate a driver’s license suspended for excessive points, reckless driving, driving without insurance, and more
  • The SR-22 proves the driver currently maintains an appropriate amount of liability insurance
  • Those in need of an SR-22 form are most likely candidates for high-risk auto insurance
  • Acquiring high-risk auto insurance can usually be done with minimal effort

Non-owner car insurance should not be difficult to procure provided the background of the applicant reflects little or limited risk. A high-risk driver, however, might find him/herself in a much more difficult position. Insurance companies do worry about risk. Risky drivers mean potential losses, possibly high losses, to insurance companies. When SR-22 non-owner insurance takes center stage, the applicant may wonder if he/she must overcome a lot of rejection before finding an affordable policy.

Acquiring auto insurance always reflects a serious matter since a policy potentially protects the driver against losses. Those losses could be huge when negligence leads to a severe accident. An SR-22 form generally means your license was suspended or other severe action was taken due to something you did while driving. So now the state is requiring extra coverage to restore it.

Read on to learn more about SR-22 below and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above today! 

What is an SR-22 form?

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The SR-22 form refers to proof of financial responsibility. The actual title is a “certification of financial responsibility.” The document shows insurance is in place and what specific auto insurance company has chosen to insure a driver. Frequently, an SR-22 form must be presented to the state’s DMV when driver’s license has been suspended.

In Indiana, for example, the state won’t reinstate certain suspended licenses unless the SR-22 document is available.

The SR-22 also connects the insurance company with the state DMV. The insurance company might be required to keep the form filed with the DMV for a set number of years. If the insurance lapses or is canceled for any reason during that time, the DMV would be notified right away and can take action, i.e. suspend the driving privileges, of the driver.

If you’ve been through an auto insurance quoting process recently, you may have noticed there’s a question about SR-22 forms or if you require proof of financial responsibility. If you mark no when you need it, it could lead your insurance company to raise your rate later or cancel it altogether as this would be material information in determining rates.

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Why Would Your Drivers License Be Suspended?

A driver’s license can be revoked or suspended for any number of reasons. No one has the absolute right to a driver’s license, but rather the privilege of driving. Persons do maintain a right to due process in traffic or criminal court. If the court’s rulings go against the driver, he or she may find the state suspends a license.

A person who drives while intoxicated chooses to flagrantly ignore common sense traffic laws and engage in reckless driving, or refuses to adhere to compulsory auto insurance requirements in a state may find the court strip away driving privileges or requiring more to restore them.

The courts cannot allow someone who violates certain laws more than once and presents a risk on the road to be allowed to drive. However, driving privileges can generally be restored. The exception would be if there were medical reasons why it would be unsafe for the the person to drive such as regular seizures or blindness. The restoration process might come with special requirements. Purchasing auto insurance and acquiring the necessary SR-22 form could be among those requirements.

Such requirements are in place even for someone who doesn’t own a car. Check out our free insurance comparison tool below to compare the best rates for you today!

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Why Would You Need SR-22 Insurance If You Don’t Have A Car?

Although a driver might not own a car, he/she could still choose to drive. Renting or borrowing a car would be two examples in which someone who does not own a car takes part in driving. You can buy the rental company’s insurance if you’re renting from companies like Alamo. But those plans are designed more to release you from responsibility towards the rental company if you get in an accident. It’s largely null if you are not legally licensed to drive.

A driver’s license also serves as a valid form of identification. Yes, acquiring a passport or non-driver’s identification remain options, but neither come with driving privileges. Those privileges could prove to be exponentially helpful in certain situations.

Perhaps an emergency arises and the high-risk driver must get to a local hospital or drive a car for a friend or family member who is impaired. Again, simply because the person does not own a car does not mean the person won’t find it necessary to drive. If you don’t have a license and choose to drive, you’ll still be penalized if caught even if you had a good reason. A non-owner policy will be pricey, but it could save you a lot more even if you only get pulled over once. If you’re involved in an actual accident, additional collision coverage will save you a lot of hassle. Insurance rates will be significantly higher, though. So many people look at factors like how often they plan to drive and in what conditions.

Driving without a license and/or driving without insurance could prove to be an outright horrible and devastating decision to make. Additional sanctions, potentially significant criminal penalties, may be imposed on someone who fails to follow the letter of the law after experiencing a driver’s license suspension.

Even if criminal charges and penalties are avoided, the looming cloud of civil sanctions could even be worse. Being at fault in an accident and being responsible for $400,000 in damages could completely ruin someone’s life. Auto liability insurance, hopefully, would protect against such losses. Clearly, a viable policy must be in place in order for the possible protections to exist.

Acquiring the Necessary Coverage


Insurance companies perform background checks in a manner not too far removed than how a bank would when someone wants a loan. Insurance companies examine the past driving and insurance history of an applicant along with other factors. A person with a very troubled driving history combined with a variety of filed claims might discover approval to be difficult.

Difficulties can be overcome, though. Insurance providers willing to issue a policy for someone deemed a high-risk driver do exist. The insurance company assuredly shall charge appropriately.

The higher the risk for the driver then the higher the price of the premium. The false assumption here, however, would be these high-risk policies are not competitive. Competitive rates are likely out there.

Comparison shopping for insurance works for those of all insurance risk levels. Reviewing a variety of quotes may prove to be even more important for those considered a risk. And maybe there exist discounts for such drivers. In short, those who are struggling with various insurance and legal complexities should never give up hope.

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Working with the Insurance Company

Working closely with an insurance company to acquire the necessary amount of coverage. An insurance company may also be able to inform of any SR-22 requirements and compliance information. While the situation requires a lot of work and effort, a good outcome remains possible. This is true even for those interested in non-owner insurance.