SR 22 Proof of Insurance
The SR 22 is a certificate of insurance provided to the DMV by your automobile insurance carrier. The SR 22 informs the DMV that you have at least the minimum required auto insurance liability coverage as required by California law. The minimum coverage required by the State of California is 15/30/5, which means the policy must cover at least $15,000 for injury or death to one person, $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for damage to property.
The DMV requires a SR 22 to reinstate a driver’s license to drive after the license has been suspended due a DUI conviction or an Administrative Per Se suspension after a DUI arrest. There are other reasons the DMV may require an SR 22, but our focus here is on DUIs. An SR 22 is also required if you plan to apply for a restricted license following the DUI suspension.
Why is an SR 22 required to reinstate a suspended driver license? The “SR” stands for “Safety Responsibility” and is required because a driver whose license has been suspended for driving under the influence is considered a high risk driver. Many insurance companies do not write SR 22 insurance policies and those that do will put you in a “high risk” category. Needless to say, an SR 22 policy is going to be more expensive than your previous insurance policy.
An SR 22 policy is purchased in the same way any automobile insurance is bought. Even if your current insurance company does write SR 22 policies, it is still wise to check around and compare quotes. Once you purchase the policy, the insurance company is responsible for notifying the DMV. Be aware that if the policy is cancelled for any reason, the DMV will be immediately notified and unless you replace it with a new SR 22 policy, your license will be suspended.
In most cases, you will be required to carry the SR 22 policy for three years.