What is SR-22 Insurance?
SR-22 insurance is not a type of insurance, even though it is often referred to as insurance. It is actually a certificate or form that an insurance company provides to the MVD on a monthly basis to prove you have insurance that meets Arizona’s minimum insurance requirements.
An insurance policy with an SR-22 certificate is often categorized as high-risk insurance. This is because an SR-22 certificate is required after certain types of traffic violations. A driver who commits these types of traffic violations is then considered to be “high risk” by the insurance companies.
When do you need an SR-22 certificate?
Ticket for not having insurance
If you are found responsible for not having insurance, you will be required to obtain an SR-22 certificate for 3 years. After you are found responsible, the court will tell the MVD. The MVD will then require you to obtain the certificate for 36 months. If at any time during those 36 months you don’t have an SR-22 certificate, the MVD will suspend your driving privileges.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you may need an SR-22 certificate. You will only need the certificate if your driving privileges are suspended as the result of a DUI conviction. In a DUI case, the suspension can either happen on the front end as a result of the admin per se affidavit, or on the back end after a conviction. If the suspension occurs on the front end due to the admin per se affidavit, that suspension is not due to a DUI conviction. When the suspension occurs on the front end, there is often no additional suspension following a conviction, and therefore no SR-22 requirement.
If you are suspended due to a DUI conviction, then you will be required to get an SR-22 certificate for 36 months. If at any time during those 36 months you fail to maintain the SR-22, the MVD will suspend your driving privileges.
Implied Consent Suspension
If you are investigated for a DUI, the police will ask you to submit to a breath test or a blood test. If you refuse to submit to a test, the police will get a warrant and draw your blood anyway. You will also be served with what is called an implied consent affidavit. The affidavit will state that your driving privileges will be suspended for 1 year for refusing to consent to a blood or breath test. When you go reinstate your license, you will be required to obtain an SR-22 certificate. Even if you are never convicted of a DUI, you’ll still need the SR-22 to drive.
How much does an SR-22 Certificate cost?
The actual certificate is not expensive. The real cost comes from increased premiums as a result of the underlying traffic violation that created the SR-22 requirement. For example, a DUI conviction is 8 points in Arizona, and is going to cause a substantial increase in premiums. A driver could see a 50% or more increase in premiums following a DUI. The actual increase is going to depend on a variety of factors, such as the insurance company, the driver’s age, marital status, driving history, the insurance company, and more.