The state of California takes drunk driving very seriously. That is why there are many cases of suspended driver’s licenses in the state. If you have been affected and you would like to have your license reinstated, you probably do not know much about SR22 Insurance. SR22 Insurance is one of the issues we deal with at the DUI Defense Attorney. If you have already met the state requirements and would like to continue operating your car, you can get in touch with us. We can assist you in obtaining the SR22 and auto insurance if you are in Van Nuys, California.

What SR22 Entails

There is a lot that is unknown about SR22 form and its requirements as far as drunk driving cases in California are concerned. Many people do not come to know about the form until they get entangled with the state's legal system. Generally put, this is a certificate that is provided by a driver's auto insurance company. The form verifies that the driver has met the state's requirements about their car liability insurance. Once the form is issued to you, your insurance provider will forward a copy of the same to the state's DMV.

SR22 forms are mainly associated with driver's license suspensions that come with DUI related offenses. A driver will need to obtain the form to reinstate their license after license revocation or suspension by California DMV. The certificate will also be required when a driver that is facing driver's license revocation or suspension wants to continue operating with an installed IID. These are the main reasons why many drivers need an SR22 form, though other circumstances might call for its filing.

If you have been caught up in a DUI situation in California, you probably had your driver's license revoked or suspended. You need to understand what the SR22 form is and how it will affect your choices. The form will help if you are eager to get back into driving. You will, however, be required to pay more money for car insurance than you previously did if you need it.

Basically put, an SR22 is a type of Insurance. A driver’s auto insurance provider files the document with the state's DMV as a confirmation that he/she has met all the minimum conditions for car insurance responsibility coverage. There are several reasons why a person’s driving license could be revoked or suspended by the DMV. It could be because they lost in their DMV DUI case or because they did not request a DMV hearing. You could also lose your driving permit if you got a DUI conviction in court.

If any of those happened and you seriously want to get back into driving, you will need the best legal help in obtaining an SR22 form, to reinstate your driver's license. An SR22 is the only acceptable proof that the driver will be accountable for any action the DMV might take against him/her, which will require him/her to prove their financial responsibility.

Here are situations when the California Department of Motor Vehicles may require a driver to file the SR22 form:

  • When the driver wants to reinstate their driving privileges after a wet reckless or DUI revocation or suspension
  • After getting into an auto accident but they were uninsured
  • When they wish to reinstate their driving privileges following revocation or suspension by DMV after being declared a negligent driver. This happens if you receive more points than normal on your driver’s license within a given timeframe
  • If they have several traffic offenses within a short period and do not want to lose their driving privileges
  • If they wish to obtain a hardship or probationary driver's license
  • If they are on the verge of losing their license after being caught without car insurance in a registered car

These are the main situations that will require you to seek an SR22 form from the state’s DMV, mainly for three years.

The Department of Motor Vehicles in California will require the driver to maintain the SR22 form. The policy will, therefore, cover all cars that have been registered under your name or all vehicles that you usually operate.

Also note that if after the DUI sentence, you will not operate a vehicle again, there will be no need to submit the SR22 form to the DMV.  The Department of Motor Vehicles will require you to submit a nonowner's SR22 form if you would like to operate but do not have a car. The same case applies if you only have a regular permit to drive a family vehicle. This insurance liability policy will cover you every time you are allowed access to a vehicle.

SR22 Form and Restricted Licenses

A restricted license in California is what you get if you lost your DMV hearing after the 30 days of no driving issued after a DUI arrest. You could also get a restricted license if you won in the DMV hearing but lost the DUI court case. But you need an SR22 to get a limited license, without which you may never get to drive until the suspension period is over.

After getting a DUI conviction in California, the court places the driver on probation. The driver must meet specific court-ordered responsibilities to have their driving privileges reinstated. A typical DUI probation will require the driver to attend and complete a state DUI program. The driver will also be required to successfully serve the penalties given, such as a license suspension or revocation, which can last for between 4 months to four years.

There are mainly two kinds of restricted driver’s licenses that California DMV offers:

  • Regular restricted driver’s licenses
  • An IID restricted driver’s license

The IID restricted driver’s license allows a driver, who is facing a license suspension, to operate a car throughout their suspension period to any place. The permit to drive comes with the condition that the driver will install an IID system in their car. With the device connected in the vehicle, the driver will not be able to drive if he/she is under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. However, the driver is required to file an SR22 with the state's DMV to have the department grant them this driving privilege. 

Regular restricted driver’s licenses, on the other hand, are what you get immediately after your driver’s license suspension. Any driver can be granted this restriction after waiting for a specified number of days. With this restriction, the driver is allowed to operate their car only to and from specific areas such as school, work, and DUI School.

In most cases, first time DUI offenders get regular restricted driving permits but only under certain conditions:

  • If the driver successfully enrolls in a state DUI school
  • If they have filed an SR22 with California DMV
  • If they have been able to pay a restriction fee of $15 and a license reissue fee of $125

Second-time DUI offenders can also qualify to get regular restricted driving licenses, but under the following conditions:

  • That they enroll in a California DUI school
  • That they get an IID installed in their car, with a promise never to operate any vehicle without an installed IID
  • That they will file an SR22 with the DMV
  • That they will pay a similar amount of restriction and reissuing fees as provided above

A driver who abides by the terms of restriction will most probably benefit from a restricted driver’s license for the period of their driver’s license suspension. If you want to have your driving license reinstated more quickly, you could start the process of filing the SR22 form immediately after arrest. If you are confident that you will be pleading guilty to the DUI charges, there is no need to wait until the state DMV acts. You could initiate the process by instructing your insurance provider to file the form immediately. A competent DUI attorney will be able to advise you on this as well as take you through the process to avoid any delay.

It is worth noting that if a driver will be found guilty of DUI, and it is established that they had failed to yield to a DUI test, they may not be eligible to apply for a restricted driver’s license.

How to Obtain a California State’s SR22

The first thing you should do to obtain an SR22 form is to get in touch with your auto insurance provider. A mention of SR22 automatically tells your insurance provider that something substantial has already occurred. The insurance company will go through your DMV information, trying to figure out your reason for requiring the form. Owing to the results of their findings, the insurance company will either cancel your insurance policy or issue you with the SR22 document.

If you can get an SR22 form from your present insurance provider, your insurance rates could increase, depending on the company and the seriousness of your case. Providing you with an SR22 certificate means that the insurance company will electronically file the form with the state's DMV. 

Note that not all auto insurance companies offer SR22 coverage. Only a few insurance companies in the state to give this kind of coverage. If yours is among those that don't, the company will cancel you immediately when you place the request. When this happens, you will have to look for the form elsewhere, and this means paying a higher premium since most car insurance providers will start to view you as a risky motorist.

Fortunately, your current DUI case is not the only thing an insurance provider will consider in raising your rates. Your driving record, marital status, driving experience, and where you reside will be considered as well. This means that there is a possibility that your rates will not be increased after all. This also means that you may have a hard time finding an insurance provider.

Finding an auto insurer after a DUI case can be very difficult in the state, but this does not mean that it is impossible. California law mandates every to have car insurance. For this reason, the state must ensure that everyone is getting auto coverage. There are insurance brokers throughout the state whose main job is to find policies for drivers, especially those that have drunk driving cases in the state.

What Are The Costs That Come With SR22 Certificates?

The cost of SR22 certificates varies greatly from one insurance provider to the other, just the same as other car insurance policies. Generally, the cost will range between $300 and $800 for that particular policy. The actual cost will be determined by some personal factors. These are, for instance, your age and driving history as well as the insurance company from where you will be applying the form.

If you had a good driver rebate, you would lose that too. California law forbids anyone that is facing DUI charges to obtain or retain a good driver rebate for at least ten years, starting from the date of their DUI violation.

A driver applying for an SR22 form is already a high-risk driver, and so, they will be charged a higher amount for the smallest insurance liability coverage that is required by the state law. In addition to that, some insurance providers will charge you to file the SR22 for you, a fee that could range between $25 and $50 or even more. There will be a license reissue fee too, of $125; that is paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles before it reinstates your driving license.

How Long Should an SR22 Status Be Maintained?

California law requires a driver to maintain their SR22 status for three years as a minimum, starting from the time they got a DUI-related driver’s license suspension. In these three years, the driver will not be required to re-file the form. However, this will be so with the understanding that:

  • You maintain the same insurance provider. if the insurance provider that filed the SR22 certificate for you drops you, you may be required to re-file the document again
  • You do not terminate the policy. The SR22 policy should remain filed with the state’s DMV until the department feels that it is no longer needed.

In case you cancel the policy, or your insurance provider decides to drop you, the company will inform the DMV. What this means is that you could lose your driving license to a new suspension. What the driver is expected to do is to get another SR22 form from another insurance provider immediately.  DMV expects the driver to maintain an uninterrupted coverage until the time it will ultimately remove their SR22 status and restore their driver's license.

Again, if the driver fails to make payments to the SR22 coverage, their insurance provider will report to the state’s DMV that he/she no longer has an active SR22 with them. This too can prompt a new driver’s license suspension. In that case, the driver will have to file the SR22 certificate once again.

What If The Driver Moves?

A California SR22 certificate is only effective in the state. This is because not all states in the country require drivers to file it. Again, even those that need an SR22 form have different procedures of submitting it. What this means is that if the driver relocates from the state of California to a different state that requires the filing of SR22 forms, they will be required to obtain another SR22 for that other state to where they are moving.

When this is done, your new insurance provider in that other new state will have to report it to California DMV so that your California SR22 certificate will be released.

If, on the other hand, a driver moves to a state that does not require drivers to file SR22 certificates, there is a new policy you will be required to obtain. The plan will have the same limits as the California SR22. Once you successfully manage to get that new policy in that other state, California DMV will subsequently free your SR22.

It is advisable for drivers who have relocated from California to ensure that they have the new policies in place before canceling the SR22. If the driver doesn't do this, records from California DMV will show a lapse in the driver's coverage, which might trigger a new driver's license suspension.

Find A Van Nuys DUI Attorney Near Me

An SR22 certificate is an essential document for DUI and other traffic offenders who want to maintain their driving privileges. Losing your driver's license in the state of California is easy if you have a DUI-related conviction or a conviction of other serious traffic violations. There are strict requirements though, which drivers must fulfill to have their insurance companies file the SR22 form with the DMV on their behalf. If you or your loved ones need help with these requirements, you need to get in touch with a competent DUI attorney. The DUI Defense Attorney has an excellent team of well-trained and experienced DUI defense attorneys in place that could help with your case. Call us at 818-253-1913 and let us come to your rescue if you are in Van Nuys, California.