Since carrying an auto insurance policy is the law for all car owners in California, there are strong penalties for being at-fault in an accident if you do not have an active insurance policy. One of these penalties is the inability to drive again without first filing an SR-22 Certificate of Automobile Insurance with the California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The SR-22 Certificate of Insurance
Though you have to obtain your SR-22 certificate from your auto insurance company, it is not actually an insurance policy. The purpose of the SR-22 is to prove to the state that you have obtained, and are carrying, an active liability insurance policy on each of the vehicles that you drive.
The SR-22 certificate is filed by your insurance company on your behalf with the state's DMV office. Your insurance company will charge you a fee to file the certificate with the state.
The Cost of an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance
While the cost of an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance will vary in cost a bit from one insurance company to another, the cost is manageable and will be less than an automobile insurance policy. When you obtain an SR-22 certificate, your automobile insurance company will start to charge you a higher rate for your auto insurance. Since you have already been found to be at-fault for an accident without the legal insurance, you will be penalized with a higher insurance rate for each of your vehicles.
In addition to an increase in your auto insurance premiums, you will also be required to purchase your auto insurance every six months and will not be allowed to make monthly payments. This is required to decrease the frequency your insurance company is required to report your insurance status to the DMV.
SR-22's for Multiple Drivers in a Household
If there are multiple drivers in your household who have been in an accident without insurance, then each person will need to obtain their own SR-22. SR-22's are not issued for more than one driver at a time.
How to Cancel Your SR-22 When It is No Longer Necessary
Finally, when you are no longer required by the DMV and want to cancel your SR-22, all you need to do is contact your insurance agent and request that it be canceled. Once the certificate has been cancelled, the information will automatically be sent to the DMV by your agent.
Speak to an insurance agency, such as Wyatt Insurance Agency, for any further questions.