SR-22 Insurance in Massachusetts
If you require SR22 insurance in Massachusetts, you need to understand what that requirement means and what you need to do to meet the state’s expectations. Find out how to get SR22 insurance in the sections below, with details on who needs SR22 insurance, how it impacts your driving record and auto insurance options and much more. It is important to understand what SR22 is and what it is not.
First of all, the SR22 form is not actually a type of insurance. It is a certificate of proof of insurance shown by your insurance company to the DMV, which in Massachusetts is called the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). This proof of insurance is required by certain drivers after vehicle-related issues, including DUIs (Driving Under the Influence), called an OUI in Massachusetts (Operating Under the Influence). Other issues might involve accidents where you are at fault, or accumulative or multiple infractions.
What is Massachusetts SR22 insurance?
Massachusetts drivers might be required to obtain an SR-22 form after issues in neighboring states, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire or Vermont. Massachusetts does not require SR22 insurance for its drivers because the state already requires minimum liability coverage for all licensed drivers. However, you might need this form if you have had an issue in another state because the MA RMV does share information with other DMVs nationwide.
Massachusetts does not use the SR-22 form because drivers are already sufficiently covered and therefore meet the financial responsibility of an SR22. Note that, in Massachusetts, all drivers are required to hold the following minimum insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury to others – $20,000 per person; $40,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP) – $8,000 per person, per accident
- Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto – $20,000 per person; $40,000 per accident
- Damage to someone else’s property – $5,000 per accident
Who needs SR22 insurance in Massachusetts?
SR-22 rates can vary, but the cost of your car insurance will increase if you have had an issue that requires this form. This spike in your insurance rates is because of the risk you pose as a licensed driver, proven by your violations or citations that led to the SR22. You might need an SR22 form if any of the following situations has occurred:
- OUI (Operating Under the Influence) – If you have been charged with an OUI, your license will be immediately suspended and you will have to meet specific requirements, which can include classes and training, before being able to obtain a hardship license.
- Accumulation of offenses – If you have accumulated several violations or citations, your license might be suspended. Only certain multiple offenders might be eligible for a hardship license.
- An at-fault accident while uninsured – If you are found to be at-fault in certain accidents, you might require SR22 insurance. This is not for all accidents, and you will be notified if you require this special form as proof of insurance.
Reinstating Driving Privileges With SR22 in Massachusetts
Without the use of the SR22 insurance form in Massachusetts, you will need to follow different steps in order to reinstate your license after a suspension. During the suspension, you can apply for a hardship license, if applicable, by completing a hearing at a select RMV site.
If you bring all required documentation and the hearing officer approves your request, you will be provided with a license that bears an “H” and possibly also a “Z” to indicate the types of restrictions applied to your driver’s license. There is no guarantee you will obtain the hardship license, because it will be decided at the discretion of the RMV hearing officer.
The SR22 form is usually required as a result of a driving violation that requires retraining or testing. To reinstate your license after a suspension, whether or not you obtain a hardship license, you might need to take a written and/or driving exam, you will likely need to pay a fee and you might need to take additional courses to reinstate your driving privileges.
To reinstate, you must arrange to see an RMV hearings officer on or after the day your hardship license expires. If your reinstatement is approved, the restrictions will be removed and then you can get a replacement license.
How to Get SR22 Insurance in Massachusetts
SR-22 forms are only issued by insurance companies as proof of your qualified coverage per the state-issued requirements. Since there is no required SR22 insurance form in Massachusetts, you might need to shop around with different insurance companies until one can provide you with the required paperwork for other state violations.
Penalties for Not Filing an SR22 Form in Massachusetts
Massachusetts car insurance already requires that you meet the liability coverage minimum in order to legally drive in the state. Even without the SR22 form, MA drivers must meet that proof of financial responsibility.
Additionally, the state of Massachusetts shares information with other states with respect to driving violations and license suspensions or other citations. If you are instructed to obtain this proof of insurance, then you must get SR22 insurance quotes from your insurance company and meet those financial obligations, regardless of the requirement in Massachusetts.