SR-22 Insurance in Maine
In Maine, SR22 is essential in helping drivers reinstate or regain driving privileges lost due to certain traffic offense such as DUI or driving without insurance. Drivers must purchase an SR22 insurance policy to provide evidence to the Department of Motor Vehicles that they have sufficient liability coverage. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires the SR22 to ensure at-risk drivers are financially responsible for any future traffic-related offenses.
As SR22 is often considered a high-risk form of insurance, many insurers charge premium rates to offset the risk these drivers pose. Drivers must maintain the coverage for 36 months before they can regain their driving privileges. Should a motorist allow the coverage to lapse, they face further fines and penalties. They may even have their license automatically suspended or revoked.
What is Maine SR22 insurance?
In Maine, SR-22, sometimes referred to as a certificate of auto insurance or certificate of financial responsibility, is a form that proves that a driver has liability insurance as required by the state. The DMV requires the SR22 insurance policy for drivers who are classified as problematic or high-risk. More specifically, drivers who have traffic repeated traffic offenses such as Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or excessive moving violations.
SR22 is a form rather than an actual policy. The SR22 form outlines the amount of coverage, the dates of coverage and whether the driver is current on their premiums. Insurance companies file the form with the DMV. Drivers may submit the form themselves. However, it is often faster to allow the insurance company to electronically file it with the DMV.
Who needs SR22 insurance in Maine?
The DMV requires Maine SR22 insurance from drivers convicted of serious traffic-related incidents or from habitual offenders. In Maine, the DMV determines who needs SR2 insurance based on the safety risk they pose to others.
As such, the DMV requires these drivers to prove they are financially responsible for harm to others or damage to property because of any traffic incidents. Common offenses that could cause a driver to lose their driving privileges include:
- A DUI conviction for driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08
- Failing to provide proof of insurance during a traffic stop or accident
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
Drivers who are facing an SR22 restriction may use what the state calls “violation free credits.” Motorists receive one point for each year they remain free of traffic convictions or suspensions. The points may be used to possibly avoid the SR22 requirement or minimize fees associated with the conviction.
Additionally, motorists may avoid SR22 by attending a driver education course. Once drivers complete the course, they may receive a three-point deduction from their driving record. Drivers may dispute the restriction by requesting a hearing with the Secretary of State. The determination to remove the SR22 restriction is at the discretion of the hearing examiner.
Reinstating Driving Privileges With SR22 in Maine
Drivers should not drop SR22 in Maine unless they have met the requirements outlined by the DMV. The end of the 36-month SR22 restriction period does not automatically reinstate driving privileges and drivers should not operate a vehicle unless they have verification from the DMV.
At the end of 36 months, the DMV notifies drivers that they have met the requirements to have their license reinstated. The notice outlines the next steps for restoring their license. Motorists will then need to pay any applicable fees before they may legally drive again.
Once a driver has an SR22 restriction on their license, they are prohibited from operating a vehicle. The state does not issue provisional permits for motorists to drive to work or medical appointments. Motorists with an SR22 restriction may not operate a car at any point during their suspension and must arrange for alternate means of transportation.
How to Get SR22 Insurance in Maine
The does not issue Maine SR22 insurance quotes and drivers must contact an insurance company to purchase a policy. The insurance company may issue SR22 as a rider to an existing policy, or they may require the driver to buy a new policy that has the coverage in the plan.
Many insurers consider motorists who need the policy to be high-risk drivers. As such, they may charge drivers rates higher than standard liability coverage. SR22 insurance rates vary between companies and drivers should shop around until they find a policy that meets their needs.
Penalties for Not Filing an SR22 Form in Maine
Drivers who do not file an SR22 will not be able to reinstate their driving privileges. Should a driver allow the SR22 insurance to lapse, the insurance company notifies the BMV with an SR26. Then, drivers have a grace period to either renew or purchase a new policy.
Motorists who do no obtain a policy will have their license automatically suspended until they obtain the required coverage. Also, they may have to pay additional fines to reinstate their license. Failure to maintain SR22 may also prevent motorists from renewing or registering their vehicle.