SR-22 Insurance in Montana
Montana SR22 insurance might be required of certain licensed drivers who fail to have insurance to cover an at-fault accident, who have DUIs (driving under the influence) on record or who commit certain other qualifying violations. The SR22 form proves insurance coverage that meets the requirements put forth by the state, typically after the issue has occurred and it has been found you do not hold the necessary insurance. In Montana, the Commissioner of Securities & Insurance (CSI) oversees all insurance.
An SR22 is not actually required in Montana, which uses different systems to ensure its state-licensed drivers comply with insurance requirements. Under the Montana Motor Vehicle Division, the Montana Insurance Verification System (MTIVS) can perform electronic verification checks of all vehicles and drivers. The Montana Highway Patrol is able to use this system to ensure a stopped vehicle’s driver has the required SR22 liability insurance.
What is Montana SR22 insurance?
If you need to know how to get SR22 insurance, first know that the state of Montana does not require this specific form. However, a certificate of auto insurance might be required, which is similar to the SR-22 form. A certificate of insurance might be required if you have committed a certain violation that then demands your proof of liability coverage.
You will be notified if you are required to present a certificate of SR-22 insurance. If you receive such a request, you can only obtain that documentation from your insurance company. You should ask about SR-22 rates at your current insurance provider first, if you hold any insurance at all. You can also get SR22 insurance quotes from other insurance companies to make sure you get the best price. Your insurance costs will definitely increase since you require this additional proof of insurance, which only comes from a driving-related incident that increases your premiums.
Who needs SR22 insurance in Montana?
SR22 insurance is not required in Montana, but all owners of vehicles must hold liability insurance. The state requires that owners have insurance meeting the following minimum requirements:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two persons in any one accident
- $20,000 for the injury to or the destruction of the property of others in any one accident
Despite there being no actual SR-22 insurance form in Montana, proof of the aforementioned liability insurance is required at all times by Montana drivers, regardless of not needing the SR-22 form. If you are stopped for a traffic violation or for any accidents, you are required to prove your insurance to the police officers present. You can be fined or jailed or both if you fail to hold the required liability insurance policy. Your license will also automatically be suspended.
Reinstating Driving Privileges With SR22 in Montana
If your Montana driver’s license has been suspended and you want to reinstate it, an SR-22 is not required. However, you will need to meet the following requirements in order to reinstate your driving privileges:
- You must follow all instructions given to you by the judge or court
- You must provide proof of the liability insurance you now hold to the Motor Vehicle Division Records and Driver Control Unit in Helena, MT
- You must purchase restricted registration and plates at the local county treasurer’s office
- You will have to return to your local county treasurer’s office when your suspension period ends (which could be in 90 days or 180 days) to remove the restrictions on your registration and plates
How to Get SR22 Insurance in Montana
Since you do not require an SR22 form in Montana, you might only need to worry about this form if you move to or from Montana and another state requires it of you. Always comply with requests for such insurance proof as a failure to do so can result in your driver’s license being suspended temporarily or even revoked longer-term. You can always check with your insurance company for additional insight into who needs SR22 insurance, just in case you are confused when crossing state lines.
Penalties for Not Filing an SR22 Form in Montana
While you do not need to file an SR22 form in Montana, you can be penalized for not obtaining the proper liability coverage required or for not having proof of said coverage when requested. If you do not have insurance and are caught by law enforcement driving while uninsured, the following ramifications are possible:
- For your first offense: Driving in Montana without car insurance in Montana is considered to be a misdemeanor. If you receive a no-insurance citation from law enforcement, your fine will be between $250 and $500, or potentially up to 10 days in jail.
- For repeat offenders: A second offense of driving without insurance can mean a fine of a minimum of $350 fine or 10 days in jail. Your driver’s license will also be revoked for 90 days and your driving record will receive five points for not filing the proper SR22 form. Under the points system, if you get up to a total of 30 points, your driver’s license will be completely revoked.
- For a third offense: If you receive three or more no-insurance citations, you can receive a fine of $500 or go to jail for up to six months, or face both a maximum fine and jail time.