The state of Virginia uses the SR-22 form to help protect its citizens against problem drivers by monitoring their insurance. It requires the auto insurance company to file the SR-22 form as a proof of a problem driver's financial responsibility, stating that his/her auto insurance liability is in effect. The state does not send notifications and it is the responsibility of the driver and the auto insurance company to submit the form as well as the renewals, to the state, if required.
WHAT IS A SR-22 FORM?
There are three different types of SR-22 forms:
- The Operator's Certificate covers the financial responsibility in the case the motorist does not own a vehicle.
- The Owner's Certificate covers the financial responsibility for vehicles owned by the motorist.
- The Operators-Owners Certificate covers financial responsibility for all the vehicles that are owned or non-owned by the motorist.
WHEN IS SR-22 REQUIRED?
The SR-22 financial responsibility Insurance form is required in the following cases:
- In case of a driver's license suspension as a result of a conviction for a major offense such as manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, making a false affidavit during driver license application or vehicle registration, failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death or injury, or a second conviction for operating a passenger vehicle without a valid license.
- If you have any unsatisfied judgment suspensions. For example, if a driver involved in an accident in the past has an unsatisfactory judgment entered against him then he or she needs to fill the SR-22.
- In case of an uninsured motor vehicle suspension.
- Certain convictions such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving with a suspended license will require filing of an FR-44. This is a more stringent version of the SR-22 under which the amount of minimum coverage is doubled.
FILING FOR THE SR-22
- Contact a state-authorized insurance agency to request for a SR-22 filing.
- Pay the correct processing fee to the agency. The fee amount may vary between agencies. You can request an insurance quote from our Virginia auto insurance page and companies such as Esurance will allow you to request an SR-22 filing automatically.
- As per the State laws of Virginia, the minimum amount of coverage should be $25,000 for one person killed or injured, $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured and $20,000 for property damage.
- Upon receiving the request from the agent the central office then sends the SR-22 directly to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. SR-22 filing may be carried out electronically, in which case your records will be updated almost instantaneously.
- The SR-22 has to be maintained for a minimum period of 36 months. If the motorist does not renew it at least 15 days before the expiration date the agency notifies the State. The State may then suspend the driving record of the motorist until the insurance is reinstated.
FOR OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS
- If you are from out of state, your out of state proof of financial responsibility will be accepted provided that your insurer certifies in writing that the insurance policy complies with the laws of the state of Virginia. It is best to contact your insurance agent to find out if your out of state policy is valid in the state of Virginia.
- In case you are required to file an SR-22 in Virginia, you will have to procure it from an insurance company that is licensed to do business in the state.
- If you are required to file an FR-44, you will have to provide a letter on your insurance company's letterhead stating the doubled coverage amount.