I had a SR-22 when I had a car; however, I lost my car to the bank
last summer, so I dropped insurance, too. I was recently pulled
over by police while driving a friend's car and found out that my
license was suspended due to not having the SR-22. If I don't have
a car, I still need to have a SR-22? Was I supposed to know
Yes, and yes. It may seem silly to require that you have auto
insurance even if you don't own a car, but when you are required to
file an SR-22, that is what is expected. (See "
SR-22: The questions drivers ask most
The notice that you received explaining that you were required
to have an SR-22 filed with the state should have detailed how long
the SR-22 needed to be maintained (typically it's three years) and
that if you were to cancel auto insurance during this period what
the penalties would be. Usually, it's specifically noted that
you don't need to own a car to have to obtain the required auto
insurance coverage and SR-22.
Remember, the SR-22 isn't an actual part of your car insurance
policy, but a
with the state that certifies you have certain auto insurance
coverages in place. Once this future proof of financial
responsibility is in place, your auto insurer is required to alert
the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if your insurance policy,
and thus SR-22, lapses or cancels.
In most states, if your SR-22 lapses for any reason, then your
license and vehicle registration (if you had a vehicle) will be
Solution: A non-owners policy
Why all this hassle? The
states that mandate the SR-22
usually do so only after a driver has been convicted of a serious
offense or as part of the reinstatement process after a person's
license has been suspended or revoked. The state wants to monitor
these motorists and make sure they're adequately insured to take
care of future auto accidents if they're negligent and harm others
while driving -- even if the vehicle being operated isn't owned by
If you had contacted the DMV when you lost your car to the bank,
you would've discovered that you needed to obtain a non-owners
insurance policy and continue on with your SR-22 filing
A non-owners auto policy's benefits are meant to be secondary
coverage for when you are operating cars that you don't own. So,
when you're borrowing a friend's car, that person would still need
to have primary insurance on their vehicle. (See "
What is non-owners car insurance?
Not all car insurance companies offer non-owners policies or
SR-22 filings. However, we work with auto insurers that offer
both. By contacting our call center toll-free at
1-855-430-7658, our agents can help you obtain a quote for the
coverage you need to get your license reinstated.
Most companies can provide immediate proof of insurance via
e-mail or fax. Processing of SR-22 requests depends mostly on
whether your state accepts filings electronically.
If in the future you purchase a car to insure, then contact your
car insurance company to convert to an owner's policy. Also,
once the SR-22 is no longer needed, or the offense requiring it
falls off your driving record, it'll be a great time to comparison
shop and see if cheaper auto insurance rates are available.