Vehicles are capable of causing substantial damage and injuries, and the owner of a vehicle is responsible for paying for any accidents that car may cause. All states require drivers to carry proof of financial responsibility. In most cases, this means auto insurance coverage with appropriate liability limits. If a driver ever fails to maintain proper insurance on his vehicle, he may face suspension of his driver’s license or other legal actions. In order to prove that he has auto insurance, a driver may need to fill out an SR-22 form and submit it to the local DMV.

What is an SR-22 Form?

An SR-22 is a proof of insurance form. It will ask questions about the type of vehicle, the name and address of the insured, and details about any auto accident that may have occurred. Drivers can obtain a copy from their insurance company or download a version online from the local DMV website. Some states even allow the SR-22 to be filled out online.

When do I fill out an SR-22 form?

There are several occasions when an SR-22 form may be required:

— Drivers convicted of a DUI or DWI charge
— If you are involved in an auto accident and do not present proof of insurance at the scene
— If you leave the scene of an auto accident
— If someone other than you was driving the vehicle at the time of an accident and you were not present
— If your insurance policy lapses or is canceled
— If you drop your auto coverage below the state requirements

Any time you are involved in an auto accident or your policy is changed, the insurance company will report that information to the DMV. You will usually receive the SR-22 form as a courtesy at this point from the insurance company. Of course, if you do not have insurance you will have to obtain coverage prior to filling out the form.

If the SR-22 form is not filled out and returned within the specified time frame, the insured may have his driver’s license suspended. He could also face other legal action, especially if an accident was involved. Uninsured drivers will be charged for car accidents through collections and a driver may be sued for damage as well.

If a driver does have insurance, he must provide this information to the other insurance company as well as the DMV. In most states, the SR-22 form must be returned within 30 days of an accident or other incident; some states have a limit as low as 10 days, though, so it’s best to check the deadlines on the form itself.

Do I need auto insurance to fill out the SR-22 form?

Because the SR-22 form illustrates financial responsibility, uninsured drivers cannot fill out the form. Drivers who are unable to provide proof of insurance do to being uninsured must purchase auto insurance within the time limit stated on the form or face a suspended license.

In some states, drivers can prove financial responsibility without purchasing auto insurance. This usually involves showing proof, such as bank statements, that the driver has a certain amount of money available to pay for damages at any specific time. This is not available everywhere, and the exact figure required by the state may vary from one location to the next. In all other states, only active liability insurance can be used as proof of financial responsibility.

It may be more difficult to purchase auto insurance after a person’s driver’s license is suspended, so it’s a good idea to buy a new insurance policy as quickly as possible. If the SR-22 form must be filled out due to the driver having caused an accident while uninsured, he may have an especially difficult time purchasing auto insurance. In this case, a driver might need to use a high-risk insurance company.

If you are uninsured and need insurance fast in order to fill out the SR-22, you can find a policy quickly and easily by shopping online. Once you fill out the information to obtain a free quote, you will be able to compare dozens of insurance companies that can provide you with coverage. After choosing a company that you like, you can discuss your specific coverage needs with the insurance representative. This will allow you to guarantee that the policy has high enough liability limits to meet the needs of your state.

Maintaining proper auto insurance is the easiest way to avoid a suspended license. By carrying proof of insurance with you at all times, you will avoid needing to fill out an SR-22 form.