The California “Safety Responsibility” form 22 (SR22) provides an auto insurance provider verification and confirmation that an insurer has met California requirements for automobile liability insurance. The auto insurance provider will file the SR22 form with the California DMV.

When to obtain an SR22 in California

An individual is required to obtain a SR22 form when the individual is involved in an incident that results in the loss of his or her license. Some incidents that may require an individual to obtain a SR22 form are:

  • License suspension because of actions concerning safety. Examples include involvement in an accident when uninsured, speeding, and/ or reckless driving.
  • Unsatisfied judgment suspensions.
  • DUI convictions.
  • Failing to pay parking tickets.
  • Being subject to a license suspension or revocation because the DMV designated the individual as a “negligent operator.” This can be caused as a result of having too many points on one’s driving record within a short period of time.
  • Other violations.

The SR22 form must be filed in order for an individual who was subject to a license suspension can reinstate his or her driving privileges. Usually, California requires an individual to request a SR22 for 3 to 10 years after a conviction, no matter where the conviction took place. The duration of requiring the SR22 form depends on the incident’s severity. In California, failing to maintain the SR22 form results in the individual’s license being suspended immediately.

Different SR22 Forms in California

There are 3 types of SR22 forms in California:

  1. THE OPERATOR’S POLICY CERTIFICATE. This type of form covers the financial responsibility of a driver that does not own a vehicle, but is able to drive. This form requires that coverage be maintained on each vehicle that the individual may drive.
  2. THE OWNER’S POLICY CERTIFICATE. This form covers the financial responsibility for each vehicle the individual owns. This form requires that coverage be maintained on each vehicle that is registered under the individual’s name.
  3. THE BROAD COVERAGE POLICY CERTIFICATE. Covers the financial responsibility for vehicles that are and are not owned by the individual.

The filing of a SR22 form can help you obtain a restricted driver’s license. After your DUI conviction, you will be sentenced to serve a probation period anywhere from 3 to 5 years, and can face a license suspension of 6 months to 4 years. Usually, probation terms dictate that an individual successfully completes any court-ordered punishments, such as California DUI classes. After you have served your license suspension, you may be issued a restricted license by the DMV that is valid for use to and from work, school, and any DUI education classes. The DMV will usually issue a first offense DUI offender a restricted license if:

  1. The offender enrolls, complies with the terms, and maintains attendance in a California DUI program or classes.
  2. Files the California SR22 proof of liability insurance form.
  3. Pays the $15 fee for his or her restricted license, as well as the $125 reinstatement fee. These fees may differ depending on the county.

You may need to install a California Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle, and comply with the aforementioned requirements to be issued a restricted license if you are convicted of a second, or subsequent DUI. A refusal of either a breath or blood test at the time of your arrest may render you ineligible for a restricted license.

Obtaining a California SR22

Your insurance provider will contact the DMV for their records in order to establish the violations you committed and any reason for the need of an SR22 form. The insurance provider will take care of creating the SR22 form and filing it to the DMV. Sadly, this will designate you as a “high risk” driver and will affect your insurance payments significantly. In some case, this may even render you as uninsurable and you will lose your current insurance policy because of the violations on your record.

SR22 Costs in California

SR22 costs differ among various auto insurance providers. Some factors that may affect the costs of the SR22 are your driving history, age, area where you drive, and amount of time with the current insurance provider. Most insurance providers will charge some kind of filing fee that ranges from $25 to $50, or more and you will be required to pay the $125 reinstatement fee in order to get your driving privileges back. California law prevents a DUI offender from being eligible for “good driver” insurance discounts for a 10-year period after a DUI. All of the factors stated above will influence the cost of your insurance premiums, arguably one of the long term and expensive effect of a DUI arrest.

The attorneys at the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm are experienced and can build you a strong legal defense to help you avoid some of the consequences that may follow a DUI arrest. The Orange County DUI Law Firm is proud to serve all clients in Orange County and neighboring communities.

Call the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm at 949-377-2280 today to schedule your FREE DUI consultation.