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Secrets of SR-22 Insurance

The mysterious “SR-22″ is simply proof to DMV that you have insurance.

An SR-22 is a vital tool often used by San Diego DUI attorneys who strive to make sure you continue to drive or to regain privileges.

An SR-22 is (normally electronic) notification by an insurance company to DMV you have auto liability insurance in effect which satisfies California’s required minimum insurance coverage.

San Diego County DUI Law Center recommends visiting John MacDonald Insurance at this website or calling 1 800 346-7370 for a free quote. You will not be disappointed. This is the best SR-22 company in California, pleasing many of San Diego DUI attorney Rick Mueller’s clients with money-saving, high-quality & time-sensitive service.

An SR-22 insurance notification is usually required by California for 3 years from the date that the original suspension would have ended.

John MacDonald’s fine staff can easily figure out the SR-22 filing period for you. That period can usually be determined: (1) by adding 5 months from the date you were given the “pink” DMV temporary license and no timely DMV hearing/stay was requested by your attorney, or (2) by adding 4 months from the date any DMV administrative hearing suspension begins after an adverse decision to you and your lawyer (assuming this is your first San Diego or California DUI without a refusal of the required blood or breath chemical test).

If your insurance policy ends or lapses for any reason (non-payment, cancellation), the insurance carrier is required by law to tell DMV. DMV then is supposed to send notice to you that you will have to file another SR-22 with them by a certain date or your license will be suspended.

The SR-22 form is typically filed electronically and is the only form the The Department of Motor Vehicles will accept. They will not accept any other form as a substitute for the SR-22. An insurance identification card will not work.

When is the SR 22 required?

This will be required by you if:

(1) you were arrested for a California DUI and;
(2) you have your license suspended or restricted and/or;
(3) if you are required to take a DUI program and;
(4) you want to get a restricted license.

An over 21 year-old person can apply for a restricted license, by doing 3 things
(if your attorney for some reason does not prevail at your DMV administrative hearing
or if you get convicted in San Diego DUI Court):

(1) Pay DMV any and all re-issue fee(s).
(2) Have your Insurance Co. file proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) with DMV.
(3) Have a California-approved DUI program file proof of enrollment with DMV.

Insurance minimums in California:
For private passenger vehicles per accident: $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
$30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
$5,000 for damage to property.

Moving to Another State:
If you now have an SR-22 and want to move to another state you must maintain the SR-22 just like if you still live in California, even if you no longer reside here. Also, your insurance policy for the new state must have liability minimums required by law in California. This applies even if you move to one of the states that does not have SR-22 insurance: Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Been convicted of a San Diego DUI and need a California license?
First, call the California DMV at 1 (800) 777-0133 to see if you are eligible for at least a restricted license. Then do the 3 things above.

Other related information:
If you insurance company cancels your insurance because of a California conviction, you will receive a notice indicating that your vehicle registration will be suspended if new insurance information is not submitted within 45 days.

Getting ready to enter a plea bargain or your attorney did not request a DMV hearing?
If you believe you are going to be convicted, contact an insurance broker BEFORE the conviction appears on your record. A skilled insurance broker can often times save you from being cancelled or having your insurances rates double (typical through e.g. State Farm) once a San Diego DUI conviction appears on your record.

Even though your SR-22 can be filed electronically, you should be able to get an original from your insurance company and hand-deliver it to any California DMV field office so you are not delayed by the state clerks in Sacramento to do their job which often is a slow process.

How to Save on Insurance Costs with Less Expensive Coverage

1) Find Discounts

Many insurance companies offer price reductions for:
- having anti-lock brakes;
- having been accident-free;
- having taken a defensive-driving course;
- using the same insurer for your home policy.

(Visit the auto insurance checklist at http://iii.org/individuals/auto for more information.)

These reductions can mean up to 25% off your premium. Usually your insurance company will not contact you with price discounts so you call the company and find out what the reductions are.

2) Increase the size of your deductible.

The idea of vehicle insurance is to protect you from catastrophic costs (your emergency fund should cover stuff like dents and broken windows). If you increase your deductible from about $200 to $1,000, or so, you may save more than 40% on premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

3) Prune coverage on old vehicles.

When a vehicle is worth less than ten times what you pay each year to insure it, eliminate the comprehensive and collision. Find your vehicle’s estimated worth at www.kbb.com.

4) Search for competitive quotes.

This requires the hardest research but should have the greatest payoff. You may go to www.naic.org to find your state insurance commission website, where you can download a vehicle insurance buying guide.

Pick the example closest to you and the 5 insurers with the lowest rates. Call them for quotes. If the state guide doesn’t list insurers, get the 5 best quotes at www.insweb.com but note that the site doesn’t include State Farm.

Lastly, check with an independent agent (get a name at www.iiaba.net) to see if any insurers you haven’t checked can beat your top 5.

5) Sidestep hassle by making sure any insurance company with a better quote is legitimate.

Check out your state’s insurance commission site – look especially for the ratio of complaints to # of policies written.

Bottom Line: Rather than go through all the above discount shopping trouble, the San Diego County DUI Law Center simply recommends starting with a free quote from John MacDonald Insurance at 1 800 346-7370.

Every person ever referred by San Diego DUI Lawyer Rick Mueller speaks very highly of John MacDonald Insurance Company’s amazing work.

This website & linked blog is made available by this law firm for general information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the law, not to provide legal advice. Readers of this website/blog are cautioned that reading the website/blog does not create a lawyer-client relationship between the reader and this law firm.

By: Rick Mueller

© 2014 San Diego County DUI Law Center - All Rights Reserved.

San Diego County DUI Law Center
501 West Broadway, Suite A 132, San Diego, CA 92101