San Diego DUI Law Center

San Diego DUI attorneys are often asked what is an SR-22?

An SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance coverage, but rather proof that you have insurance.
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It is notification from your insurance company to the DMV that you have auto liability insurance in effect in the State of California which satisfies the minimum insurance coverage required by the State.

This insurance notification is typically required by the State for 3 years from the date the original suspension would have ended which can be determined, e.g., by adding 4 months from the date you were given the “pink” temporary license (assuming you are a first offender without a refusal of the chemical test).

If your policy lapses for any reason (miss a payment, get cancelled) the insurance carrier is REQUIRED to notify the DMV who is supposed to then notify you that you will have to file another SR-22 with them by a certain date or your license will be suspended. This form, typically filed electronically, 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.

When is the SR 22 required?
This will be required by you if:

(1) you were arrested for a 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.

To get a restricted license, you have to do 3 things:
(Not immediately – only if you lose your DMV hearing or get convicted in Court)

(1) Pay DMV re-issue fee(s).
(2) Provide DMV proof of financial responsibility (SR-22).
(3) Provide DMV proof of enrollment in approved DUI program.

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 currently have an SR-22 and want to move to another state you must maintain the SR-22 like you still live in California – even though you no longer reside here. Also, your insurance policy for the new state must have liability minimums required by law in California.
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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.
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Already convicted and need a license?
First, make sure you are eligible for at least a restricted license by calling the California DMV at 1 (800) 777-0133. Then follow the steps above.

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

Already agreed to enter a guilty plea or didn’t request a DMV hearing?
If you think you are going to be convicted, make sure you 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 State Farm for example) once a DUI conviction appears on your record.

Additionally, you should know that although your SR 22 can be filed electronically you should be able to get an original from your insurance company and hand deliver it to the DMV so that you don’t have to wait for the clerks in Sacramento to do their job – which they do slowly.

I recommend calling John MacDonald at 1 800 346 7370 for all of your insurance needs. John MacDonald Insurance

Or, Generally, How to Downshift Your Insurance Costs with Smarter, Cheaper Coverage

1) Nab Discounts

Most insurers offer price cuts for such things as:
– having anti-lock brakes;
– having been accident-free;
– having taken a defensive-driving course;
– using the same insurer for your home policy.

(For more info., visit the auto insurance checklist at .)

These can take up to 25% off your premium. But your insurer usually will not come to you with them so you have to call the company and find out what the discounts are.

2) Raise your deductible.

The point of vehicle insurance is to protect you from catastrophic costs (your emergency fund should cover stuff like dents and broken windows). Raise your deductible from say $200 to $1,000 and you could save more than 40% on premiums, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

3) Prune coverage on old vehicles.

Once your vehicle is worth less than 10 times what you pay each year to insure it, get rid of the comprehensive and collision. Find your vehicle’s estimated worth at

4) Dig up competing quotes.

This is the most work but could have the greatest payoff. Go to 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 but note that the site doesn’t include State Farm.

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

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

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

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