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What is SR22 in California?

What is SR22?

SR22 is a document used to verify that a “high-risk” individual has insurance.  SR22 is not in and of itself an insurance policy.  The SR22 form is prepared by an insurance company and then filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

An SR22 document is generally required once a Fresno driver attempts to reinstate her license after having been convicted of a driving related offense.  These offenses typically include:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
  • Reckless driving; and
  • Driving without insurance.

California SR22 Policy

Under California law, you may be required to purchase SR22 whether or not you are the owner of a vehicle. Currently, there are three types of SR22 forms in California:

  • An Operator's Policy Certificate: Covers the financial cost if the driver does not own a vehicle;
  • An Owner's Policy Certificate: Covers the financial cost for vehicles owned by the driver; and
  • A Broad Coverage Policy Certificate: Covers the financial cost for all vehicles that are owned or not owned by the driver.

SR22 Costs in California

SR22 is expensive and the premium you will be required to pay each year is based on a variety of factors:

  • Driving record: Traffic violations, DUIs, and accidents will lead to higher premiums.
  • Type of vehicle: The more powerful or expensive your vehicle is, the higher your premium will be.
  • Credit score: A better credit score will keep your premium lower.
  • Miles driven: The more you drive, the higher your premium will be.
  • Occupation: If you have a job that requires driving, this will likely mean a higher premium.
  • Location: A higher rate of crime in your area will cause you to pay a higher premium.  Also, the greater the population in your city, the higher your premium will be.
  • Age: Drivers under 25 years of age will pay more for their premiums while drivers between the ages of 50 and 65 will pay less.
  • Gender/Marital Status: Men are generally expected to pay higher premiums.  If you are married, you will pay less than those that are single.

SR22 Coverage in California

The basic SR22 coverage includes:

  • Liability;
  • Collision;
  • Comprehensive;
  • Medical; and
  • Uninsured motorist.

An individual may purchase additional options that include:

  • Towing;
  • Rental care coverage;
  • Non-factory equipment;
  • Loan/lease gap protection; and
  • Replacement cost coverage.

Securing SR22 after a Fresno DUI

Initially, you must contact a DMV-certified auto insurance agent to request an SR22 filing.  Next, you will be required to pay the processing fee to the agent.  This fee can vary and it is advantageous for you to shop around and compare costs.  Because of my contacts in the industry with DUI issues, I have the ability to connect you with a qualified agent that will be able to keep your costs to a minimum.  In most cases, and if the timing is right, they can keep your insurance within 10% of where it is now for the same coverage.

Once fees have been paid, your SR22 documentation will be sent electronically to the DMV.  You will typically be required to maintain SR22 coverage for at least three years.  If you fail to do so, the DMV will likely suspend your license until the insurance has been reinstated.

Do You Have Questions related to DUI or SR22?

If you have been arrested for DUI in Fresno and need your questions answered, contact an experienced defense attorney who can help you navigate through this difficult legal process.

What Happens Now?

Roadside arrest

It’s a frightening situation. You are arrested for DUI after submitting to a breathalyzer and participating in a couple of field sobriety tests. The officer confiscated your driver’s license and provided you with a temporary license. You were given a notice to appear in court in a few weeks. Now what? Fresno DUI attorney, Terry A. Wapner, can help you make sense of this situation, guide you through the process, and might be able to provide the defense that results in finding you Not Guilty!

Myths & Truths About DUI Charges


Myth: “There is nothing that a Fresno DUI defense lawyer can do.” Truth: Absolutely not true. Over the past 7-10 years, the conviction rate in California for DUI's is only around 70 percent. That means that 30 percent of the charges are being reduced to charges that are less than a DUI charge or not guilty verdicts are being returned. I have the ability and have won Fresno DUI cases. Do not give in to despair and believe that you are destined to lose. Entering a guilty plea to a DUI charge when the evidence against you can be challenged may result in an expensive mistake that could haunt you in the long run.