The term “SR22” is enough to strike fear into the hearts of drivers across the country. Most people have heard of SR22 insurance and how expensive these policies can be, but knowing the facts can help keep those costs down. Discover the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, including what they are, who needs them, and what people can expect if they need to get these insurance policies in Iowa.
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What is an SR22?
An SR22 is a certificate that is filed with the Iowa DOT’s Office of Driver Services by the insurance company. This certificate lets the state know that a driver has valid auto insurance in place. It also means that the company is required to let the state know if the policy cancels for any reason, including nonpayment, so drivers who need to carry one should be careful not to let their policies lapse.
Who Needs one in Iowa?
There are a few reasons people may be required to carry SR22 insurance in Iowa, including failure to show proof of financial responsibility after an accident and having a driver’s license suspended for an OWI, unsatisfied judgement, or certain types of criminal convictions. Those who have suspended licenses typically need to have an SR22 filed before their driving privileges are reinstated. Because they are designed to act as proof that drivers have active insurance policies, these certificates are usually reserved for people who are considered at high-risk for cancelling their policies.
How to Get a certificate
Certificates are filed directly with the state of Iowa by insurance companies authorized to conduct business in the state. Drivers who need to carry SR22 insurance should contact their agent and request to have proof of financial responsibility filed on their behalves. To file, your agent must include information such as court case numbers, dates, and other identifying information.
How Long Does it Take to File?
Drivers who are eligible to have their driving privileges reinstated should contact their insurance agents as soon as possible to begin the process of getting their driver’s licenses back. While most companies file certificates through an electronic reporting system, it can take a few days for the company to process the information.
How Long Must Iowa Drivers Carry an SR22?
It can vary according to severity of the offense. It is common for drivers convicted of an OWI in Iowa to need an SR22 on file for two years, but the requirement may be adjusted depending on individual circumstances.
The DOT typically sends out letters when drivers are eligible to have their licenses reinstated, detailing the requirements for getting their driving privileges back. Alternatively, drivers can contact the Office of Driver Services directly to inquire how long this requirement is needed,
Knowing the basics can help drivers be prepared if they need to have their insurance companies file this certificate for them. Regardless of why SR22 insurance is needed, it is in place to let the state know that a driver is properly covered in the case of an accident. Keeping it active for the entire period is a good way to get back on the road to lower rates.