What Is SR-22 Insurance?
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles often makes submitting an SR-22 bond a requirement for having limited driving privileges approved or a license reinstated. The SR-22 is a kind of proof of automobile insurance, rather than an insurance policy itself. The simplest definition is that it stands as a guarantee from the company that issues a policy that it has, in fact, issued that policy to the person named in the SR-22 paperwork.
Who Needs to File an SR-22 with the Ohio BMV?
Any person who has his or his own driver’s license or commercial driver’s license suspended can be required by a court or the BMV to submit an SR-22 and obtain a new insurance policy before being allowed back behind the wheel. The Ohio DUI license suspension attorneys with The Maher Law Firm list the dozens of reasons you can lose your license here. Problems ranging from a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) to allowing an existing insurance policy to lapse and racking up too many speeding tickets can cost you full legal driving privileges.
What Does Filing an SR-22 Accomplish?
When the BMV registers receipt of an SR-22 for a driver, it will approve full or limited driving privileges. As explained on the bureau’s website, “limited” means a person can only drive:
- For occupational, educational or medical purposes
- In order to take a driver’s license or CDL road test
- For attending court-ordered treatment, which is often required as part of OVI sentence
Working with an experienced Columbus OVI license suspension attorney is often necessary to get back on the road after a drunk or drugged driving case. This is especially true for people who hold CDLs because the BMV handles commercial driving suspension directly through a process that differs from the one used by criminal courts.
The SR-22 must be accompanied by details on why the original license was suspended, information on conditions for driving imposed by a court, and proof that the suspended license has not expired.
How Does a Driver Secure an SR-22?
The driver who needs an SR-22 must request the bond from his or her insurance company. The company that issues the new policy and the bond then alerts the BMV that the policy is in effect and submits the SR-22 document to the bureau.
A separate fee is charged for the SR-22, and premiums for a policy secured by bond are usually very high. Although terms vary from person to person, depending on why the license was suspended and how long the suspension will be enforced, a typical contract for an auto insurance policy secured with an SR-22 bond lasts for three years. Failing to keep up with premium payments will result in the cancellation of the policy, and the insurance company will notify the BMV that coverage has lapsed. Driving without insurance if that happens will result in another license suspension and other negative consequences.