Every driver operating a vehicle on Alabama roads must carry at least the minimum limits of liability insurance mandated by the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division. However, if you have been convicted of certain driving offenses, Alabama may also require you to maintain an SR-22 to reinstate and maintain your driving privileges.
In Alabama, an SR-22 is a special filing that your insurance company must make after providing you with auto insurance coverage. This filing certifies that you meet the minimum insurance requirements mandated by the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division.
Specifically, an SR-22 certifies that you carry liability coverage that provides at least $25,000 of protection for any one person you injure if you cause a motor vehicle accident, and $50,000 of protection if you injure two or more people. In addition, this filing certifies that you carry $25,000 of protection for other drivers against damage to their vehicles, as well as against damage to personal property contained in those vehicles.
An SR-22 is only required in Alabama under limited circumstances. For example, if you are stopped for a traffic violation and do not carry the state-mandated coverages, your insurance company will have to file an SR-22. Similarly, an SR-22 is required in Alabama if you cause an accident and do not have the minimum insurance coverages. Your insurer will also have to file this certification of you are convicted of a DUI, regardless of whether you have auto insurance.
An SR-22 requirement lasts for five years. You must maintain continuous auto insurance coverage during this period. If you let your insurance policy lapse, the insurance company must notify the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division. As a result, your license and registration may be suspended.
Auto insurance companies typically view Alabama drivers who require SR-22 filings as “high risk” drivers. For this reason, you can expect to pay more for car insurance than if you did not require an SR-22 filing. Some “preferred risk” companies, which only provide insurance for drivers with clean records, may not be willing to offer you a policy or file an SR-22 on your behalf. You may have to obtain a policy through a “high risk” company that writes business in Alabama.