When you apply for auto insurance in the state of Arizona, your agent or broker will likely ask you if you need an SR-22. If you have never heard of this form, the question might seem a bit confusing.
An SR-22 is not a type of insurance. It is simply a form that your insurance company files with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department, certifying that you carry at least the minimum limits of liability insurance required under Arizona law. Specifically, it shows that you carry at least $15,000 in bodily injury liability for one person you injure in an accident, $30,000 for more than one person injured in a single accident, and $10,000 for property damage you cause.
An SR-22 is also not the same as an insurance identification card or declarations page. You must still carry these documents in your car at all times while driving on Arizona roads, even if you have an SR-22 on file with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department.
In Arizona, an SR-22 filing is most commonly associated with DUI convictions. A DUI carries a mandatory license suspension in this state, and the Motor Vehicle Department will require your insurance company to file an SR-22 before you can have your driving privileges restored.
The Motor Vehicle Department may also require an SR-22 if your license has been suspended for other reasons, such as multiple traffic violations or driving without the state-required minimum liability insurance limits.
If you are required to have an SR-22, you will have to maintain continuous liability insurance for a minimum of three years to keep the SR-22 in effect. If you cancel your policy without replacement coverage, or if you let your policy lapse, the Motor Vehicle Department will suspend your license, and may assess additional fines before you can restore your driving privileges.
Your Arizona auto insurance company will likely assess a fee for filing the SR-22 on your behalf. The fee is determined by the company, although the Arizona Department of Insurance places limits on how much an insurance company can charge for this service. Most companies authorized to transact insurance business in Arizona charge between $10 and $20 for this service.