SR22 — DUI Financial Responsibility Requirements
The consequences of a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated can be devastating and far-reaching. You may be required to spend some time in jail, lose your driver’s license, attend classes, complete community service, and refrain from drinking alcohol. If you are under probation, there may be a number of other provisions you must carefully abide by. Additionally, a DUI/OVI conviction costs a great deal of money.
You may be responsible for:
- Court fees
- License reinstatement fees
- Vehicle registration reinstatement fees
- Driving classes
- More expensive auto insurance
- SR-22 proof of insurance
Once your punishment is complete, you will not be able to obtain a new driver’s license or commercial driver’s license (CDL) until all of the costs associated with your conviction are paid. You cannot reinstate your license without first having proof that you completed all aspects of your sentence, including paying your court fees, fines, auto insurance, and SR-22 first.
To learn more about the costs associated with a DUI conviction or obtain help in reinstating your license, contact Cincinnati DUI defense lawyer Brad Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890.
SR-22: Proof of Insurance
Once you have been convicted of a DUI, gone through your driver’s license suspension, and are now reinstating your license, you will need proof of insurance. SR-22 is a certification from your auto insurance company that you have at least the minimum liability coverage required by Ohio law. Also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, this verifies you purchased the appropriate auto insurance coverage. Your insurance company will charge a fee for SR-22 to cover the cost of preparing the certification and filing it with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Keep in mind that SR-22 is not a specific type of auto insurance policy. It is proof of auto insurance coverage and must be purchased in addition to an appropriate policy. SR-22 is not the same as your regular insurance card (though you will also keep proof of your SR-22 in your vehicle at all times). This is an official certificate verified and filed by your insurer on your behalf, ensuring your coverage is authentic.
The Costs of Obtaining SR-22
To obtain an SR-22 certificate, you will need to contact your auto insurance provider. There is a chance that your insurer will not provide this service, in which case you will need to shop around for a new insurance company. If you or your family did not have auto insurance, then you can look around for which carriers will provide an SR-22 and at what rates.
Since an SR-22 is required by law for high-risk behaviors like a DUI conviction, it is generally associated with higher insurance rates. You can expect to pay higher premiums as well as the cost of the SR-22. Additionally, some carriers will require you to purchase your policy upfront and not pay monthly premiums. This ensures that they send one certification for your yearly coverage and there are no questions of whether you are covered every 30 days. It can be extremely expensive to pay for a year-long auto insurance policy and SR-22 at one time. It may also be worth it to ensure you never miss a payment and have your coverage lapse.
An SR-22 certificate is usually required for three to five years when reinstating your license after a DUI. You will have to work with your insurer to file a new certificate with the BMV each year, which may require an annual fee.
You May Need SR-22 Without Owning a Vehicle
Not owning your own car does not mean you are released from the SR-22 DUI financial responsibility requirement. The state assumes that if you want your driver’s license back, you will drive. It does not matter if a vehicle is in your name or not. You could borrow a family member or friend’s vehicle or rent one.
For you to get your driver’s license back, you will need to obtain a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy. If your family as auto insurance, you should contact that carrier about this certificate. If you need to independently obtain an SR-22, then you can shop around for a non-owner SR-22 proof of insurance. You may be able to obtain a slightly less expensive policy or certificate since you do not own a vehicle and are less likely to drive regularly.
Consequences for Failing to Meet Financial Responsibility Requirements
If you do not purchase SR-22 when required or you let your insurance policy lapse or be canceled, then your driver’s license will be suspended for failure to comply with the law. Your suspension may last until you rectify the situation. However, if you have a history of non-compliance, you may lose your license again for a period of time.
Letting coverage lapse for more than a few days or week could also cause your SR-22 period to reset. This means if you were required to have SR-22 proof of insurance for three years and you accidentally let the coverage lapse between year one and two, your first year may not count. You may be back to square one and end up paying for SR-22 certification for four years in total.
Our Cincinnati DUI Lawyers Can Help You Remain Compliant
A DUI/OVI conviction changes your future and can set back your education, career, and family plan. Once you are able to reinstate your license, you will want to do everything correctly to ensure you have no more trouble with the law. To learn more about your options, rights, and financial responsibilities, contact the experienced Cincinnati DUI lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890. Attorney Brad Groene offers free initial consultations to get to know you and help you determine your next best steps.