Most Americans drive some kind of vehicle and when you are a driver, there are number of things you need to be aware of. Driving regulations and requirements to you are one of them.
What is SR-22?
You have probably heard these letters and numbers and maybe thought there a model of something. Well they actually stand for a requirement to a driver for keeping the driving rights or reinstating them after certain offences have occurred. Officials sometimes call it SR-22 Certificate or Certificate of Financial Responsibility. It looks like insurance, but it is not. It is actually kind of a guarantee send by the insurance company confirming that driver owns a policy meeting the requirements of State liability.
SR-22 is required in most States and the regulations are different in each of them, but general norm is that it is required in case a driver violates certain traffic regulations or an accident happens and when the insurance coverage had lapsed. Being required to get one of these is not a big deal and you should not think less of yourself, it’s just a policy that makes sure you as well as someone else is covered in case something bad happens.
What Does SR-22 Cover?
SR-22 covers the liabilities for bodily injuries (BIL) and property damage (PDL). This means that in the event when an accident occurs and someone is injured or someone’s property is damaged the insurance company will cover it.
More specifically the coverage required by most states is with the formula of 10/10/30 which means following:
- In case a bodily injury or personal injury occurs the coverage should be in the amount of 10 000 USD;
- In the event when property of someone is damaged the amount of coverage also should be 10 000 USD;
- When the occurrence includes several damages there is a single limit (CSL) of 30 000 USD.
Usual period for when the SR-22 coverage has to be in force is six-month non cancellable certificate to be held for 3-5 years by the driver.
When is SR-22 needed?
The common violations that require you to obtain SR-22 certificate in most States are the following:
- Driving under the influence of any intoxicant (DUI/DWI/OUI violations);
- Driving without a license or without a required insurance;
- An accident occurrence when there was no insurance (either non-existent or lapsed);
- Repeated traffic violations or multiple tickets in short timeframe;
- An event when the license is suspended or revoked.
What is FR-44?
Another set of confusing letters and numbers is FR-44. It is a certificate required in much fewer states for only those violations related to intoxication offences (DUI/DWI/OUI). It has also much higher limits than SR-22.
What Does FR-44 Cover?
The coverage scheme of FR-44 is somewhat similar as the one for SR-22, with much higher limits. The formula that is active here is 100/300/50 in Florida and 50/100/40 in Virginia:
- 100 000 USD (in Florida) or 50 000 USD (in Virginia) for BIL/PIP (personal injury or bodily injury) and death of one person;
- 300 000 USD in Florida or 100 000 USD in Virginia in the case of BIL/PIP or death of two or more people;
- For property damage (PDL) the coverage is for Florida 50 000 USD or for Virginia 40 000 USD.
Usually the FR-44 is demanded to be carried for three years period.
When is FR-44 Needed?
As mentioned above, FR-44 is required for DUI/DWI/OUI violations.
- When a driver was maiming while being under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance;
- When a driver was under the influence of any drug (alcohol or a controlled substance);
- When the license of a driver was forfeited for a juvenile record;
- If there was any federal or other states’ laws violated similar to those above.
Both SR-22 and FR-44 are rather easy to acquire, all you need is request your insurance company to make filing to the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and within a certain period (usually 48 hours) the certificate will be in force. Be attentive not to let it lapse and make sure you carry it for the period required by the law.