SR-22 Insurance

One of the more confusing auto insurance forms that exist in New York is known as the SR-22, which is the filing that proves that an individual has financial responsibility for themselves when driving on the road, typically in the form of auto insurance. However, not all drivers need the SR-22 and most drivers will never see one in their lifetime. Let’s take a look at how SR-22 insurance works in New York, including who will need the SR-22 and what it means if they aren’t carrying it when stopped by the police.

What is the SR-22?

The SR-22 is essentially a document that proves that a driver is financially responsible and has purchased the required amounts of auto insurance to be legally allowed to drive in New York. SR-22 insurance is not mandatory, and will only be required for those who are deemed to be “very high” or “maximum” risk by the state and by insurance companies. Those who are required to carry an SR-22 will need to have it with them at all times while driving a vehicle, and failure to produce the SR-22 can mean significant legal trouble.

Who Needs an SR-22 Filing or SR-22 Insurance?

In New York, SR-22 filings are generally required for drivers who commit the following infractions:

  1. Driving without adequate insurance coverage
  2. Driving without a driver’s license, or driving with an expired license
  3. Repeat offenders who constantly break the law
  4. Drivers convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  5. Drivers who cause accidents while underinsured or uninsured

As of September 2010, SR-22 filings are no longer required for those drivers who have been charged or previously convicted of a driving offense that occurred within the state of New York; if a driver is required to file an SR-22, they will be notified by the state. However, if you are unsure about your SR-22 or whether or not you need SR-22 insurance, it’s best to contact the state or the Department of Motor Vehicles to be certain.

Where Do I Get an SR-22 if I Need One?

The SR-22 filing is nearly always handled by an individual’s auto insurance company. SR-22 filings exist in some form in nearly all states, and insurers are very familiar with the form and the requirements involved. Note that if you are a high-risk driver that is required to carry SR-22 insurance, you will likely end up paying far more for auto insurance than a traditional customer would. This reflects the additional risk that you as a customer present to your insurer. Generally, once the SR-22 expires the higher rates will be reduced.

How Long is the SR-22 Needed?

The length of time that the state will require a driver to have a current SR-22 filing along with their auto insurance depends on the severity of the infraction. Generally speaking, most New York SR-22s will be required no longer than three years in total, with some being significantly shorter. Once the state determines that the driver is no longer considered a “maximum” risk driver, they will remove the SR-22 insurance requirement and the driver can purchase auto insurance like anyone else.

Moving to New York State with an SR-22

If you have an SR-22 with another state and decide to move to New York, you won’t be required to file an additional SR-22 with the New York DMV. However, the state that you left may suggest or require that you keep the SR-22 up to date. If this is the case, you can check with the DMV or your auto insurance company to determine the best course of action.

What Happens if I Drive Without SR-22 Insurance?

If you have been required to drive with an SR-22 filing by the State of New York, you must keep the filing current and drive with it at all times. Failure to drive with SR-22 insurance can mean fines, license suspension or removal of driving privileges altogether. The law doesn’t go easy on those that “forget” or “misplace” their SR-22, so it’s best to keep it in a safe place inside of the vehicle so that it can be quickly found when needed. is an expert in helping customers find SR-22 and other forms of auto insurance here in New York. To get started with a free price quote from the top car insurance companies, scroll up to the top of this page and enter your ZIP code in the quick form!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Vivian Johnson says:

    I don’t know if I need a sr-22, all I know is I cannot register my car in nevada, because my license is suspended in new york for lapse of insurance from new york. I’ve been in las vegas,nv since april, I’ve been trying to get my license here for a while now. I had to order my marriage license for a name change, that was sent to another address, and only recently I received the marriage license, which is to late now, drivers license and registration all suspended now. Would I need an sr-22 for new york or nevada? I need my car to be registered please, please help me, I don’t know what else to do

    1. New York Motor Insurance says:

      Hi Vivian,
      It sounds like you would need an SR-22 in Nevada since that’s where you live and are trying to get an auto policy. An SR-22 is just a form that the insurance company sends to the state that proves you have insurance, so you would need to prove insurance in Nevada. The best thing to do is to speak with Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles. They will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do and the steps you’ll need to take, but you’ll need to get an insurance policy with an SR-22 in Nevada.

  2. Hector Uba says:

    Thanks for elaborating on what SR-22 insurance is and if you need it or not. I had no idea that this type of insurance was required for so long after an infraction. I would imagine that having to pay the added expense of SR-22 insurance is a good deterrent for a lot of people.

  3. Anne says:


    I have a waiver to be sign off by the NY DMV. It’s a waiver that TN sent me stating that since NY doesn’t carry SR-22, TN will cancel my SR-22 but in order to cancel , a NY DMV has to sign off . I’ve called DMV in Albany they won’t sign it , I’ve went to two dmvs near me in NY they won’t sign it . What should I do? TN demands I get it signed off from NY ASAP so they can waived it offz

    1. New York Motor Insurance says:

      Hi Anne,
      It’s not real clear what your situation is or what needs to be done. If you live in New York and all your driver information is currently held by the state of New York, then they should be the ones dictating to what you need to do. You should probably go to a NY DMV office with all of your relevant paperwork and ask them. If they don’t require anything, then you might not need to do anything. If there is a fee or something to pay TN, then you’ll probably need to pay that to close off anything.