Traffic violations are a serious matter, especially if they result in your driver’s license being suspended. A driver’s license suspension can come after a number of traffic violations, like driving without the proper insurance.
In order to reinstate your license in Missouri, you may be required to carry SR-22 insurance. An SR-22 serves as proof of insurance that shows the state of Missouri you are complying with their car insurance laws. Having to carry SR-22 insurance is not too uncommon in the insurance world, but it should still be taken seriously.
Failing to file your SR-22 properly with your auto insurance company can result in you being hit with further penalties. The insurance guide below can help you learn more about SR-22s in Missouri and how to fulfill their insurance requirements.
What is SR-22 Insurance in Missouri?
If your driver’s license is suspended, the state of Missouri will require you to carry SR-22 insurance to reinstate your driving privileges. Your driver’s license can be suspended for several reasons, like a DWI conviction or driving without insurance.
While SR-22 insurance sounds like a type of insurance, it is just a certificate that proves to Missouri you carry the mandatory minimum amount of car insurance.
This proof of insurance is filed with your car insurance company at your request. Your insurance provider is then responsible for informing the state of your SR-22 insurance purchase. In order to keep your SR-22 insurance active, all you need to do is stay on top of your regular car insurance payments.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in Missouri?
There are several instances you can be required to carry SR-22 insurance. SR-22 insurance is typically mandated for drivers after they commit a major traffic violation that has resulted in their driver’s license being suspended.
If you practice safe driving habits, you will likely never need SR-22 insurance in Missouri. SR-22 insurance can be required after committing one or more of these violations in the state of Missouri:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving without insurance
- Accumulating multiple minor violations
- Found to be at fault for an accident
- Reckless driving
- Failing to pay ticket fines
Missouri Car Insurance Requirements
The point of SR-22 insurance is to prove you have the mandatory amount of car insurance to be a legal driver in the state of Missouri.
Missouri is a little different from other states when it comes to insurance laws. Most states only require their drivers to carry liability insurance. However, Missouri requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage on top of liability insurance.
The minimum insurance required for all Missouri drivers is outlined below.
Missouri Liability Insurance:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Missouri Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
While Missouri does require more insurance than other states, the coverage limits are exceptionally low. In order to protect yourself and your assets, it is highly recommended that you increase your coverage limits when shopping for a cheap car insurance policy.
You should also consider utilizing auto insurance policy add-ons in the event that your car is severely damaged and/or you sustain serious injuries. You can strengthen your insurance policy by adding insurance like collision coverage and personal injury protection (PIP).
Failing to carry the proper coverage means you can be on the line for damages and injuries out of pocket. One accident is enough to put you in pretty much financial ruin if you do not have the right insurance policy in place.
How Long do You Need to Maintain an SR-22 in Missouri?
Thankfully, as is the case with every other state, SR-22 insurance comes with an expiration date. The time period you are given depends on what kind of traffic offense you are charged with. In Missouri, if you are caught driving without insurance, you will need to maintain your SR-22 insurance for three years.
However, if you receive a DUI conviction, a moving violation, or a car accident judgment against you, you will need SR-22 insurance for two years. Your SR-22 insurance requirement begins the day of your license’s suspension. It is possible for your SR-22 insurance mandated to be longer, but it all depends on the severity of your conviction.
When you are notified about your insurance requirements, you will then also be informed of when it expires. On your expiration date, it is your responsibility to let your insurance company know you no longer require SR-22 insurance. They will then cancel your proof of insurance and inform the state.
Failure to maintain your SR-22 insurance will be detrimental to your driving profile and insurance history. Infringing on your proof of insurance requirement can occur if you stop paying your car insurance premiums and, as a result, let your coverage lapse.
If you let your insurance policy expire, your coverage provider will inform the state of Missouri you no longer have insurance. Following this, your insurance company will likely drop you as a customer.
However, this is not the only thing that happens when you let your coverage lapse. Upon hearing that your insurance coverage has ended, the state of Missouri may suspend your license once again and require you to restart your SR22 filing period. It is also possible you will have to repay the accompanying reinstatement fees.
In order to refile your SR-22 insurance, you will need to purchase a new car insurance policy. Shopping for insurance after a lapse in coverage can be tricky. You will be considered a high-risk driver and few insurance providers want to take the risk of offering you coverage.
To avoid this, it is best to stay on top of your car insurance premiums. You should also be mindful of when your SR-22 insurance exactly expires. You never want to cancel it early as that will also get you in trouble with the state.
How Much Does Missouri SR-22 Insurance Cost?
When you notify your insurance company about your SR-22 requirement, your insurer will charge you $30-$50 to process the filing. However, this is not the only insurance cost you will have to pay after your SR22 mandate.
Being convicted of a major driving violation and needing to carry SR-22 insurance will increase insurance premiums significantly. But just how much your insurance rates will increase depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your offense and what insurance company you are with.
A DWI conviction is one of the most common reasons a driver will need SR-22 insurance in the state of Missouri. On average, drivers with a DWI conviction in Missouri pay around $2,300 per year for insurance.
Another common offense may be speeding. In Missouri, drivers caught going 25+ mph over the speed limit pay around $2,100 annually for insurance. A driver in Missouri that has no traffic citations pays, on average, around $1,700 per year for coverage.
As can be seen, one conviction has the ability to make your car insurance premiums skyrocket. On a brighter note, you won’t need to provide proof of insurance forever, and once you cancel your SR-22 insurance, your insurance rates may decrease slightly.
If you are looking to lower your car insurance premiums in Missouri, it is recommended you take some time to shop around for coverage and get quotes from a wide variety of insurance providers. Look at insurance companies both locally in Missouri and nationally, as you never know who will have the best insurance policy at the best rate.
Pretty much every insurance company offers you a free insurance quote either online or over the phone. Some insurance providers even have a mobile app you can use to get your free quote. These ways make it easy to shop for coverage on your own time, from practically anywhere. As you are shopping for insurance, make sure you analyze every auto policy you come across so you find one that has coverage that best fits your needs and your budget.
Don’t sign onto an insurance policy just because the rates are low. You want to make sure you are actually getting good coverage worth your money. If you believe you have the lowest insurance rates possible in Missouri, given your driving record, ask your insurance agent about auto policy discounts. Auto policy discounts are the easiest and fastest way to save money on your insurance premiums.
Missouri Non-Owner Car Insurance
Even if you do not own a car, you can still be required to carry SR-22 insurance. You can receive an SR22 insurance requirement after committing a traffic violation in a car that you are borrowing or renting.
Not owning a car does not mean you can skip out on carrying car insurance. To fulfill your SR-22 insurance requirement, you will need to purchase a non-owner car insurance policy. Non-owner insurance provides drivers who do not own a car with the required insurance.
Subsequently, purchasing such an insurance policy fulfills your SR-22 requirement. This type of insurance is regarded as one of the cheapest ways to get coverage. This is due to the fact it has some specific qualifications.
Non-owner insurance is not available if you own a car or have regular access to one. This policy is only recommended for people who frequently rent or borrow cars. You should have insurance no matter what.
Do not wait until you are required to carry SR-22 insurance to start shopping for coverage. Driving without insurance is incredibly dangerous and leaves you and your assets vulnerable. Every driver in Missouri needs insurance.
Missouri Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Penalties
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be one of the reasons you will be required to file an SR-22 with your insurance company. But your SR22 insurance and increased insurance premiums are not the only things you will need to worry about after being convicted of a DWI.
There are some serious legal penalties you will have to deal with after driving drunk. In the state of Missouri, your license can be suspended for 90 days following a DWI conviction.
However, you may be eligible to receive Restricted Driving Privilege (RDP). With these privileges, you will be able to drive upon installing an ignition interlock device (IID).
An IID is a breath analyzer that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. Your vehicle will also not start if you refuse to complete the breath test. But, keep in mind, these privileges may not be a reality if you don’t file an SR-22 with your insurance company.