Traffic violations are a serious matter that can sometimes result in you having your driver’s license suspended. If this happens, there will be a series of steps you have to follow to reinstate your license. Oregon is no exception. One of those steps will likely be filing an SR-22 with your insurance company.
An SR-22, sometimes referred to as SR22 insurance, is a certificate that proves to the state of Oregon you are complying with their insurance laws. Having to file for SR22 car insurance is fairly common in the insurance world, but that does not mean you can ignore it.
You want to ensure everything is appropriately filed with your insurance provider to avoid further penalties. The insurance guide below will help you learn more about SR-22s in Oregon and how to fulfill your insurance requirement.
What is SR-22 Insurance in Oregon?
Despite how it is commonly referred to, SR22 insurance is not a type of insurance.
An SR-22 is a form you file with your insurance company that informs the state of Oregon you carry at least the minimum amount of insurance required for all drivers. It is essentially just proof of insurance.
You can receive such a requirement in Oregon after having your license suspended following being convicted of a major traffic violation. Filing an SR-22 to prove you have insurance is just one of the various steps you must take to get your Oregon license reinstated.
Your insurance company will file your SR-22 with the state of Oregon at your request. To keep your SR-22 active, you need to keep up with your regular auto insurance payments.
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Oregon Car Insurance Requirements
The purpose of SR-22 insurance is to prove to the state of Oregon that you at least meet its car insurance coverage requirements as outlined by its insurance laws. Oregon, though, is a little different than most states when it comes to insurance requirements. Most states only require you to carry liability insurance.
However, Oregon requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist insurance on top of general liability insurance. The mandatory minimums for car insurance in Oregon as outlined below.
Oregon Liability Insurance:
● $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
● $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
● $20,000 for property damage coverage
Oregon Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage:
● $15,000 for bodily injury per person
Oregon Uninsured Motorist Coverage Insurance:
● $25,000 for bodily injury per person
● $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
What is listed are the standard amounts of insurance you need to at least meet to file your proof of insurance in Oregon, but we recommend expanding your policy. While Oregon requires more auto coverage than other states, the mandatory coverage limits are low. If you decide to carry only Oregon state minimum insurance, you may be stuck having to pay for repairs and any bodily injury out of pocket.
To avoid this, it is highly recommended you increase coverage limits when shopping for an auto insurance policy in Oregon. You should also consider more protection for your vehicle. While PIP insurance can help pay for a bodily injury after an accident, your vehicle is not covered. You can expand your coverage with auto insurance policy add-ons like collision and comprehensive coverage.
When is SR-22 Insurance Required in Oregon?
SR-22 insurance is not necessary for every driver. There are a few scenarios where you have to file proof of insurance. Keeping a good, clean driving record can assure that you never have to deal with SR-22s in Oregon.
However, Oregon drivers make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes lead to your license being suspended. You will typically be required to file an SR-22 because you have a suspended license or have been labeled a high-risk driver following a major traffic violation.
Examples of such violations needing an SR-22 include:
● Driving under the influence (DUI)
● Driving without insurance
● Reckless driving
● Failure to pay for damages after an accident
● Applied for a hardship or probationary permit
● Multiple minor traffic violations
How Long Must You Carry SR-22 Insurance in Oregon?
Luckily, SR-22s in Oregon come with expiration dates. As long as this is a first-time offense and you practice smart driving habits from here on out, you will never have to think about SR-22 insurance again once your assigned time period is up.
In Oregon, drivers must carry SR-22 insurance for at least three years after their license suspension. However, your filing period can be longer depending on the severity of your traffic violation.
The state of Oregon will notify you when you can cancel your SR-22 insurance. Once the expiration date arrives, it is your responsibility to tell your insurance company that you no longer require an SR22. Your Oregon car insurance company will then take the necessary steps to cancel your SR-22 insurance and notify the state.
Failure to maintain your SR-22 insurance in Oregon for the required period of time can result in additional fines and having your license and/or vehicle registration suspended. SR-22 maintenance period violations can occur when you fail to pay your insurance premiums and subsequently let your coverage lapse.
If you fail to keep up with your insurance payments, it is likely your insurance company will drop you, and they are then required to notify the state of Oregon that you no longer have car insurance.
If you do not complete your Oregon SR-22 filing requirement, you are most likely going to have to restart the period, and that will require you to purchase a new car insurance policy.
However, given your driving profile and insurance history, that is going to be incredibly challenging. You will already be labeled as a high-risk driver, and very few insurance providers want to take the risk that comes with providing such drivers with coverage.
To avoid these headaches, it is best to stay on top of your insurance payments. You should also be mindful of when your SR-22 insurance expires. You can run into these penalties and more if you cancel your SR-22 prematurely.
How Much Does Oregon SR-22 Insurance Cost?
When you file your SR-22 with your insurance company, they will typically charge you a filing fee of around $15-$30. The exact cost to process your filing depends on what insurance provider you are with.
This, however, will not be the only insurance cost you will have to worry about when you have an SR-22 filing requirement. Being convicted of a major traffic violation is bound to make your insurance rates skyrocket. How much your insurance premiums will increase depends on various information, like the type of violation you are convicted of and what insurance company you are signed with.
DUI convictions are one of the most common reasons a person will need to file an SR-22 with their insurance company. In Oregon, drivers with a DUI conviction pay around $2,000 per year for insurance, on average.
For reference, an average Oregon driver with no citations on their record pays about $1,400 per year for insurance. That’s a pretty big jump in insurance premiums.
If you are looking to lower your insurance premiums, try taking some time to shop around Oregon for coverage and pull insurance quotes from a wide variety of providers. Look both locally in Oregon and nationally.
Insurance companies typically offer free quotes online and over the phone. Some insurers even have an app you can use to get an insurance quote on your own time, from practically anywhere. Be sure to analyze every auto insurance policy you come across, as you never know who will have the best insurance policy at the best price.
You should not sign with an insurance company simply because they offer the lowest rates. You need to make sure you are getting good coverage for the money you are paying, but it’s still important that your insurance rates fit into your budget. It’s a bit of a juggling act but very possible to do.
If you believe you already have the lowest insurance premiums given your driving profile, ask your insurance agent about any policy discounts you qualify for. Policy discounts are the fastest way to save money when it comes to insurance.
Oregon Non-Owner Insurance
Even if you do not own a car, you can still be required to carry SR22 insurance. This can especially happen if you did not own the car you committed the traffic violation in. Not owning a car does not mean you get a free pass when it comes to car insurance.
To fulfill your SR-22 insurance requirement, you will need non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance provides drivers who do not own a car with the necessary insurance coverage. Obtaining this insurance policy fulfills your SR-22 filing requirement.
A non-owner policy is regarded as one of the most affordable ways to get insurance, but that is due to its specific qualifications. To purchase non-owner insurance, you cannot own a vehicle or have regular access to one. This insurance is recommended for people who frequently borrow or rent cars.
However, you should have insurance prior to receiving your SR-22 requirement. Every driver in Oregon needs at least the minimum amount of insurance as stated by law. Do not wait until you have to file an SR-22 to start shopping for insurance.
Oregon DUI Convictions
DUI convictions are one of the most common reasons a driver will need SR22 insurance. However, your insurance company and increased insurance premiums are not the only things you have to worry about after driving under the influence. There are a series of legal penalties that you will have to face.
DUI penalties in Oregon vary based on the number of DUI offenses a driver has within a seven-year period. In addition to fines, jail time, and license suspensions, there are other consequences a DUI offender may face. An ignition interlock device must be installed on the car of anyone with a DUI, even if it’s the first offense.