The law expects you to be a safe driver. By doing so, you’re not just keeping yourself safe, you’re doing a public service. Driving means you interact with others and their cars. If you don’t drive safely, you put many people—other drivers, pedestrians and passengers—in danger. At any time, a risky action might lead to breakdowns, vehicle or property damage, injuries or worse.
Therefore, if you commit severe offenses, the law will likely punish you. One of the ways they do so is with an SR-22 certificate. You don’t want to get one of these forms because of the impact it might have on your car insurance prices. However, with a little attention to why SR-22s come about in the first place, you can avoid the penalty.
What is an SR-22?
The SR-22 is a form that attaches to your car insurance policy. It then goes to the state DMV to prove for the state that you have active car insurance. Not every driver has to carry this form, but some do. Mostly, SR-22 carriers are those with a bad driving record.
Your driving record shows how trustworthy you are when you drive. So, if the police see you commit many offenses, they might require you to prove that you have insurance. It’s more or less a way of demonstrating that you have something to back you up in case of trouble. You can do this by filing an SR-22 form.
However, SR-22s are penalties for doing something wrong. Therefore, they will signal to your insurer that you present problems when driving. As a result, your insurer will likely classify you as a high-risk driver. The might raise your policy costs, or in a worst-case scenario, cancel your coverage. For this reason, you do not want to get an SR-22.
Recognizing and Avoiding SR-22 Risks
Many people don’t know what driving charges might lead to SR-22 penalties. However, they are more common than you might think. Therefore, you should try to avoid these penalties at all times. Some particularly bad practices that might lead to SR-22s include
If you drive after consuming alcohol or a controlled substance, you impair yourself. This means you cannot fully control your faculties. As a result, you cannot fully control the car. This increases the risk of accidents, collisions with other people and more. Most states punish DWI offenders with steep penalties.
To avoid this action, the best solution is to not drink and drive. Either take public transportation or let a sober friend drive. If you have to leave your car in a public place overnight, it’s a better choice than to drive while intoxicated.
- Multiple Tickets or Accidents
Many charges drop off your driving record over time, though some remain permanent. However, if you have a lot of infractions in a short period, this might be an indicator that you are a problem driver. The SR-22 penalty might result.
Safe driving isn’t hard if you make it a commitment to follow the rules of the road. Don’t speed, make sudden maneuvers, or ignore others on the road. However, we could all use a refresher course over time. Many drivers take periodic safe driving classes to help them improve their skills.
- Driving Without Insurance
Most states require drivers to carry car insurance. As a result, if you get caught without coverage, you will likely face the SR-22 penalty, as well as other penalties. Since the SR-22 functions as proof that you have coverage, it’s easy to understand why not having coverage might lead to this result.
It’s generally easy to keep your insurance coverage active. Call your insurance agent, and ask them to help you establish coverage. Most will automatically ensure that your policy includes your state’s coverage requirements. They will also help you look into automatic mechanisms to keep your policy active. However, it’s still your responsibility to take these steps and others. Always pay your premiums and renew your coverage each year. Call your insurer if you ever doubt your coverage.
- Driving with a Suspended License or Credentials
If you have a suspended driver’s license or registration, you should not be driving in the first place. This signals that you are a significant driving risk. If you get caught driving without credentials, the punishment might likely be severe.
Simply put, if you cannot drive, do not drive. Also, always remember the dates for renewing and replacing your license or registration. Do not let these deadlines pass.
If you ever find yourself facing an SR-22 penalty, don’t hesitate to contact our offices. We will help you file the form and make any coverage adjustments necessary to keep the form active. If you ever go without insurance, or if you continue to offend during the penalty phase, your SR-22 might restart. Therefore, make a commitment never to make further mistakes following the SR-22.