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Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. If you are convicted of a serious traffic violation such as a DUI, you may be required to file an SR-22 with the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles. This article will discuss the basics of Arizona SR-22 insurance, the costs of SR-22s, and how to get an SR-22 policy.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
Technically, an SR-22 is not a type of insurance, but rather a form filed with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) by your insurance carrier. The SR-22 certificate demonstrates proof of adequate insurance coverage. Arizona requires that all drivers maintain liability insurance with the following coverage minimums:
- Single person bodily-injury liability of $15,000
- Multiple person bodily-injury liability of $30,000
- Property damage liability of $10,000
If you are required to certify proof of future financial responsibility, you have two choices:
- Obtain an SR-22 through a licensed insurance agent.
- Get a certificate from the Arizona Office of Treasurer providing proof of $40,000 cash or CD deposits.
If you do not have $40,000 in cash or CDs, an SR-22 certificate is your only option. The SR-22 certifies that you will maintain the minimum liability levels mandated by Arizona state laws.
Who Needs SR-22 Insurance in AZ?
There are many reasons for a judge to require you to get SR-22 insurance. The most common reason for an SR-22 is a DUI conviction that results in a license suspension or revocation. Additionally, the refusal to take a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test during a traffic stop will result in an automatic one-year license suspension. In these instances, Arizona law requires that you get an SR-22 to reinstate your driving privileges.
Here are all the circumstances that may lead a judge to require you to get SR-22 insurance:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Refusal to take a BAC test
- Driving without insurance
- Getting into an accident without insurance
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Failure to pay multiple tickets
- Repeated minor offenses, including speeding tickets
- Acquiring too many points on your driver’s license
How To Get SR-22 Insurance in Arizona
If you already carry auto insurance, getting an SR-22 is pretty simple. Call your insurance carrier and ask to add an SR-22 to your coverage. Your insurer will then send the form to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles.
Many insurance carriers will cancel your coverage after a serious violation. If this happens, you will need to find a new insurance carrier to provide you with an SR-22. When talking to prospective insurers, expect to answer specific questions about your driving violations, convictions, and history. If you have difficulty finding an insurer to carry your SR-22, check with the Arizona Automobile Insurance Plan. You can visit their website here. This program matches insurance providers with high-risk drivers.
Average Cost of Arizona SR-22 Insurance
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You can expect to pay a lot more for SR-22 insurance. On average, insurance rates increase by 40% after one serious driving offense. For instance, Progressive insurance charges an average of $872 per year for minimum insurance and $1,164 for SR-22 insurance, an increase of 33%. If you have insurance with USAA, your average cost with an SR-22 will increase 165%, from an average of $640 to $1,700. These numbers are based on minimum Arizona requirements and a 30-year-old male driver.
Your age, driving history, and type of driving violation may result in higher insurance costs than those quoted here. In addition, every insurance calculates risk differently, resulting in different premiums. If you cannot afford your insurer’s SR-22 rate, compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best rate possible.
Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance
If you are convicted of a DUI while driving someone else’s vehicle, you may be required to get an SR-22 to get your license reinstated, even if you never carried auto insurance before. You will be required to get a “non-owner SR-22.” Non-owner SR-22 insurance is usually less expensive than regular car insurance because it doesn’t include vehicle coverage and presumes that you will drive less than someone who owns a vehicle.
FAQs About Arizona SR-22 Insurance
Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about SR-22 insurance in Arizona.
How long do I need to carry SR-22 insurance?
The amount of time you carry SR-22 is dependent on your driving offense. In Arizona, the standard SR-22 insurance requirement is three years. Serious driving offenses may result in longer SR-22 requirements. If your driving offense results in license suspension or revocation, your SR-22 requirement period begins the moment your license is reinstated. You must start the SR-22 process over if your insurance coverage lapses or is canceled by your insurance carrier.
How do I cancel my SR-22 policy?
You can cancel your SR-22 after completing the required time period. Be sure to check with the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles before canceling to ensure that you have fulfilled your requirement. Accidentally canceling your SR-22 too early may result in a monetary penalty, or you may have to renew your SR-22 for additional years. Once you are sure of your cancellation date, call your insurance to cancel the SR-22.
What happens if I stop paying my SR-22 policy?
If you stop paying for your SR-22 policy, your insurance company may cancel your coverage. If your SR-22 is canceled due to non-payment, your insurance company must immediately notify the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles, which will result in license revocation or suspension.
How long will a DUI affect my insurance in Arizona?
In Arizona, a DUI typically increases insurance rates for three years, depending on the insurer. Although this is the standard for most insurance companies, your specific insurer may increase your rates for an extended period.
Will I be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device with an SR-22?
In some instances, individuals convicted of a DUI must get a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License (SIIRDL). If you are required to get a SIIRDL, you must provide the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles with:
- Proof of installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- A current SR-22 policy
- Reinstatement fees
License suspension will result if you tamper with the ignition interlock device or drop your SR-22 coverage during your court-required period.
If you have had your license suspended or revoked after a serious driving offense, an SR-22 is the key to getting back on the road again. Be sure to get the best rate by comparing SR-22 policies from multiple companies. In many cases, you can return to “normal” insurance coverage after maintaining your SR-22 continuously for the required time period.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.