The state of Colorado has some of the strictest penalties in the United States for traffic infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. If you’re charged and convicted, you might have to pay fines, face time in jail, or have your driver’s license suspended or revoked. You’re also likely to get your car insurance canceled. Because a lack of car insurance can impact your everyday life and ability to drive legally, it’s crucial to take steps to reinstate your license and get car insurance.
Before you can do that, you must fulfill the court’s reinstatement requirements, pay a reinstatement fee, and file an SR-22 form with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
An SR-22 is a form Colorado issues to drivers in the state that require it. SR stands for “safety responsibility.” By law, all drivers in Colorado must maintain minimum liability insurance coverage that meets the state’s recommended amounts. The Colorado Department of Revenue requires Colorado drivers to file the SR-22 form with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles when they apply for reinstatement after committing severe traffic offenses such as:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while ability impaired
- Driving with a suspended license
- Driving with an expired license
- Driving without car insurance
- Driving 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit in a construction area
- Driving a vehicle with a radar jamming device
- Getting too many traffic tickets in a short time
- Getting into an accident that causes substantial property damage
- Participating in vehicle speed contests
- Leaving an accident scene with a fatality or serious bodily injury
- Disregarding stop signs or yield signs and not pausing for pedestrians or traffic
- Switching lanes in an unsafe manner
You will receive a letter regarding the filing from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. The court can also order you to file an SR-22 form, which the judge will inform you about at your court hearing.
An SR-22 is not an insurance policy but a certificate that shows the government a driver has car insurance that meets the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements and can be on the road legally.
How Long Do You Need To Maintain SR-22 Insurance?
The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles will determine how long you must maintain SR-22 insurance in Colorado. Depending on the severity of your traffic offense, the duration can range from nine months to three years. You must keep the SR-22 insurance current throughout this period. If you don’t, the car insurance company is obliged by law to inform the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. They might then suspend your driving license.
How Much Does it Cost To Get an SR-22 in Colorado?
The filing fees for an SR-22 in Colorado can range from $15 to $35. However, the insurance cost depends on the state’s minimum liability requirements. In Colorado, the minimum liability amount is $25,000 for injuring one person, $50,000 for injuring two or more individuals, and $15,000 for causing property damage. The SR-22 insurance premium will be more expensive than regular car insurance plans for drivers with no history of traffic violations. For example, a standard car insurance policy in Colorado might cost you around $764 per year, while for SR-22 insurance, the average annual charge is $1,078.
How Does SR-22 Insurance in Colorado Affect Insurance Premiums?
If you have an SR-22, car insurance companies will charge you a higher premium because they consider you a high-risk policyholder. The premium fee will also depend on where you live, the type of vehicle you drive, the vehicle’s condition, your insurance history, and various other factors. With the SR-22 designation, you will not be eligible for discounts drivers with clean driving records get. After three years, though, when the SR-22 is no longer on file and you have driven responsibly without causing any driving incidents, your car insurance premium might go down.
It is important to know, however, that car insurance companies will not remove the SR-22 from your policy automatically after the three years are up. You must tell them you no longer need it so they can remove the coverage.
How To Get an SR-22 Certificate in Colorado
You can get SR-22 insurance in Colorado in a variety of ways. If you already have car insurance for a vehicle you own and drive, contact your insurance company and request to file an SR-22 form. You can ask the company to do the filing and obtain the SR-22 certificate on your behalf. In this case, you can use the SR-22 as proof you own the vehicle and have car insurance under your name.
If you drive multiple vehicles, you might want to get an owner-operator SR-22 certificate. This policy offers insurance coverage for various situations, regardless of the car you drive or who owns it.
If you do not have car insurance, shop around for carriers willing to give you insurance coverage and file the SR-22 form for you. You must buy the insurance first and then submit the form. Some insurance companies might decide your driving profile is too high risk and turn you down. Those that agree to provide coverage and file the SR-22 form might require you to pay a high upfront fee.
If you do not own a vehicle but often borrow or rent vehicles and must file an SR-22 form, you might need to buy a car insurance policy for non-owners first. Without this policy, you might have difficulty getting an SR-22 certificate and having your driving license reinstated. Non-owner car insurance is generally more affordable than traditional car insurance coverage because it does not cover damage to the vehicle.
Different car insurance companies offer different prices, so compare the rates of at least three or four top-rated car insurance companies in Colorado. You can then select the one that can offer the most affordable rates and match them with confidential and quality service.
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.