So you’re sitting in DUI Class wondering just what in the world has happened to you in the last few weeks. No one seems to know the answers, but everyone keeps handing you a bill to pay. Well, this little fact sheet should shed some light on some of the questions you have about insurance, your SR-22, and how to get your license back.What is an SR-22?An SR-22 is documentation filed by your auto insurance company to the CA DMV to prove that you have active insurance. It is mandatory to have an SR-22 on file if you want to have an active driver’s license while you are on probation.How long do I have to have an SR-22 on file?It is generally required for 3 continuous years (the length of your probation).Is an SR-22 the same as insurance?No. The SR-22 is filed in addition to your insurance. A vehicle on the road in CA is required to have insurance. A driver on the road (with a recent alcohol related violation) is required to have an active SR-22 filed with the DMV.How do I get my license back?1) Pay the court fees and fines for your DUI/Wet & Reckless (usually payment plans are available).
2) You have to enroll in some type of rehabilitation program (DUI School) in your county.
3) Pay the DMV reinstatement fee ($125).
4) Purchase or file an SR-22 certificate with your insurance company.What happens if my insurance and SR-22 get canceled?Your insurance company will have to notify the CA DMV and the DMV will suspend your driver’s license again.What if I don’t own a vehicle?You can get a Non-Owner’s Insurance Policy, where you are covered to drive other people’s vehicles on a temporary basis. With this policy your insurance company can file an SR-22 for you so you can get your license back.Can I really get a free SR-22?Some insurance companies don’t charge to file an SR-22, and the ones that do charge a fee don’t normally charge more than $50. The true cost of the consequence of having a DUI comes in the actual insurance rate, and the fees associated with writing a policy for that situation. Be skeptical of the “$15 a month” advertisements, remember that you couldn’t get a policy for $15 per month before you received your DUI, so you’re not going to be able to get that rate after such a violation. When shopping for insurance, it is best to insist that the agency reveal their fees to you before you purchase. If you don’t, you could find yourself paying for a lot of fees that you did not know about.So there you go. It is with my sincerest hope that this article helps give you some direction. Life after a DUI can be tough, but you can definitely recover.*(This document is intended to provide general information for California Drivers. Your situation may not apply).