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SR-22 Insurance For DUI Offenders

All drivers are required to carry liability insurance, more for the benefit of other drivers than the policyholders themselves. But once convicted of a DUI, insurers recognize such individuals as a high risk.

In short, motorists are likely to get dropped after getting a DUI and possibly treated like a pariah by many other potential insurers (a DUI conviction plus insurance cancellation raises a red flag).

So what do you do?

That's what the SR-22 is all about (Illinois Secretary of State). Certain auto insurers are authorized to provide the form, which is required for DUI offenders, along with a high-risk policy. The SR-22 is a way for the state to keep tabs on motorists with DUI convictions and other agregious offenses.

Although online searches for "SR-22" return little more than the names of insurers that offer the form, the Secretary of State's office provides a detailed overview:

Financial Responsibility Insurance (SR-22) is the mechanism in Illinois to monitor the insurance of problem drivers and authorize the Secretary of State to suspend upon cancellation (SR-26) or expiration. Through the SR-22 and SR-26 process, mandatory insurance is enforced in the most efficient way.

For example, someone convicted of a DUI may decide they can't afford financial responsibility insurance and simply take their chances. But if that person was responsible for another accident, minus insurance, who would pay for your hospital bills or totaled vehicle?

The way it works is that an authorized insurer will submit a request for an SR-22 certificate to its central office. The certificate is then sent directly to the Illinois Secretary of State's office. After about 30 days, the driver receives a copy of the form from the insurer and a letter from the Secretary of State.

Policyholders must maintain the insurance for 36 months and if the policy is cancelled or expires, the insurer is required by law to notify authorities.