The driver has the responsibility of ensuring that they renew their CA SR-22 on time through their respective insurance company. In the case it seems too expensive, it’s better to get out from behind the wheel for a while. The DMV may only know that you are driving around without your SR-22 insurance if you get into an accident or pulled over for a traffic violation. However, one needs to remember that the more they wait to renew their California SR-22, the harder it will be for them to find an insurance provider moving forward. This is more likely to happen when one is caught driving with an already lapsed SR-22.
If you get caught driving without your SR22 insurance, you can expect one or more of the following to happen to you:
- Your vehicle registration could be suspended
- You may be assessed additional fines between $150 & $500
- You may have your driving privileges revoked
- You could face jail time
The SR-22 CA is for High-Risk Drivers
In the state of California, an SR-22 is a required for a driver who has previously been involved in an insured car accident or convicted in any other traffic related offense like having an expired license or driving under the influence of alcohol. The length of time under which an SR-22 is issued depends on the crime committed. Driving without insurance or with suspended license may for instance require a driver to carry an SR-22 for 3 years. In case of a DUI or any other major traffic offenses, a CA SR-22 may be demanded for a period of 5 years. Once the SR-22 gets cancelled or expired, the policy provider should issue an SR-26 to certify that the policy has been cancelled.
If a driver is convicted for the first time for driving under the influence of alcohol, they may face time in jail ranging from 4 days to 6 months. Once the offence is repeated, the driver may further be jailed for a period not limited to 10 days and not exceeding 1 year. During the third time though, the driver may face 3-12 months in jail. The same applies to fines and suspension of their license. First time offenders may have their licenses suspended for 30 days whereas third time offenders may lose their license for as long as 3 years. Moreover, the driver may have to pay more to their insurance policy provider once they have been found breaking the traffic laws.
Typically, you need to keep your SR 22 insurance for three years, but if you are caught driving without this coverage, this period of time may be extended. You could spend upwards to five years under an SR-22 policy before you could be eligible to get all of your driving privileges restored on your license. The money, time, and effort spent over those years are more than that spent remaining compliant with SR-22 laws.