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What is an SR-22 and why do you need one?

One of the repercussions of a DUI conviction that stays with you long after you've paid your fines, gotten your license back, completed your alcohol education classes and maybe even spent a little time behind bars is the drastic jump in your auto insurance premiums. You may have heard about the SR-22 form but not know exactly what it is. If you're convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you'll learn. It's the only way you'll be able to be an insured driver for a time.

The SR-22, which is also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) is a form that your insurance provider needs to file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It certifies that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance for a specified period.

Anyone convicted of DUI, DWI or other serious moving violation must get an SR-22 here in Maryland and in most states. Other offenses mandate the form to get insurance as well.

The cost of the SR-22 itself isn't prohibitive. It's around $15 to $25. However, insurers typically consider anyone who requires an SR-22 a high-risk driver, and they will price your insurance accordingly.

When you get your driver's license reinstated after a DUI, if you want to continue driving, you'll need to talk with your insurance company regarding their policies for drivers with a DUI on their record. They can advise you on the procedure for obtaining an SR-22 and possibly seeking a different insurer. Whatever you do, don't drive without a valid license or without auto insurance. If you're caught, your legal troubles will only grow. Your Maryland DUI attorney can also offer valuable guidance.

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