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Top Ten Tips > Getting Your License Back After a DUI

3. SR-22 and Low-cost Insurance

The SR-22.

SR-22 certificateThe Requirement. If you are convicted of a DUI or lose the DMV hearing, good Mendocino County DUI lawyers should warn you that you will likely be required to obtain an SR22 Insurance Policy from an insurance company to file with the DMV before becoming eligible for reinstatement of any kind of driving privileges. The typical required duration for an SR-22 in Mendocino County is three years.

What is an SR-22. Your Mendocino County DUI attorney should explain to you that this special form of insurance called an SR 22 is basically a promise from your insurance company to inform the DMV if you ever lose insurance; this is assurance, or a guarantee, from an insurance company to the DMV that you have insurance. Naturally, prior to this filing requirement, no one would have known whether you have insurance or not. The purpose of this new requirement following a Mendocino DUI conviction or DMV finding, is to empower DMV to suspend your license immediately upon you losing insurance or becoming uninsured. SR-22s are required for licensing several kinds of higher risk drivers, including those who suffer a DUI conviction or DUI-related license suspension in Mendocino County.

How is it Filed? The SR-22 must be filed with DMV before you can re-obtain driving privileges of any kind following most Mendocino County DUI convictions. Some insurance companies transmit the form directly to Sacramento DMV in a matter of hours after your request, and others take up to several weeks and actually mail the original to you for you to file directly with the Ukiah DMV. DUI attorneys see SR-22s in lots of different shapes and sizes. Click below to see several different types of SR-22 forms: Sample SR 22 Form, Triple A's SR 22 Form, Allstate's SR 22 Form, Sample Electronic SR22 Receipt.

How Much Does it Cost? Mendocino County DUI lawyers will tell you to shop around. The simple fact of a DUI should not result in cancellation of your insurance policy. Some aggressive companies may cancel you (see for example this State Farm Cancellation for a single DUI) but offer you a different policy with a subsidiary company, and regardless, many insurance companies offer insurance, and this SR-22 form, to people with one or more DUIs, but this may be a good time to shop for the most affordable insurance for your unique situation.

DUI Insurance Rate IncreasesIn addition, Ukiah DUI attorneys will tell you that we believe it is the insurance industry which caused this reporting and filing requirement; if you were not required to call your insurance company to ask for this special DUI form, then your insurance company often would not know that you suffered a DUI conviction, at least until policy renewal, and sometimes not for years, and your rates would not double or triple as depicted in the Insurancequotes.com statistics pictured here (partial thumbnail pic; click link to see comprehensive article and click pic to see larger table).

If you do not wish to inform your current insurance company of a DUI conviction, or your company refuses to issue an SR-22 until you jump hoops or unless certain conditions are satisfied, then you may wish to seriously consider contacting a knowledgeable but different insurance company that will issue the SR22 at the time you want it, such as Your DUI Soulutions, Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions, John Macdonald Insurance Service, or Serenity Insurance, without immediately increasing your rates with your current company (these are not endorsements but resources to check out for SR-22s if you like the company, their explanations, fees, and service). At least one of the above insurance companies states they can often prevent any increase at all if properly timed.

You should discuss with your Mendocino County DUI attorney the timing and manner of complying with insurance requirements; it is possible to save thousands of dollars with respect to insurance rates and increases. In most cases, it is a serious mistake to blindly call your insurance company, or respond to a "cold call" SR-22 advertisement or mailer following a Mendocino DUI arrest, when there are "thinking outside the box" solutions to the dramatic insurance increases depicted above.

You can find additional information on Jake's Mendocino DUI lawyer website about SR-22 insurance by clicking on Resources and then clicking on links under "DUI Compliance - Insurance" including an FAQ search engine which contains an answer bank for many common insurance and SR-22 questions such as rate increases, multiple vehicles or insured parties, interplay with other types of policies, out of state requirements, etc.

Low Cost Insurance (not SR-22)

If you simply need insurance to get your driver license back, but you cannot afford insurance, then click here on California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program for information about Mendocino County's participation in the state sponsored low income insurance program. Note: this program does not offer the SR-22.

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Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz