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An introduction to SR-22

When it comes to driving, most people are doing their best to drive as safely as possible. However, whether it is done intentionally or not, unsafe driving does happen. The possibility of injury and damage is one of the main reasons the state of Hawaii requires drivers to have car insurance.

Because vehicles have the potential to cause large amounts of damage to people and their property, the law takes safe driving very seriously. There are penalties for different driving offenses and some of them can require drivers to file for a SR-22.

What is a SR-22?

Essentially, a SR-22 is just a form that proves to the state that a driver has insurance. It is not an insurance policy itself, but it shows the state that a driver does have the necessary amount of insurance to cover an accident.

This is mainly just a safety measure (the SR stands for "safety responsibility"), but it can be a very expensive safety measure. There are three types of SR-22s.

· Owner - Covers vehicles owner by the driver.

· Operator - For when a driver does not own a vehicle.

· Owner-Operator - Covers all vehicles owned by a driver.

When do you need a SR-22?

It is generally suggested that SR-22s be avoided, if at all possible. This is suggested for a few reasons: Firstly, having a SR-22 is usually very expensive, costing many thousands of dollars over the course of the insurance policy. Secondly, SR-22s are usually only required as a penalty for a driving offense. If there is no unsafe driving, there is no reason for an SR-22.

Some driving offenses that could result in a driver needing to have a SR-22 include,

· A DUI conviction

· If a license has previously been suspended

· Requirements from insurance policies

Filing for a SR-22

The state of Hawaii has basic insurance requirements that drivers must meet before they can legally operate a vehicle. You can learn more of the details of insurance requirements at the Hawaii state Department of Motor Vehicles website.

It should be noted that, if you are required to file for a SR-22, you will have to do so with an insurance agency that is legally allowed to operate in the state of Hawaii. For people who are not Hawaiian residents, this could mean taking out a new policy.

Because of the potentially high cost and impact on a driver's future, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of an experienced legal professional if you are facing penalties for driving violations. The legal professional will be able to work with you to make the best of the situation and to ensure that your best interests are the highest priority.

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Rustam A. Barbee, Attorney at Law
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