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Expensive SR22 auto insurance to avoid

Hawaii drivers whose licenses are in danger of suspension may want to start taking the issue seriously before they head to court. This is because license suspension is only the start of the consequences.

Drivers sometimes believe they can get the court matter over with, pay their dues with a brief loss of license and small fine, and put it all behind them. This is not so.

What is an SR22 Certificate?

Later, drivers whose licenses undergo suspension may have to buy SR22 insurance. This requirement may reflect the higher costs of insurance for problematic drivers. SR22 is a certificate of financial responsibility necessary before the suspended drivers can regain driving privileges.

This basically means that they have to prove they have required auto liability insurance. The SR22 is a certificate indicating the driver does have the coverage that is a precursor to the state issuing driving privileges. The requirement remains for at least three years.

Who is subject to SR22 requirements?

SR22 requirements often kick in with drivers who were in an accident, deemed responsible and never paid the assessed fines. Its intention is to help monitor the auto insurance of such problematic drivers. The driver's car insurance company files the certificate to prove that the particular driver maintains current liability insurance.

There are other instances where a driver has an obligation to secure an SR22 certificate. A driver convicted of driving under the influence will typically have to maintain an SR22 certificate for a number of years. A driver who successfully defends a DUI will not be subject to the SR22 mandates nor its high cost. Also, in situations where a driver has received a substantial amount of driving record violations resulting in a suspended license, that driver will likely have to provide for an SR22.

Drivers' obligation to fulfill

Because neither the court nor other agency sends a notification to a suspended driver of the requirement to obtain an SR22 certificate, drivers need to be aware of this obligation. Typically, the driver's insurance company determines that the rule applies and ensures its compliance. However, a driver still maintains the responsibility to make sure he or she has filed the SR22 obligation to avoid continued suspension.

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Rustam A. Barbee
1188 Bishop Street Suite 2606
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

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