Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
In Tennessee, drivers who have been convicted of certain serious driving violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving without insurance, may be required to get SR-22 insurance. This can be obtained by requesting a form called an SR-22 from your insurer, or getting a new policy that includes an SR-22 certificate. An SR-22, also called a certificate of future financial responsibility, is submitted to the Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) and proves to the state that you have auto insurance to pay for another driver's injuries or damages if at fault in an accident. The cost of an SR-22 isn't high by itself; however, insurance companies charge much more for a driver who requires an SR-22, as it indicates you're risky to insure.
What Is an SR-22 in Tennessee?
An SR-22 is a document issued directly from your insurance company to the state of Tennessee. The SR-22 certifies that you have the state-required liability car insurance from that company, and the company is financially responsible in case of an accident in which you're at fault, up to your policy coverage limits. As such, it's sometimes also referred to as a certificate of future financial responsibility.
SR-22 forms are required for Tennessee drivers who have been designated as high-risk, typically after their licenses have been suspended after a conviction. In order to get your license reinstated, you'll need to show evidence that you've purchased SR-22 insurance that meets the state's minimum requirements. The most common reasons for a driver's license to be suspended in Tennessee are: a DUI, driving without insurance, or being convicted of multiple smaller infractions, like speeding tickets, over a short period of time.
Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance in Tennessee
You may need to file for an SR-22 in order to reinstate your driving privileges in Tennessee even if you don't own a vehicle or have one registered to you. This could happen if you get a DUI while driving a car that belonged to someone else, or you sold your car while your license was suspended. In order to legally drive a car while you're required to have an SR-22, you can buy a kind of nonowner car insurance called nonowner SR-22 insurance. Quotes for nonowner SR-22 insurance coverage are often cheaper than purchasing a normal SR-22 policy, since it only protects you—the driver—and does not cover the car you are driving.
How Do I Get SR-22 Insurance in Tennessee?
SR-22 forms are issued directly from your insurance company to the Tennessee DOS. You won't need to fill out the form yourself; simply notify your insurance company that you need one.
Most major car insurance companies in Tennessee offer SR-22 insurance policies. However, your insurance company may cancel your policy once your license is suspended, and it may not offer to reinstate your coverage now that you're considered a high-risk driver.
Even if your current insurer didn't cancel your policy when your license was suspended, you should be especially thorough and shop around to find the cheapest SR-22 insurance. You may find the best quote at an insurer that specializes in SR-22 policies, like Acceptance Auto Insurance, as opposed to a mainstream insurance insurance company that also offers SR-22 coverage, like GEICO or Progressive.
No matter which insurer you choose, you are highly likely to pay more for auto insurance if you require an SR-22. We found that drivers in Tennessee pay 87% more for car insurance after getting a DUI, one of the most common reasons to need SR-22 insurance.
If you need an SR-22, you are held to the same insurance minimums as all other Tennessee drivers: $25,000 of bodily injury (BI) liability coverage per person, $50,000 of BI liability coverage per accident, and $15,000 in personal property liability coverage. However, we recommend drivers carry more than the minimum amount of coverage, especially if they are at a higher risk of an accident.
You must wait until the Tennessee DOS has received your SR-22 before you can apply to have your license reinstated and you can drive again. You can check the status of your SR-22, as well as your license reinstatement, at the Tennessee DOS website.
When Can I Remove My SR-22 in Tennessee?
SR-22 forms are required in Tennessee for up to five years after your license is suspended. However, if you have an SR-22 for a continuous three-year period, you can ask to have the SR-22 requirement removed. At this point, your insurance rates may decrease, although likely not to the same amount you were paying before your conviction.
It's crucial that you not allow your SR-22 insurance to lapse at any point. If your policy is canceled or lapses, your insurance company will notify the Tennessee DOS, your license will be suspended again and you will have to start the SR-22 process over again.
Alternatively, you can choose to simply wait out Tennessee's five-year SR-22 requirement period by not reinstating your license, although you would not be able to legally drive a car during that time.