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Wisconsin drivers that have had their driver’s license revoked or suspended, often due to serious driving violations such as a DUI or hit and run, may be required to obtain SR-22 insurance coverage. An SR-22 form filing provides legal proof of insurance indicating that you meet Wisconsin's minimum personal liability insurance requirements. An insurance company must file the SR-22 form on your behalf and will often charge a nominal fee, less than $50, for the filing.
The cost of SR-22 insurance is often substantially higher than standard auto insurance policies, as policyholders with past driving violations are considered high risk to insure.
What is an SR-22 insurance certificate in Wisconsin, and when is it required?
Filing an SR-22 form in Wisconsin provides proof of insurance coverage by demonstrating that you carry the minimum liability insurance coverage requirements in Wisconsin:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident.
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
- $10,000 property damage coverage.
The state of Wisconsin requires proof of insurance coverage or financial responsibility, and thereby an SR-22 filing, in the following circumstances:
- To acquire an occupational license, or a restricted driver's license that enables citizens to maintain their employment and household duties after having their driving privileges revoked.
- To reinstate a driver's license after driving privileges have been revoked or suspended, particularly due to a damage judgment, or an accident with unpaid damages of $500 or more, or violation of the uninsured motorists/safety responsibility law.
- To drive under the age of 18 without a sponsor. In Wisconsin, all drivers under age 18 are required to have a sponsor to obtain a driver's license or instructor's permit.
Serious driving violations such as DUIs/DWIs, hit and runs or reckless driving can result in revocation or suspension of a driver's license, as well as the need for an occupational license.
How do I get SR-22 insurance coverage in Wisconsin?
To get SR-22 insurance coverage in Wisconsin, you will need to work with a car insurance company licensed to do business in the state.
- Find an eligible insurer or contact your current carrier. Not all insurance companies provide SR-22 coverage, so be sure to confirm with your current provider or find a new provider that will file the SR-22 form on your behalf. If you're filing an SR-22 form as an under-18 driver, be sure to let the insurance company know the filing is in lieu of sponsorship. This lets the insurance company know you're applying for coverage to drive under the age of 18 without a parent or guardian as a sponsor.
- Pay the appropriate SR-22 fee. When your insurer files the SR-22 form on your behalf, it will typically charge a flat fee between $15 and $50.
- Have an insurer file proof of insurance on your behalf. The insurance company you do business with will file the SR-22 form directly, usually via mail or electronically with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Electronically filed SR-22 certificates should be reflected on your driving record within a few business days.
- Receive confirmation from the DMV. Upon processing the SR-22 form, the DMV should send you a letter confirming proof of insurance coverage and that you are legally eligible to drive again.
How long is SR-22 insurance coverage required in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, drivers are required to hold SR-22 insurance filings for three years from the date their licenses are eligible to be reinstated. Insurance companies will notify the Wisconsin DMV if you cancel or do not renew your SR-22 policy. Letting SR-22 coverage lapse can result in loss of driving privileges, reinstatement fees and increased cost of car insurance.
To avoid a lapse in coverage, we recommend renewing your policy early — usually at least 30 days in advance — during the three years you're required to carry SR-22 insurance. Once you've carried SR-22 coverage for more than three years following the date of license reinstatement eligibility, contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to verify that your requirement is complete. If so, you should contact your insurance provider to inform the company that an SR-22 filing is no longer required.
How much does SR-22 insurance usually cost in Wisconsin?
The cost of SR-22 insurance could be more expensive than a standard full coverage car insurance policy for two reasons: a fee and the greater risk you represent.
The only added cost explicitly linked to SR-22 insurance is when your insurance company files the SR-22 form on your behalf. In this circumstance, insurers usually charge a nominal fee between $15 and $50. However, SR-22 insurance policies often end up costing more than typical auto insurance coverage if the SR-22 filing is required due to previous driving violations such as a DUI or repeat traffic offenses. A history of such violations will lead insurers to consider you a higher risk driver.
The average cost of car insurance in Wisconsin is $688 annually, or $57 per month. A DUI alone can increase car insurance premiums between 30-50%, depending on your exact location and insurance provider. If, for example, a typical annual premium is $700 in Milwaukee or Madison, applying for SR-22 insurance due to a DUI on your driving record could increase the cost of car insurance to as much as $1,050 annually.
To find the cheapest rate for SR-22 insurance in Wisconsin, we recommend shopping around for SR-22 quotes from multiple insurers. Insurance companies assess risk differently and charge different prices accordingly, so searching for multiple quotes is often the best strategy to find cheap SR-22 insurance.
We also recommend inquiring about potential discounts, as drivers are often eligible for cost reductions based on their vehicle type, driving record, participation in a defensive driving course, being a good student and much more.