Previously, a driver who was in an accident, convicted of a traffic offense, lost their license, or had too many tickets in a short period of time had to have an SR-22, or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR). It proved you met your Rhode Island car insurance requirements, and that you could continue to meet these requirements for a specified time (usually 3 years).
Your insurance carrier filed your SR-22 with the Department of Motor Vehicles to show you’d maintained auto liability coverage. If you let your coverage lapse or cancelled it, your insurer notified the DMV and they’d suspend your license.
If you’re a Rhode Island driver that currently needs an SR-22 certificate, you’ll be pleased to know things have changed.
DMV Eliminates SR-22
Effective July 18, 2018, the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles no longer requires and will not accept SR-22s from insurers. If you have the SR-22 requirement you’re released from the legal obligation. The DMV will send a written confirmation to your last address on file with them.
Instruction to Insurance Companies
The DMV has asked insurance companies to allow you to immediately cancel your SR-22 financial responsibility filings. You do not need to provide the DMV with 10 days’ notice to cancel either. They’ve waived the condition.
Effect on Premiums
If you’re insured with an SR-22, your car insurance company probably considered you a risky driver and you’ve paid much higher premiums as a result. The DMV states insurers should be proactive and adjust premiums accordingly, but it’s in your best interest to contact your independent agent directly.
It may take your insurance company some time to comply with this change, but the DMV states they “must make every effort to make program changes as soon as reasonably possible.”
Since every insurance company differs, speak to you agent to discover how it will affect your Rhode Island auto insurance premiums. If you’ve driven without incident, you are probably eligible to purchase car insurance in the standard market. You may even be able to pay by installments, rather than in full.
Whether or not you’ll see a substantial discount depends on the insurance company’s calculations. Nonetheless, without an SR-22 hanging over your head it is likely you’ll have access to more affordable products than before.
Loiselle Insurance is your local auto insurance expert. If you need advice, want to explore options, or would like one company to handle all your insurance needs, contact us – we’re here to help.