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dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Can I get out of having to provide an SR-22 (please read details)

Asked by dammitjanetfromvegas (4588points) February 4th, 2016

My vehicle registration and car insurance expired last July. I drove our vehicle during the month of August without renewing either one. The beginning of last year was very difficult for us financially because my husband was very ill and missed weeks of work (unpaid), and we were evicted from our home and only given a month to move during the month of May.

We struggled and I was going to get the registration taken care of soon, as well as the insurance, but I was caught and pulled over and ticketed for driving without insurance during the month of August. I received a warning for the expired registration.

I had to go to court and I was fined $490 and I was also put on six months supervision. I then received a notice from the Secretary of State that I had to get an SR-22 or my license would be suspended.

As soon as I came home from being ticketed I searched for hours online to find affordable insurance. I found a great rate for drivers that travel very little. We drive 50–100 miles per week. Our rate is only $45 per month. This is very doable for us. The problem I’m facing is that I contacted my insurance company and they don’t provide SR-22s.

I’m disgusted because I’m a safe driver. I’ve only had one ticket my entire adult life and I’ve never caused an accident. I was in court with others that received small fines for speeding. Now I’m considered “high-risk” with the likes of those with DUIs. I’m being punished because we had financial difficulties. I’m facing paying higher rates because of this. What can I do?

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7 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I would say you need a new Insurance agent. Google says you need an insurance company that complies with the SR-22 requirements. Not sure if that limits the pool of companies or not but I would like to think you can appeal your situation to the right agency. Some of the agencies herald their ability to underwrite DUI drivers and that to me smells like “we will insure you but it’s gonna cost you”. Whoever you do call just don’t sound overly desperate of they may quote you accordingly.

janbb's avatar

See if there is an “assigned risk” pool in your state or just talk to another agent. I don’t see how you can get out of providing an SR-22 unless there is some kind of appeal process. You may need to call the Secretary of State’s office to see if you can appeal but I think you will probably still be considered high risk and thus need to get insurance from a certifying agent. Unfortunately, driving without registration or insurance is considered pretty serious. Sorry you have to deal with this.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I have nothing to add, except my sympathy and that I feel this a great injustice and a trend in the US. It makes one want to scream conspiracy. In Florida, the same thing you describe in your details has happened to thousands during this latest recession. But people, in a state without decent mass transit, must get to work on roads that are bicycle unfriendly, so they are popped multiple times—good, decent drivers with no other police records—for driving under a suspended license. On the third pop, it becomes a felony and that is where life gets really rough. We are creating a class of felons in this state and others with these harsh penalties and accomplishing nothing.

I’ve read that California legislators have recognized this and forgive or fine low income drivers accordingly. They also make payment schedules for them to make the impact upon their budgets easier to handle without causing destitution. Zenvelo would probably know more about this. But my point is that I think it the height of injustice that law abiding, tax paying citizens going through an already rough patch can be ruined by these draconian, insurance industry-driven laws; that because of these laws, these good citizens can find themselves labeld as felons and for the rest of their lives be doomed to low-paying jobs.

janbb's avatar

Sorry Crow but I must disagree with your rant. With the system we have of health care and torts in this country, insurance is essential. You wouldn’t want to get into an accident or lose your home without it. As the former scion of an insurance agency family, I know I am biased and there is greed in the industry but that can be said of any American industry. It’s crappy that this has happened but it has.

And from what I read the SR-22 requirement can be waived after a few years; you are not made a permanent felon. Of course, each state may vary.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@janbb My “rant” as you call it, concerns the injustice and the punitive blitheness of a court system that so easily converts good citizens who have not committed a violent crime into destitute felons. The uninsured driving penalties are only one way this is done.

Brian1946's avatar

I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

I was feeling the Bern, but after reading about your circumstances, my BERN is now fusing hydrogen into helium.

msh's avatar

I am sorry for all the going’s on. Not sure why the kicks when things are already tough. If you figure it out, please do let me know.
Does your State have a Legal Aid office nearby? Even if it is a pain in the ass to get to, can you find a way?
They are great at this kind of thing. That’s how some of the assholes get off so easily. They have lawyers to do it. Sucky system, but better than most others.
If you go in, they will do work for free or at an affordable amount. (low)
I sincerely believe that they might be a very wise choice to find them. A letter from a lawyer has a certain magic through the midden that folks try to conquer on their own. The state’s love it because of the extra revenue from those working on their own. Lesson well-learned here. I have an appointment with them myself coming up.
The Legal Aid is done by some lawyers who volunteer their time. Balm for a guilty conscience or some who just really care. Please take a look. What could it hurt?
Hang in there. I hope the roads get easier for you.

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