SR22 Coverage Requirements After Los Angeles DUI
If you’re convicted of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you’re probably more stressed over the prospect of hefty fines or lengthy jail terms than what happens to your insurance. However, if you lose your license, you must buy SR22 supplemental insurance coverage to restore your driving privileges. Hiring a skilled Los Angeles DUI Attorney can make the process feel less overwhelming, especially after the initial shock of your arrest.
What’s An SR22?
The SR22 rwquirement kicks in after the Department of Motor Vehicles suspends your license, which requires an administrative hearing. An SR22 is a DMV certificate that shows your insurance coverage is current. You must demand a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Due to the complexity of DUI defenses, consider hiring a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer to fight on your behalf.
Tthe DMV will notify you by mail of the result, and when the suspension period begins, if the hearing officer rules against you. Keep in mind that you face two potentially license suspension periods. The DMV suspension is an administrative process that doesn’t impact what happens in court, which may impose its own additional sanctions against your license.
What Happens Next?
A DUI conviction typically results in a four-month suspension on a first offense. That period starts with a so-called “hard suspension,” in which no driving is allowed. Once that time is up, you may apply for a restricted license. You must get an SR22 form from your insurer, pay a $125 reinstatement fee, and agree to enroll in a DUI education class. However, you must complete the class first before you can get your restricted license.
Ignition Interlock Requirements
If you live in Los Angeles County, you’ll deal with one more requirement, on top of the SR22. You must install an ignition interlock device, which requires proving that you’re sober. Otherwise, your car won’t start. The rule is in place, because Los Angeles is among four counties that’s participating in an IID pilot program. Once you install the IID, and get your SR22, you’re closer to getting a restricted license.
SR22 Coverage Overview
Your insurer will typically charge $25 to $50 to file your SR22 certificate through the DMV. Coverage ranges from $300 to $800, which depends on various factors, like auto insurance. For this reason, some drivers buy SR22 policies from a different insurer than their current one.
California law requires you to keep an SR22 certificate on file for three years. If your coverage lapses, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges, until you file a new certificate. However, don’t expect the issue to go away if you move. Most states require some kind of SR22 form, which means buying a new policy, and going through the filing process all over again.
Although most drivers don’t realize it, the SR22 requirement applies to all license suspensions, not just those for DUI. However, the form isn’t required if you don’t plan on driving after your DUI conviction. If you don’t own a car, but can access one, you do need an SR22 non-owner’s form that clears you to drive someone else’s vehicle.
As you can see, the SR22 process can be tricky and confusing, at the best of times. But you can navigate it with help from an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney, who knows exactly what’s required. With your his expert guidance, you can minimize any additional stress from dealing with the SR22 requirements and license suspension process.