The last few years in Indiana have been nothing short of great news for those whose driving privileges have been suspended. The latest opportunity offered by the lawmakers may just be the best yet. And it is pretty simple. All you have to do is carry SR-22 insurance for 180 days in a row and many common types of license suspensions are terminated. Let’s start with looking at what SR-22 insurance actually is, and then we will talk about what kinds of suspensions can be terminated under this program.
I’ve heard SR-22 insurance called “high-risk” or “DUI insurance” and a whole host of others. I think it is best called “proof of financial responsibility.” SR-22 is not its own kind of insurance, but rather a feature that can be added to any insurance policy that meets the state minimum coverage requirements. The SR-22 feature means that your insurance company promises to notify the BMV directly if your insurance lapses or terminates for any reason. The name actually comes from the random number of the form used by the BMV. Once you add SR-22 to your insurance, then your insurance company will electronically send the BMV a Form SR-22 to show the BMV that you have at least state minimum coverage. Another form called an SR-26 is automatically sent if the policy terminates. SR-22 coverage and the date you obtained it will also be indicated on your driving record.
So, you’ve contacted your insurance company and added SR-22 to your policy. The form has been sent to the BMV. Now what will happen? Well, there are some immediate benefits and, of course, more benefits after 180 days. Lets have a look:
- Suspensions for failure to provide proof of insurance. These suspensions will be immediately stayed and then terminated completely after 180 days. Any reinstatement fees associated with the proof of insurance suspensions will be waived.
- Any suspension for a failure to pay fines, fees, and court costs. Suspension is initially stayed and then terminated after 180 days.
- Suspensions due to delinquent child support. Once a qualifying support payment is made and proper notification of the payment is given to the collecting authority, collecting authority then must send a notice of suspension termination to the BMV within 7 days.
- Suspension due to a failure to appear in court. Suspension is stayed upon receipt of SR-22 and remains stayed as long as insurance with SR-22 feature is active.
There are a few caveats of course. For example, while carrying SR-22 will terminate a suspension for failure to appear in court, the actual matter of the violation itself does not go away and you will have to go to court or otherwise resolve whatever the police said you did. Likewise, if the court you failed to appear in has issued a warrant for your arrest for failing to appear, then the SR-22 will not remove the warrant. There are some types of suspensions that cannot be terminated by this program alone. They include:
- Habitual Traffic Violator suspensions.
- Court ordered suspensions (e.g. reckless driving, OVWI, passing a school bus arm, etc.).
- Suspension for refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol / controlled substance test under the Implied Consent statute.
- Points accumulation suspension.
- Medical disqualification.
- Failure to take defensive driving.
- Suspension due to unpaid judgment.
- Suspensions from outside of Indiana.
This tool alone is very effective in getting your driving privileges reinstated quickly, at least on a conditional basis. It can also eliminate thousands in reinstatement fees for doing nothing more than carrying insurance; which is required to drive anyway. Moreover, there do not appear to be any substantial restrictions on combining with other tools such as Specialized Driving Privileges and Judicial Review of HTV Lifetime Suspension.
Cleaning up your driver’s license can seem like a daunting task. It can be as confusing as it is frustrating. Indiana has shown a promising trend toward getting people back on the road in the last several years, there are no guarantees it will last. Contacts us today for a thorough review of your driving history and a personalized plan to get your license back utilizing all legal options available.