Nevada SR22 Insurance Explained

What is a Nevada SR22?

An SR-22 is a document issued by a car insurance company that serves as a driver’s “proof of financial responsibility.” In other words an SR-22 verifies that the driver currently has the minimum liability coverage legally required to keep a driver’s license in Nevada, which is:

    • $15,000 for the bodily injury or fatality of one person
    • $30,000 for the bodily injury or fatality of two or more people
    • $10,000 for damage to others’ property

People accused of violating certain Nevada traffic laws are required to get a “SR-22” “proof of financial responsibility” statement from their car insurance company. Otherwise their driver’s licenses will stay suspended. But a skilled Nevada criminal defense attorney may be able to avoid the SR-22 requirement by having the traffic charges reduced or dismissed.

People who’ve had their driver’s licenses suspended by the Nevada DMV often have to file a SR-22 with the DMV before they can get their licenses reinstated. It’s irrelevant whether or not the person owns a vehicle . . . “non-owner” SR-22s are available.

Is an SR-22 necessary to reinstate a driver’s license that was suspended for a DUI in Nevada?

Yes. If the Nevada DMV determines that a person arrested for DUI was driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, then the DMV will suspend the person’s license for a set period of time. The length of the suspension depends on whether the person had previous DUI convictions:

    • 3 months suspension for a first-time DUI
    • 1 year suspension for a second-time DUI
    • 3 years suspension for a third-time DUI

Once the person’s driver’s license is suspended, he/she then needs to file an SR-22 with the DMV to reinstate the license once the suspension period ends. And if the person doesn’t get an SR-22, the driver’s license remains suspended indefinitely.

Note that a person’s license can be suspended for DUI even if he/she is never convicted of DUI in criminal court. And the person would still need to get an SR-22 to reinstate the license.

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When else is an SR-22 necessary to keep a driver’s license in Nevada?

Getting in an at-fault car accident without auto insurance will subject the driver to SR-22 requirements in Nevada. Or getting caught driving with an auto insurance policy that’s been lapsed for more than 90 days will also cause SR-22 requirements to kick in.

How does someone get an SR-22 in Nevada?

The person contacts his/her car insurance company and requests an SR-22. There is usually a fee involved to file the SR-22. The insurance company then notifies the Nevada DMV that the person has an SR-22.

Note that drivers required to get a SR-22 may be seen by insurance companies as “high risk” and may be charged higher premiums in the future.

How long does someone have to maintain an SR-22 in Nevada?

It depends on why the person’s driver’s license was originally suspended. In DUI cases, a person is required to file an SR-22 with the Nevada DMV for three (3) years from the date the person reinstates his/her license.

Note that the Nevada DMV does not notify a driver when the SR-22 period is over. So the driver should contact the DMV if he/she is uncertain about when he/she no longer needs an SR-22.

What if someone with an active SR-22 then has his/her car insurance canceled or lapsed in Nevada?

If someone’s car insurance lapses or gets cancelled before his/her SR-22 period ends, the insurance company will issue a SR-26 form to the Nevada DMV. An SR-26 indicates a discontinuation in auto insurance coverage.

At that point the DMV should notify the driver by certified mail that his/her insurance company notified them that coverage has been terminated. Within ten days of the mailing the DMV may then suspend the person’s registration until he/she can secure new insurance and another SR-22 form. It’s illegal in Nevada to drive without registration.

A person usually needs to go to a physical DMV location to get his/her registration reinstated. Unfortunately, a lapse or cancellation in insurance coverage “restarts the clock” for SR-22 coverage. For example, a DUI defendant whose insurance gets cancelled two years into a three-year SR-22 period would need to get a new SR-22 for another three years.

Can an SR-22 requirement be satisfied through a motorcycle insurance policy in Nevada?

Usually, yes.

How do SR-22 rules apply to out-of-state drivers in Nevada?

People with out-of-state licenses will usually have similar SR-22 rules imposed on them by their home state.

What if someone with an SR-22 in Nevada moves to another state?

Someone who moves away from Nevada would still need to fulfill his/her SR-22 filing period for Nevada despite no longer living in Nevada.

Is there a way to get out of SR-22 regulations in Nevada?

The best way to try to avoid SR-22 requirements is to retain criminal defense counsel as soon as possible following the traffic citation or arrest. The lawyer can then request a Nevada DMV Hearing to contest the driver’s license suspension. If the hearing is successful, the person may no longer be required to get an SR-22.

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