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SR-22 in North Carolina

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Each state has its own laws regarding insurance requirements. North Carolina requires all state-registered vehicles to have car insurance. SR-22s are not required in the state, but drivers who need to prove they carry at least the state’s minimums may need to file a DL-123 instead. This overview explores how a poor driving record can impact your auto insurance premium and how to satisfy North Carolina’s proof of financial responsibility requirements.

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An SR-22 is essentially proof that you are maintaining the required state minimum coverage on your insurance policy for a specified time. North Carolina is one of few states that does not require an SR-22 form following a severe driving violation. Most states do have some form of financial responsibility attached to a poor driving record. The certificate type varies by state so if you move out of NC, you might be obligated to acquire an SR-22, SR-21 or an FR-44 in your new state. This overview explores when an SR-22 might be required and how a bad driving record can impact your auto insurance premium.

DL-123 in North Carolina

While SR-22 forms are not utilized in North Carolina, certain drivers — including teens, someone applying for their license for the first time in North Carolina and those convicted with a DUI or DWI — still must provide proof of insurance to the NC DMV. North Carolina uses standard form DL-123 to provide proof of insurance. DL-123 forms are sent by your insurance company and may be required for anyone getting an NC license for the first time or getting a license reinstated.

What is “SR-22 insurance?”

Although an SR-22 is not actually insurance, it does coincide with your auto insurance policy. An SR-22 is a certificate proving you are carrying the minimum insurance requirements for a specified time, which will vary by state. Typically, SR-22 certificates are required after a driver receives a serious driving violation like a DUI.

Although SR-22 forms are not required in North Carolina, DL-123 forms are. Drivers who are trying to obtain a license after a serious driving violation may be required to provide proof of financial responsibility, or proof of minimum required insurance coverage, to the DMV in order to register their vehicle. In some cases, proof of financial responsibility may even be required to reinstate a driver’s license following a serious driving conviction.

To obtain the proper proof of financial responsibility to satisfy the NC DMV’s conditions, you will need to purchase an insurance policy and carry the required minimum limits of liability. In North Carolina, drivers are required to carry $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person up to $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident (for 2 or more people) and $25,000 in property damage.

North Carolina DL-123 alternatives

It is important for high-risk drivers to understand that every state has different requirements following a major driving violation. However, almost all states require some form of financial responsibility certificate or proof of insurance for any high-risk driver seeking to get back on the road. Depending on what state you live in, even if you are temporarily located elsewhere, such as North Carolina, you may need to obtain one of the following forms from your insurance company.

Form States issued Required insurance minimums
SR-22 All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania Drivers will be required to maintain the minimum bodily injury and property damage liability limits. Limits vary per state.
FR-19 Maryland Drivers must carry $30,000 bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 per accident and $15,000 property damage.
SR-22A Georgia, Texas and Missouri Drivers will be required to maintain the minimum bodily injury and property damage liability limits. Limits vary per state.
FR-44 Virginia and Florida In Virginia, drivers must carry $50,000 bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 per accident and $40,000 property damage.
Drivers in Florida must carry $100,000 bodily injury liability per person, $300,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage.
SR-50 Indiana Drivers must carry $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 property damage.
  • FR-19: If Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration requests proof of insurance, an FR-19 is issued.
  • SR-22A: An SR-22A form is used in Georgia, Texas and Missouri. An SR-22A is like an SR-22 in that it is required by the state’s motor vehicle department to confirm proof of financial responsibility for high-risk drivers, especially drivers who are repeat offenders.
  • FR-44: Virginia and Florida both utilize FR-44 forms. An FR-44 form is also like an SR-22 in that it is required for high-risk drivers. However, for certain serious driving violations, it may require higher liability limits than the minimum state requirement.
  • SR-50: Indiana has its own form of an SR-22 titled an SR-50 which provides proof of financial responsibility for high-risk drivers.

Non-owner SR-22

High-risk drivers may opt to not purchase a vehicle at all after a serious moving violation. However, some states will still require a high-risk driver to furnish proof of financial responsibility even if they do not own a car, since that driver could easily borrow or drive another person’s vehicle. Anyone needing an SR-22 who does not own a vehicle would need to purchase a non-owners insurance policy carrying the state required limits of liability.

DL-123 North Carolina insurance costs

While a DL-123 itself won’t impact insurance costs, the cause of needing one can. North Carolina operates under a Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP). SDIP points are added against your driving record following certain moving violations. A DWI is one of the most serious violations you could get adding 12 SDIP points onto your driving record — the highest number of points possible. SDIP points stay on your driving record for three years.

In North Carolina, most high-risk drivers, like those who have received a DWI, are assigned to the NC reinsurance facility which is essentially a high-risk insurance pool. Although some insurance companies may still choose to provide standard coverage to you as a high-risk driver, most companies will place you in this facility rating. High-risk drivers can typically expect very large premiums, regardless of whether they are part of the NC reinsurance facility. In fact, Drivers with DWIs or other similar convictions could see their car insurance premiums increase by 311 percent on average, according to average rates from Quadrant Information Services. Additionally, severe driving violations can result in loss of driving privileges.

Frequently asked questions

    • SR-22 forms are not required in the state of North Carolina. However, North Carolina does operate under a Safe Driver Incentive Plan which assigns SDIP points against your driving record for serious moving violations. SDIP points stay on your record for a period of three years and if you are considered a high-risk driver, your insurance premium will be impacted for three years from your conviction date, not your incident date. A conviction date is the date your charge is processed through the NC court system.
    • An SR-22 is not a type of insurance but is rather a form certifying that you are carrying your state’s required minimum insurance coverages. North Carolina does not utilize SR-22 forms. If you are a newly licensed driver in North Carolina, are attempting to reinstate your license, or simply are being asked to furnish proof of insurance, you will need to call your insurance carrier and ask them to issue a DL-123 (or proof of insurance) form to the NC DMV.
    • DL-123 forms do not directly impact your insurance premium, but since they are required for high-risk drivers who have DUI or DWI violations on their record, drivers needing a DL-123 will typically face higher insurance premiums. Drivers with a DUI or DWI on their record can expect to pay an average of 311 percent more for full coverage. Rates will also be dependent on the number of SDIP points added to their driving record.
    • Yes, North Carolina law explicitly states that the minimum liability requirements of $30,000/$60,000/$25,000 must be carried on all registered vehicles. In fact, insurance companies are legally obligated to report any insurance lapses or cancellations to the NC DMV. If the DMV has received notice that your policy has terminated, you will need to furnish proof of insurance within 10 days from your notice date. Failure to do so can result in civil penalties/fees and revocation of a vehicle’s plates.
    • If your license is suspended, it is still possible to obtain car insurance in North Carolina. However, the process may be more difficult and depends on the reason behind your license suspension. North Carolina requires liability insurance, so insurance companies in the state cannot refuse policies to drivers who have a suspended license. In some cases, insurers may transfer policies to the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility, which ensures coverage for drivers of all risk levels.

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