How Long Do You Need SR22 Insurance in Colorado?

by Jackie Lohrey ; Updated July 27, 2017

SR-22 insurance affects certain drivers coming off a license suspension or revocation period. It’s not insurance in and of itself; instead, it serves as evidence that you’ve purchased car insurance that meets the state’s 25/50/15 liability coverage requirement. If you meet the definition of a high-risk driver, the requirement applies whether or not you own a vehicle.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance

Drivers who meet Colorado’s definition of a high-risk driver, and therefore need SR-22 insurance, include:

  • A driver convicted of driving under the influence, driving with impaired ability or any other serious moving violation
  • An uninsured driver found to be at fault in a car accident
  • A driver caught operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license
  • A driver coming off a license suspension due to repeat traffic offenses or the accumulation of too many demerit points within a specific period

The SR-22 Filing Time Frame

Although the average SR-22 filing requirement is three years, actual requirements range from three months to three years depending on the reason for a license suspension or revocation.

However, for first-time drunken driving offenders, Colorado Statute 42-2-132.5(4)(b)(II) provides an exception to the three-year rule. The law gives a judge the option to shorten the filing time frame for a first-time drunken driving offender to anywhere from four months to the maximum three years.

How an SR-22 Filing Works

Not every insurer offers SR-22 insurance, so you may need to change insurance companies. Those that do offer the certificate usually charge higher monthly premiums because of your high-risk designation.

Although most insurers file the certificate on your behalf and send you a copy, some may send you the form. In this case, you can file it in person or mail it at the same time you file an application for license reinstatement.

If you don't keep the SR-22 current -- if you cancel the policy or allow it to lapse -- the insurer will notify the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and your driver's license will be suspended until you reinstate the policy or purchase new insurance.

About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.