After a DUI: 12 Steps to Properly Handle Your DUI Insurance and Reinstatement Your Suspended License Part II
Welcome back to the second half of this two-part blog post on insurance and license reinstatement after a DUI. Last blog we gave you four steps to take in order to get your license back. We hope that the advice of DUI attorneys has helped you get back on your feet after getting a DUI.
We’ll continue our 12 step blog post about insurance and license reinstatement in part two, starting on step five. We’ll explain how to get the high-risk insurance you will need to get your license back and start driving again.
Step 5: Look Into Providers Who Offer SR-22 Forms
Of course, you will actually need more than just a high-risk policy. The state of Florida requires proof of your new coverage from your insurance agency as an SR-22 form.
This form confirms that you have the minimum high-risk insurance coverage and are in compliance. However, not all insurance agencies offer SR-22s. So you will need to look around and identify a collection of insurance providers that can offer this paperwork to you. Expect to pay a fee to your insurance company to get the form, as well as a second fee to your DMV to file it.
Step 6: Know the Minimum Insurance Coverage Requirements for SR-22 Drivers
It’s more difficult for DUI drivers to shop around for good insurance deals. The state of Florida has minimum policy requirements for drivers who are required to have high-risk insurance.
This is the 10/20/10 rule. It defines how much of each type of insurance coverage you need in addition to filing your SR-22 form. You will need $10,000 coverage for injury or death of another driver. $20,000 coverage for accidents that involve multiple injuries or deaths. And $10,000 in coverage for any property damage.
Ideally, these numbers won’t come into play because you will drive carefully from here on out, but your coverage must meet those minimums in order to be in compliance with the court.
Step 7: Start Comparing DUI Insurance Quotes
Now that you know what is required, it’s time to start comparing quotes. Do not assume that your current insurance provider is even willing to provide an SR-22 and high-risk insurance. If they do, don’t assume that this is the most affordable option available to you.
Big name providers may also not be your best go-to solution. Instead, you’ll want to compare a wide sampling of providers available in your area. There is often a local provider who specializes in high-risk policies who can offer you the best deal. They will be hard to find without a comprehensive quote comparison service.
Step 8: Take a Defensive Driving Course
If you’re not satisfied with the costs found in your quotes comparison, then we highly suggest that you take a defensive driving course. This is considered a legitimate way to lower your risk consideration in the eyes of an insurance company. It shows your interest in driving carefully. The course also makes sure that you are completely refreshed on local traffic laws and best practices for safe driving.
Step 9: Get Your SR-22 and File It
Once your DUI insurance is set up, talk to your insurance provider about how to attain and file the SR-22. Some providers are actually willing to take care of the filing process for you. (Particularly if they specialize in DUI insurance.) Others will simply be willing to release the completed form to you. If so, you will need to take it to your local DMV and file it. Probably with a filing fee of less than $20.
Step 10: Pay Any Additional Fees
With your SR-22 form filed, you are almost done with the long process of getting your license reinstated. Before starting to drive again, check in on any remaining requirements for your case. There are often a few additional fees or fines to pay to get your license reinstated and begin to drive. You may have fines from the DUI itself to pay, an additional fee for getting the new license, or a myriad of processing fees just from being involved in the court system briefly. Make sure these are all paid before continuing.
Step 11: Drive Only When Your Insurance is Set and Your License is Reinstated
After this long process, it is tempting to get back behind the wheel and start living your life normally again. But have a little patience. Chances are that there will be a small amount of additional waiting time for your license reinstatement to be processed. This might be as much as two weeks after completing all your paperwork and payments. Keep up your alternate transportation arrangements until the license is in your hand.
Step 12: Wait Three Years
Finally, understand that you will need to keep up your high-risk DUI insurance for at least three years after the incident. These three years do not start until your license is reinstated. While this may put a dent in your annual budget, with patience you will eventually be able to return to normal insurance policies and in ten years. The DUI will fade out of your driving record and no longer even influence the cost of your current insurance.
Recovering from a DUI can turn your entire life upside down. From losing your license to jumping through hoops to get it back, recovering will take time, hard work and a surprising amount of paperwork.
Let our DUI attorneys help. For more about how to recover from your DUI and put your life back together, contact us. Our team of caring legal professionals are here to help.