The term “SR-22” refers to a “certificate of financial responsibility” issued by an insurance company. It confirms that you have liability coverage which is available in the event that you cause personal injury or property damage to another.
In Massachusetts, liability coverage is compulsory for everyone, so the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles does not require SR-22 certificates, even when the customer is seeking a hardship license. Some other states, such as California and New Hampshire, for example, do not have compulsory insurance laws and these states may require SR-22 certificates as a condition of reinstatement when a driver has been convicted of Operating Under the Influence.
The SR-22 certificate confirms minimum liability insurance coverage. There is another certificate which confirms that the holder has a higher level of coverage. This is referred to as a SR-44 certificate. This might be required in the case of a repeat DUI offender.
You can obtain a SR-22 certificate from an insurance company licensed to do business in Massachusetts. The difficulty which people encounter is that most insurance companies will not issue coverage to a person whose license has been suspended or revoked. If you find yourself in this predicament, it may be possible to get the Mass. RMV to grant you a temporary thirty (30) day reinstatement of your driver’s license, so that you can get the SR-22 insurance certificate issued.
In order to get a temporary license reinstatement, you must go through the Registry’s hearing process and the RMV will need to override the indefinite AAMVA Withdrawal which is an indefinite revocation imposed as a result of the driver being listed as Not Eligible in the National Driver Register. To get this suspension overridden, you will need to go through a hearing process and the Registry will require a letter from the state requiring the SR-22 indicating that the only reason why your privileges are suspended in that state is due to the lack of a SR-22 Insurance Certificate. It may be advisable to retain an attorney to assist with this process.
Once you obtain the SR-22 and get insurance coverage, you should be able to reinstate your right to operate in the state where the DUI occurred. You can then reinstate from the indefinite AAMVA Withdrawal in Massachusetts. If you have multiple DUI convictions, the Registry will require you to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of reinstatement.