There are a handful of things that are required in order for you to legally drive on the roads of the United States. Many states not only require you to pass the driver's test and maintain a valid driver's license, but also make you prove that you have insurance on your vehicle. Washington is one of these states.
The reason behind this requirement is fairly simple: If you don't carry car insurance, and get into an accident and hurt someone else, then that person is often out of luck, and will have to pay out of pocket for their own injuries. Because this seems unfair, Washington requires everyone to have car insurance, so this never happens, and there is always an insurance company that will step in and make sure that everyone gets the compensation that they need to get well.
Washington's Car Insurance Requirement
Different states require different levels of car insurance. Some require you to have better insurance than others do, in order to drive on their roads. In Washington, the level of insurance necessary is:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injuries,
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and
- $10,000 for property damage
A DUI Conviction Can Complicate Car Insurance
If you get convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) in Washington, your license will be suspended and you will have to fight to get it back. Unfortunately, Washington sees this as an opportunity to make sure you are playing by its car insurance rules, and takes advantage of your situation.
SR-22 Form Requirement
One of the conditions that you will have to meet, in order to get your driver's license back after a DUI suspension, is to file an SR-22 form. This is a document that says that you have car insurance from an insurance provider that meets Washington's state minimums.
To get an SR-22 form, you will need to talk to your insurance company – only they can issue you one. Once they do, your insurance company will notify the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) that it's been issued.
The cost of an SR-22 form is higher than normal car insurance. This is because the insurance company that issues your SR-22 will consider you to be a higher risk driver, because of the DUI that is now on your driving record. However, you will have to maintain your SR-22 insurance for three years following a DUI conviction, or your insurance company will strip it and notify the DOL that you are driving uninsured. This can lead to further legal trouble.
DUI Attorney Steve Karimi
One of the most overlooked aspects of a DUI situation is its tendency to linger far after the trial closes. DUI-defense attorney Steve Karimi knows and understands this, and can help with the legal implications of a DUI conviction, including insurance issues. Contact his Seattle based law office at (206) 621-8777 or online.