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Proof of insurance (financial responsibility)
Proof of financial responsibility is certifying that you have liability insurance in the amounts of at least $25,000 and $50,000 for personal injury or death and $10,000 for property damage.
Proof of insurance is filed by obtaining an SR-22 certificate issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in Wisconsin. In some cases, substitutions, such as a bond from an insurance company or a cash deposit of $60,000 posted with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will be accepted. For operation of commercial vehicles, motor carrier insurance may be furnished as proof of financial responsibility.
Proof of insurance is necessary:
- To obtain an occupational license or to reinstate a driver license after operating privileges or vehicle registration has been revoked.
- To reinstate after suspension if the suspension is a damage judgment or a suspension under the uninsured motorists/safety responsibility law.
- For drivers under the age of 18 in lieu of having a sponsor.
Insurance filing is not necessary to reinstate a driver license if a revocation is due to:
- Non-compliance with an assessment interview.
- Non-compliance with a driver safety plan.
- Non-compliance with a driver safety plan - new arrest while in a plan.
- Conviction for a first offense of operating while intoxicated.
During the period of revocation or suspension, a person whose operating privilege was revoked or suspended must file insurance only if they wish to obtain an occupational license.
Insurance must be filed for three years from the reinstatement eligibility date, or for three years from the court entry date of a damage judgment that was effective before September 1, 2000.
How to file proof of insurance
Insurance is filed by providing an SR-22. To obtain an SR-22, contact an insurance company licensed to do business in Wisconsin.
If you are filing insurance in lieu of sponsorship, be sure to tell the insurance agent you want to file insurance "in lieu of sponsorship." Be sure the agent understands the filing is not required due to a revocation or suspension of your operating privilege.
Most insurance companies that file proof of financial responsibility will mail the certificate directly to WisDOT. Some companies will give the SR-22 to the customer and some companies will electronically file the information to WisDOT's computer system. The electronically filed information is usually entered automatically on the customer's driver record within one or two working days.
Voluntary surrender when insurance is required
If, at any time during the three-year filing period, a person wishes to stop filing insurance, and discontinue driving in Wisconsin, they can avoid paying the reinstatement fee in the future by surrendering their driver license to the WisDOT while the insurance is still in force.
Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Last modified: May 25, 2012
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