In Washington, when your license has been suspended for a DUI, you must show proof of insurance in order to have your license reinstated. This proof of insurance is known as SR-22 filing or SR-22 certificate. The SR-22 must be kept with the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) for 5 years. SR-22 is not an insurance plan but rather proof that you have insurance.
There are two main ways a person goes about getting SR-22 insurance. Either they request their current insurance company to file a certificate or they shop around for an independent company to file on their behalf. Requesting your current insurer to file an SR-22 is the most common method and some insurers will do this for no additional cost or a small fee. However, depending on your policy, your insurance company may not provide SR-22 filings or may raise your premiums prematurely if you notify them ahead of time by requesting an SR-22 filing. In these situations, other companies offer insurance and SR-22 filings and it is worth while to call around to get the best rates.
If you are facing a DUI or Physical Control charge, make sure to discuss with your attorney any insurance consequences. In the long run this could end up costing you more than fines and fees after everything is done.