Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2020

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Things to Remember

  • Creating a bond for auto insurance is something you may be required to do in order to keep your license and vehicle registration intact.
  • Bonds are used in conjunction with, or as a replacement for, standard auto insurance.
  • Depending on the reason for your getting the bond, you may or may not have to pay the insurance company fee.
  • With the exception of the voluntary SR-22 procured for self-insurance purposes, auto insurance bonds are usually temporary.

Creating an auto insurance bond is something you may be required to do to keep your license and vehicle registration intact. But how do I create a bond for auto insurance?

Regardless of why you need to create a bond, it’s not difficult to do. In most cases, it can be accomplished through a simple phone call, the transfer of some paperwork, and a small fee paid upfront.

Enter your ZIP code above to compare car insurance rates from second chance auto insurance companies in your area. You may even be able to find cheap SR-22 auto insurance in your area.

Do I actually create the bond?

Bonds are used in conjunction with, or as a replacement for, standard auto insurance. But the exact SR-22 definition of these bonds, also known as SR-22 bonds, varies from state to state.

While you’ll find some general information about them in this article, it’s recommended you contact your state motor vehicle or insurance department in order to verify how to create a bond in your state. So, if you’re wondering how do I create a bond for auto insurance in California, check with the CA DMV.

According to Drivinglaws.org, the driver who needs the SR-22 bond does not create it. This type of bond is simply an instrument demonstrating to a court that you have the financial resources to maintain your auto insurance.

Motor vehicle bond insurance is also a secondary statement of sorts that proves your auto insurance is still in force.

Therefore, you can’t create it. Your auto insurance company or a third-party surety company must create it for you. Which entity creates it depends on your circumstances.

In most cases, your insurance company creates the bond and then electronically files the paperwork with your state.

Depending on the reason you’re getting the bond, you may or may not have to pay the insurance company fee. Let’s take a look at a video further explaining what necessitates a surety bond.

If circumstances dictate you use a surety company, that company will create the bond and then relay the paperwork to your insurance company, who will in turn file it with the state.

In either case, you simply need to provide the appropriate information and pay any fees upfront that might be necessary.

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Why would I need a bond?

Creating a bond for auto insurance is required by a court usually after one or more serious driving-related incidents.

For example, if you’re arrested for DUI/DWI a court might order a bond because you are a much higher risk to other drivers on the road. Let’s take a look at a table showing what consequences you’re looking at for a first time DUI offense. Note that these DUI tables are general penalties; some states have increased penalties for this offense.

Common Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense
Type of Penalty for First DUIPenalty Details
License revoked6 months
Jail timeBAC over .20: 10 days
BAC over .25: 15 days
BAC over .30: 20 days
up to 180 days
FineUp to $1,000
Vehicle impoundedNo law
DUI programAlcohol Diversion Program possible
Community serviceDetermined in court
Mandatory ignition
interlock device
Yes
Required to get
license reinstated
$98 min, SR22 insurance, and retake driver test
ProbationDetermined in court
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As you can see, even with a first time offense, the penalties are severe. Now let’s see what happens with a second DUI offense.

Common Penalties for a Second DUI Offense
Type of Penalty for Second DUIPenalty Details
License revoked1 year
Jail timeBAC below .20: 5 min
BAC over .20: 10 days
BAC over .25: 20 days
up to 1 year
FineUp to $5,000
Vehicle impoundedNo law
DUI programDetermined in court
Community service30 days possible
Mandatory ignition
interlock device
Yes
Required to get
license reinstated
$98 min, SR22 insurance, and retake driver test
ProbationDetermined in court
Get Your Rates Quote Now

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The penalties take quite a leap, but not as much as with a third DUI offense. Let’s take a look at one last table.

Common Penalties for a Second DUI Offense
Type of Penalty for Third DUIPenalty Details
License revoked3 years
Jail timeBAC under .20: 5 days min
BAC over .20: 15 days
BAC over .25: 25 days
up to 1 year
FineUp to $10,000
Vehicle impoundedNo law
DUI programDetermined in court
Community service30 days possible
Mandatory ignition
interlock device
Yes
Required to get
license Reinstated
$98 min, SR22 insurance, and retake driver test
ProbationDetermined in court
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

As you can see, with a third offense, you’re probably going to be paying upwards of $10,000 in addition to other penalties. At this point you’;l most certainly need a bond.

The DUI bond would provide a guarantee of extra liability coverage in addition to what your current auto policy already provides. The same can be said for excessive speeding tickets and other violations.

How long does a speeding ticket affect your auto insurance? It depends on a number of factors. Click the link to learn all about it.

You may also be required to get an SR-22 bond if you’ve been caught driving without insurance.

This sort of bond guarantees to the court you have the financial resources to pay your insurance, and that your insurance is still in force.

In this type of scenario, it is almost always impossible to have your driving privileges restored without producing a bond.

In terms of voluntary bonding, some states allow drivers to self-insure as long as they have the financial resources. The bond is proof of those resources.

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Will I always have to have an auto insurance bond?

With the exception of the voluntary SR-22 procured for self-insurance purposes, auto insurance bonds are usually temporary.

While states have different auto insurance laws, in this area it’s generally accepted that three to five years is the life of a bond requirement as long as the driver is not found guilty of any additional offenses.

A court may alter this time frame if necessary, depending on the severity of the circumstances that caused it to be implemented to begin with.

If you move to another state, be advised that you’re still required by law to fulfill the terms of the bond in the state where it was issued.

For example, if you must file an SR-22 or bond in the state of Texas, and you decide to move to Oklahoma, you must still carry that Texas bond until its time period expires.

This can get complicated if your move to the new state requires you get a new insurance company. But insurance companies know how to work around these issues to make sure you’re in compliance with the law.

What if I violate the terms of my bond?

State courts take auto insurance issues very seriously. Therefore, if you violate the terms of your bond you are essentially violating the terms of the court.

This could result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, suspension of your vehicle registration, and even jail time in some cases.

At the very least, you’ll most certainly lose the money that you put up for the bond.

A court that orders you to secure an auto insurance bond is one that is suspicious of your integrity and character anyway.

The judge is likely to be far less lenient if he’s giving you a second chance through an SR-22 bond and you turn around and blow that second chance.

If you’re ordered to get an auto insurance bond, do everything in your power to make sure you fulfill its terms and obey the law in the future.

Ready to look for car insurance quotes? Now that you know how to create a bond for auto insurance, enter your ZIP code now into our helpful tool below to compare insurance bonds’ rates in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions: How do I create a bond for auto insurance?

Are you ready to buy car insurance? Hopefully, we’ve answered all of your questions like how do I create a bond for auto insurance in CA, but if we haven’t, keep reading to learn more.

#1 – Can I have a surety bond instead of auto insurance?

Yes, but it is important to keep in mind that not all states allow surety bonds.

#2 – What is a bond for insurance and how does an insurance bond work?

This is where the investment is paid in the form of a single payment and the bond covers the surety company against finacial loss, whereas an insurance policy covers the insured.

#3 – What is the definition of SR-22?

This is a certificate that proves that you carry proper auto insurance coverage. An SR-22 becomes necessary after one or more serious offenses.

#4 – Can I get self-insurance bond for auto insurance?

Yes, you just pay a one-time bond or deposit to your state’s DMV. This one-time payment is usually equal to or higher than the liability insurance requirement of your state.