We have a confession to make. In spite of more than a decade in the car insurance biz, and with insurance experts in 14 different offices across the states, there are still one or 2 car insurance puzzlers that leave us at a loss. For instance, what in the world does the “SR” in “SR-22” actually stand for?

We could easily tell you the Top 6 Things You Should Know about SR-22s, where you can find an SR-22, and why you might need an SR-22, but ask us what that pesky “SR” stands for and … well … we’re stumped.

The meaning of SR-22

Not to be stymied by a couple of initials, however, we decided to get to work investigating the matter. And after a little digging (and a lot of hold music), here’s what we found out: it doesn’t stand for anything.

What? After all that, the truth of the matter is that the S and the R are just arbitrary letters strung together in front of an arbitrary number. According to several (surprisingly chipper) DMV reps and a guy at the Department of Insurance named Sean, the official-sounding moniker, while sounding important, in truth signifies nothing.

During our investigation, however, we came across several feasible hypotheses on what it might stand for, including state report, safety responsibility, state reference, and state requirement.

Additionally, we discovered that the SR-22 is also referred to as a Financial Responsibility Filing, a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), and SR-22 insurance.

No wonder we were stumped. But having finally gotten to the bottom of the SR-22 question, we’re pleased to report that when it comes to auto insurance, we’re now more expert than ever before.

Find out if you really need an SR-22, and get the rest of your questions answered here.


Insurance 101 | Car insurance 101


about Heidi

Heidi brings 11 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. Writer, editor, and all around wordsy, she was content when content wasn’t cool. Also, she likes old-school country.