Driving without car insurance is illegal in most states in the U.S., but for some drivers, the high price of car insurance is more than they can afford, leaving many with no choice but to go without. However, the penalties for being caught without insurance are steep. This is where FR-44 insurance could be the perfect solution. FR-44 is a document of financial responsibility to prove that high-risk drivers carry the minimum amount of auto insurance as mandated by law.
At Bankrate, we know the challenges of affording car insurance, especially when you are a high-risk driver facing high premiums. Still, you cannot afford to go without car insurance when the penalties and consequences are so steep. This is where we can help you find the right FR-44 car insurance for you.
What is FR-44 Insurance?
FR-44 Insurance, also known as an FR44, is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. While the FR-44 is not actually insurance itself, it does prove that you carry the minimum amount of car insurance required by your state.
FR-44 insurance is required when your record includes more serious offenses, such as DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated) or driving with a forfeited license. This insurance is similar to SR-22 insurance, but the requirements are much different.
An FR44 has much more stringent requirements and terms than the standard SR-22, and it can also have long-term ramifications, such as higher insurance premiums in the future. When you have a significant offense on your record, insurance companies will likely classify you as a high-risk driver and therefore will charge you much more for your annual premium.
How does an FR-44 impact my insurance?
When you are classified as a high-risk driver, it can be far more difficult to obtain auto insurance than the average driver. Insurance companies often charge much higher rates to account for the increased risk, and that is if you are approved at all. An FR-44 often means that you must purchase additional auto insurance coverage than the standard policy to account for the added risk. Some providers may also require you to pay for your premiums upfront on an annual or bi-annual basis.
States where FR-44s are required
An FR-44 form is used specifically in two states: Virginia and Florida. Although both states require this form from your insurer, the requirements for each state are actually quite different.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that you obtain an FR-44 if you have committed certain offenses on or following January 1, 2008, or if you have been mandated per court order to continue FR-44 certification.
You will need an FR-44 if you have any of the following crimes on your record:
- Driving on a suspended license or one forfeited due to a conviction
- Driving while under the influence
- Maiming under the influence
- Violation of any federal, state or local law similar to the above
Virginia FR-44 liability insurance requires that you purchase a bare minimum amount of coverage. This includes the following protections in liability coverage.
Virginia FR-44 Insurance Requirements
|Bodily Injury Coverage per person||$50,000|
|Bodily Injury Coverage per accident||$100,000|
|Property Damage Coverage||$40,000|
While set up similarly to Virginia, the Florida FR-44 carries far more significant penalties. As a popular vacation spot, Florida carries a higher rate of DUIs and DWIs than the national average, so state officials have cracked down on the penalties for those with a DWI or DUI conviction.
There is one caveat, however: if your DUI or DWI conviction was on or before February 1, 2008, you are not required to obtain an FR-44. For all convictions thereafter, drivers in Florida must carry an FR-44.
Florida requires significantly more liability coverage than Virginia does.
Florida FR-44 Insurance Requirements
|Bodily Injury Coverage per person||$100,000|
|Bodily Injury Coverage per accident||$300,000|
|Property Damage Coverage||$50,000|
Additionally, Florida charges reinstatement fees based on the number of offenses that you have.
Florida Reinstatement Fee Schedule
|Type of Offense||Reinstatement Fee|
Based on these amounts, you need to find the best insurance provider for you who can provide you with this minimum amount of coverage and submit the required FR-44 to the state. Otherwise, your failure to obtain an FR-44 could result in the suspension of driving privileges and vehicle registration.
How to get an FR-44 without a car
Not all FR-44 holders actually own a car. Some people still want to hold a valid driver’s license so that they can drive when they want or need to. A lapse in car insurance can also mean more expensive car insurance premiums when you have a car again.
If you have a valid driver’s license but do not currently own a car, non-owner car insurance will ensure that you have uninterrupted auto insurance coverage that protects you if and when you slide behind the wheel.
A non-owner auto insurance policy generally includes both bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Medical and uninsured motorist coverage may also be covered under your non-owner insurance policy. Damage to rental or borrowed vehicles is not usually covered, as well as things like comprehensive, collision and towing coverage, which require additional insurance.
FR-44 vs SR-22
While an FR-44 is limited to Florida and Virginia, an SR-22 is a type of certification widely used around the country.
An SR-22 is very similar to an FR-44, but it does not require such severe requirements. Instead, it requires that you carry the the minimum liability required by your state.
|Florida FR-44||Virginia FR-44|
|Bodily Injury Coverage per person||$100,000||$50,000|
|Bodily Injury Coverage per accident||$300,000||$100,000|
|Property Damage Coverage||$50,000||$40,000|
Frequently asked questions
How much does an FR-44 cost?
Because your insurance provider handles the FR-44 for you, you will need to pay the company directly. The fee is minimal, usually between $15 and $25, and many providers simply add the cost onto your overall auto insurance premium.
What FR-44 coverage do I need in Virginia?
If you need to obtain an FR-44 in Virginia, you will need to purchase the minimum following coverage:
- Bodily Injury Coverage per person: $50,000
- Bodily Injury Coverage per accident: $100,000
- Property damage coverage: $40,000
What FR-44 coverage do I need in Florida?
If you live in Florida and are required to obtain an FR-44, you will need the following minimum coverage for your insurance:
- Bodily Injury Coverage per person: $100,000
- Bodily Injury Coverage per accident: $300,000
- Property damage coverage: $50,000
How do I file my FR-44?
Before you can obtain an FR-44, you first must get the required minimum amount of insurance coverage. When you purchase your new policy, you need to notify your insurance provider that you need an FR-44 and the company will submit it to the state on your behalf.