Motorists in Virginia convicted of serious traffic infractions might need to file an SR-22 to regain their driving privileges. Although commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, an SR-22 in Virginia is a certificate that verifies a driver’s adherence to the state-mandated minimum auto insurance coverage. Nevertheless, certain situations may demand an FR-44 in Virginia, which entails considerably harsher repercussions than typical SR-22 filings.

What is SR-22 insurance?

SR-22 forms are not car insurance. Rather, an SR-22 form is a special certificate filed with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that signifies you hold the minimum auto insurance required by your state. Virginia generally uses the form FR-44 for more severe situations, which may be issued to drivers who:

  • Have unsatisfied judgments
  • Fail to provide proof of insurance
  • Operate a motor vehicle without insurance
  • Falsify auto insurance certifications
  • Are convicted of vehicular manslaughter
  • Commit perjury regarding vehicle registration or a valid driver’s license
  • Commit a felony that involves a motor vehicle
  • Are involved in a hit-and-run
  • Are convicted of maiming under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, driving with a suspended license or are found guilty in any juvenile case

To receive an SR-22 certificate in VA, drivers must first provide proof of financial responsibility. This is typically done by obtaining high-risk insurance. Once you have a qualifying insurance policy in place, notify your carrier of the SR-22 requirement. After they have completed the form, they should submit it to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, where it will likely need to remain on file for at least three consecutive years.

Learn more: Virginia car insurance laws

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SR-22 Virginia alternatives

If the violation you committed is particularly severe, Virginia may issue what’s known as an FR-44. These certificates are for violations involving maiming under the influence, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license or being convicted in any juvenile case. Depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to file an FR-44 or alternative in accordance with your state’s guidelines. The following outlines the different forms similar to SR-22s that may be required:

Form States issued Required insurance minimums
SR-22 All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania Insurance minimums by state
FR-19 Delaware and Maryland Delaware: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage
Maryland: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident/$15,000 per property damage
SR-21 Hawaii $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage
SR-22A Georgia $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$25,000 per property damage
FR-44 Florida and Virginia Florida: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident/$50,000 per property damage
Virginia: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$40,000 per property damage
SR-50 Indiana $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage
  • FR-19: These forms are issued in Delaware and Maryland and verify that the driver currently holds the minimum insurance required by their state. Unlike SR-22s, which are required for drivers who have been convicted of more serious driving violations, FR-19 forms simply act as verification of coverage.
  • SR-21: Unique to Hawaii, SR-21 forms certify that drivers have the minimum liability insurance required by the state. Drivers who have committed a DUI or multiple moving violations may be required to file an SR-21 form.
  • SR-22A: In Georgia, drivers seeking to reinstate their suspended license may need to file the Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate, known as an SR-22A. These certificates must remain in effect for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
  • FR-44: Virginia drivers may be penalized more severely with an FR-44, depending on the type of violation they commit. Only used in Virginia and Florida, these forms increase the minimum coverage requirements for high-risk drivers dramatically. In Virginia, those required to hold an FR-44 are obligated to carry at least double the minimum auto insurance required in the state.
  • SR-50: An SR-50 form is issued only in Indiana if the state requires you to hold such a certificate. Usually, drivers receive notification if they are found to be driving without the minimum required insurance or if they have had their license suspended.

Non-owner SR-22

If you have received an SR-22 requirement but no longer — or do not currently — own your own vehicle and still wish to reinstate your license, you’ll likely need to obtain a non-owners auto insurance policy. A non-owners auto insurance policy is issued to drivers who do not own the vehicle they operate (instead, borrowing or renting a car frequently). This form certifies that you have the minimum state-required auto insurance under a non-owners insurance policy, enabling you to fulfill the requirements of an SR-22.

FR-44 in Virginia

If a driver commits a particularly serious offense in Virginia, they may be required to hold an FR-44. An FR-44 differs from an SR-22 in that it requires drivers to hold twice the minimum required auto insurance in the state. FR-44s are required for the following convictions:

  • Maiming while under the influence
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
  • Driving while the driver’s license has been forfeited for a conviction or a guilty conviction in a juvenile case
  • Violation of the provisions of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance similar to the aforementioned violations

When a driver is required to hold an FR-44 in Virginia, they must have the following insurance coverage limits in place:

  • $50,000 per person
  • $100,000 per accident
  • $40,000 per property damage

SR-22 Virginia insurance costs

Drivers considered to be high-risk typically pay higher premiums for their car insurance than drivers who have a clean driving record. Additionally, other expenses are associated with being a high-risk driver, such as fines and court costs. For example, Virginia drivers who must file an SR-22 or FR-44 are charged between $15 and $50 as a filing fee, typically at the time of each policy renewal. However, the impacts on insurance premiums are directly related to the violation that prompted the SR-22 requirement rather than the SR-22 itself.

If your requirement is due to having a DUI in Virginia, your insurance premium could increase significantly. In some cases, a DUI may disqualify you from standard coverage altogether. In this event, you may need to purchase coverage from a provider specializing in high-risk auto insurance. Because an FR-44 requires drivers to hold double the minimum coverage amount, another impact to your insurance may be the cost associated with increasing your policy limits. As a high-risk driver, the best way to secure the most affordable rate is to maintain good driving habits and get quotes from several different companies before making a decision.

Frequently asked questions

    • In most cases, SR-22 certificates are required for a few years following the date of the driver’s conviction or qualifying incident. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles states that drivers will have to maintain SR-22 insurance in Virginia for three years and pay a reinstatement fee if their license has been suspended.
    • The first step to filing an SR-22 certificate in Virginia is to secure the appropriate car insurance coverage with an insurer that’s willing to cover you. After you’ve obtained a policy, the carrier will file the SR-22 or FR-44 certificate on your behalf with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The form will likely need to remain on file for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
    • “SR-22 insurance” is a misnomer. SR-22s act solely as proof that the driver possesses the minimum auto insurance required by Virginia state law. In Virginia, the cost to file an SR-22 certificate ranges between $15 and $50 depending on a few factors. Because drivers holding an SR-22 are more likely to be considered high-risk, insurance carriers may charge more for coverage. The cost of your premiums will vary based on several factors, including your driving history, insurance needs and more.
    • The current minimum amount of auto insurance required in Virginia is $25,000 in liability coverage per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,0000 in property damage. Typically written as 25/50/20, this amount is the lowest coverage available in order to satisfy state requirements. Starting in 2025, the minimum coverage will increase to $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $100,000 for bodily injury liability per accident and $25,000 for property damage liability.