What to Know About FR-44 Insurance

If your state requires you to have an FR-44 insurance policy, you may pay 20% higher premiums for three or more years, depending on your insurer. But you can still find ways to save if you know where to look.

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Certain high-risk drivers in Florida and Virginia need FR-44 insurance, which is unique to these two states. This certificate of financial responsibility is similar to an SR-22 form, but the two have noteworthy differences, depending on which state you live in.

Your insurance company can typically help if your state requires you to file an FR-44 certificate, but processes and requirements can vary. Let’s look at the reasons you may need an FR-44 form, how it affects your insurance rates, and how to file this form.

Key Takeaways:

  • FR-44 coverage significantly increases liability coverage requirements, sometimes doubling the normal state-required minimum.
  • Virginia uses SR-22 forms in addition to FR-44 forms.
  • FR-44 drivers in Florida and Virginia pay a combined average of 20% more for car insurance than drivers with clean records.

What Is an FR-44 Form?

Closeup of document being signed

You may hear an FR-44 referred to as “FR-44 insurance,” but that description isn’t quite accurate. An FR-44 isn’t a type of insurance coverage — like liability and full-coverage policies — but rather a document of financial responsibility that acts as proof that you meet your state’s insurance requirements.

Nearly every state requires drivers to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance. But certain states require drivers who have suspended licenses or a DUI or DWI conviction to purchase higher liability limits. An FR-44 provides proof of insurance to the state if you fall into one of these categories. Your insurance company will typically file the form for you — usually for a fee.

How Much Does an FR-44 Cost?

Committing a serious traffic offense often causes financial strain in the form of increased insurance premiums and added costs like legal fees. Fortunately, filing an FR-44 is one of the few low-cost payments throughout the process.

FR-44 filing costs may differ between insurance companies, but you can expect to pay between $15 and $30 to file the form.

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States That Require FR-44s

Most states use a version of a proof of financial responsibility form — often an SR-22. Virginia and Florida are the only two states that use FR-44 forms. Virginia uses both forms, but FR-44 requirements are typically higher than SR-22 requirements.

Who needs an FR-44 in Florida?

Florida requires drivers who have a history of high-risk driving behaviors — such as multiple traffic violations, DUI convictions, or a history of accidents — to file an FR-44 with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

FR-44 drivers must maintain an increased liability coverage limit of at least $100,000 in bodily injury insurance per person and $300,000 per accident, as well as $50,000 for property damage liability. If you have an FR-44 requirement, you must maintain it for at least three years.

Who needs an FR-44 in Virginia?

Unlike Florida, Virginia can require high-risk drivers to file either an SR-22 or FR-44, depending on their past violations. The state typically requires SR-22s for people who drive uninsured or have a suspended license, but DUI convictions and other similar offenses typically lead to an FR-44 requirement.

FR-44 drivers in the Commonwealth must purchase double the state-mandated required coverage amounts and maintain them for at least three years.

How an FR-44 Form Affects Car Insurance Rates

Woman signing documents in car

Less-than-perfect driving records typically increase insurance rates. Drivers with clean driving records usually pay less than someone with a recent traffic violation or accident on their record.

If you get a more serious conviction, like a DUI, your state may require you to significantly increase your liability limits, too. Because drivers with FR-44 requirements have poor records and need to have higher insurance limits, they usually pay quite a bit more for coverage than most drivers. And rates typically stay high until you no longer have to file an FR-44.

The chart below shows how average premiums change if you need an FR-44 in Virginia and Florida, based on data from Compare.com.

State Average Monthly Premium with Clean Record Average Monthly Premium with FR-44 % Increase
Florida $261 $316 21%
Virginia $133 $158 19%

FR-44 requirements mean big spikes in overall auto insurance costs — between 19% and 21%, depending on where you live. Still, you can find ways to save on your monthly auto insurance costs.

The best way to find lower rates is to compare personalized quotes from several companies.

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FR-44 vs. SR-22 Insurance

Closeup of hand signing documents

FR-44 and SR-22 insurance forms are nearly identical. Both are uniform financial responsibility certificates that require information about you, your vehicle, and your insurance company.

The biggest difference between FR-44 and SR-22 insurance forms is how they’re submitted. Florida no longer uses an SR-22 form, but Virginia is more likely to require high-risk drivers to file an SR-22 instead of an FR-44.

The table below highlights the primary differences between the triggers for the two forms.

SR-22 FR-44
Failure to pay a court-required debt Injuring another person while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Having a suspended license Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Not providing proof of your active insurance policy Driving after the court has revoked your license
Lying about your insurance coverage Breaking state or local driving or insurance laws
Killing someone with a vehicle
Lying on your driver’s license application or other DMV forms
Committing a felony with a vehicle or while using a vehicle
Not producing proof of identity at the scene of an accident
Transporting people for money without a license (taxi, rideshare, etc.)

How to File an FR-44 Form

The good news is that filing an FR-44 isn’t difficult, and the form is simple and easy to file. Most insurance companies are experienced at filing SR-22 and FR-44 forms, but some auto insurance companies may not file FR-44s. To file an FR-44, follow these steps:

  1. Ask your insurance agent or customer service if your insurance company files FR-44s.
  2. If not, purchase a policy from an insurance company that does.
  3. Fill out the FR-44, which asks for your personal information, the insurance company’s information, and information about your vehicle.
  4. Ask your insurance company to file the form with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles or the Florida Department of Highway Safety, depending on where you live.

How to Lower the Cost of Car Insurance With an FR-44

The average cost of FR-44 insurance is typically 19%–21% higher than rates for drivers with clean records, but you can still find a lower rate if you know where to look. Consider these tips for lowering the cost of car insurance with an FR-44.

Shop around and compare quotes

FR-44 drivers almost always pay higher insurance premiums than others. The good news is that the industry is competitive, and shopping around is the best way to find the lowest rates available. Some insurance companies specialize in high-risk drivers, so it’s always a good idea to compare quotes every six months.

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Ask about eligible discounts

Most auto insurers offer discounts to drivers with both clean and high-risk driving records. For example, you might qualify for a discount for bundling two insurance products — like home and auto — with the same insurer. You might also earn discounts for simply driving a car with the latest safety features.

Call your insurance company to make sure you’re taking advantage of every discount you’re eligible for. Most discounts can be stacked, so you could be missing out on major savings.

Re-evaluate your coverage needs

The state-mandated increase in liability insurance isn’t avoidable. But you can still control how much optional insurance you have on your vehicle. For instance, you might consider limiting your policy to only the minimum-required liability insurance instead of keeping a full-coverage policy.

If you’re unsure, talk to your insurance agent to better understand your needs.

Consider a non-owner car insurance policy

If you have a suspended license and can’t drive, you might consider selling your car. If you do, keep in mind that you’ll still need to meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements and your FR-44 requirements. In this case, a non-owner policy is often one of the cheapest available insurance options.

FR-44 Insurance FAQs

No one wants an FR-44 filing on their record, but all drivers in Florida and Virginia should be aware of its requirements and compliance period. Learn more with the answers to some commonly asked questions below.

Can you get an FR-44 without a car?

Yes. Your state can require an FR-44 regardless of whether you actually own a vehicle. If you don’t, consider a non-owner FR-44 insurance policy.

How do you get rid of an FR-44?

All FR-44 filings are required by state law or court order and are subject to a compliance period. The only way to get rid of an FR-44 is for the compliance period to end.

How long do you have to have FR-44 insurance in Virginia?

You must have an FR-44 form on file for a set period of time — at least three consecutive years from the date of your suspension. But the state can issue FR-44 filings for a longer period depending on the severity of the offense.

How long do you have to have FR-44 insurance in Florida?

After you’ve maintained an FR-44 for the state-mandated period, your insurance company will file an FR-46, which removes the FR-44.

Data Methodology:

Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance quotes from more than 75 partner insurers in order to compile the rates and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information.

All the rates listed in this article have been collected from a combination of real Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide readers with insights into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


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