Do you live in Virginia or Florida were recently convicted of driving under the influence? If so, you may be required to submit an FR-44 form to the state.
Unfortunately, most drivers don’t know what an FR-44 is. And even if you know a bit about the topic, it can be difficult to get the form to the right people in a timely manner.
That’s why we put together this guide. It will tell help you discover what an FR-44 is, who needs to file this form, and how to get the entire process started!
What Is an FR-44?
Our guide will help you learn everything you need to know about the FR-44. And we need to start with the most basic question: what, exactly, is an FR-44?
This is a document that you may be required to fill out to demonstrate your financial responsibility (specifically, that you have met the state’s minimum insurance coverage requirements). Different factors may require that you need such a form, but it most commonly occurs after driving violations such as DUI, DWI, and driving with a suspended license.
As paperwork goes, the FR-44 is pretty unique. This form is only required in the states of Florida and Virginia. In all other states, the relevant form is the SR-22 (more on this in a bit).
How Will I Know If I Need an FR-44?
Not every moving violation is going to require an FR-44. And even a DUI or DWI conviction does not automatically trigger the need for this paperwork. Therefore, it’s important to know whether you actually need to go through the trouble of getting this form.
The good news is that there won’t be any confusion regarding the need for this form. If you are required to get an FR-44, the state will let you know. And if you haven’t gotten a request for such a form from your own state, you may not need to worry about getting it.
A Form By Any Other Name
It’s very easy to find out whether you need an FR-44 form or not. Unfortunately, this process still confuses many drivers because it goes by many different names.
Sometimes, city and state officials may use the form name without a hyphen (like FR44). Other times, they may put a space in the term (like FR 44). In some cases, it may be called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR).
As we noted earlier, this type of form is known as an SR-22 in all states except Florida and Virginia. With all of these different names, it’s easy to see why this process can be so confusing!
What Is FR-44 Insurance?
Another thing that confuses drivers is the term “FR-44 insurance.” It’s a phrase you might read online or hear someone discussing, but what does it actually mean?
Strictly speaking, “FR-44 insurance” is not a real thing. The FR-44 itself is a document that proves you have sufficient insurance coverage (as determined by the state), and it is a form you can get from your insurance company. But the FR-44 itself is not any kind of insurance policy.
Why the name confusion, then? Many who are required to provide an FR-44 are required to purchase or increase insurance coverage in order to meet the minimum requirements. That makes the new coverage FR-44 related, but that’s still not the same as FR-44 insurance.
The FR-44 vs. the SR-22
Earlier, we mentioned how the FR-44 is exclusive to Florida and Virginia. All other states require an SR-22 form for similar circumstances. But what are the exact differences between these two forms?
For the most part, the FR-44 and SR-22 are very similar. Each is a form intended to demonstrate financial responsibility to the state, and one is triggered by certain moving violations such as DUI or DWI.
What are the differences, then? For one thing, Florida and Virginia may require an FR-44 for additional offenses that are not related to alcohol or drugs. Additionally, there is a difference when it comes to what kind of insurance the form requires.
In other states, the SR22 requires that you have a minimum amount of liability limit coverage on your insurance. But the FR-44 requires an additional amount of liability limit coverage beyond the minimum as determined by the state.
How to Get an FR-44
Now you know what an FR-44 is and why it is so important. The next question is this: how do you go about getting the FR-44 form?
Once the court or state tells you that you need an SR-44, you should contact your insurance agent right away. If you already have the amount of insurance coverage necessary, they can easily add the form to your policy.
However, if you do not have the amount of coverage required by the FR-44, you may need to purchase additional insurance. This may require negotiation with your insurance company and quite possibly require you to compare rates and services between different insurance companies.
Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes
Factors Affecting Insurance Costs
One popular question regarding insurance required by the FR-44 is what the overall cost will be. Unfortunately, that answer varies from case to case and from insurance company to insurance company.
For example, you may already know that your automobile insurance costs are based on factors such as age, location, driving experience, and even whether or not you are married. Because of these factors, two otherwise similar drivers may end up paying different amounts.
On top of that, the circumstances that led to a court-ordered FR-44 will most likely result in you being classified as a high-risk driver. This will increase your insurance rates regardless of the other factors.
That’s especially true if you are convicted of DUI or DWI. Because of the potential for a rate increase, it may be worth your time and money to compare rates.
How Long Does It Take to Get an FR-44?
If you are required to get an FR-44, you may be anxious about how long the process will take. But how long will you really have to wait?
In most cases, you don’t need to wait long at all. If you already have the required insurance coverage in places, many carriers can get your FR-44 on file the same day.
When there is a delay, it usually happens because a driver needs to increase their coverage amount. Factors such as negotiating with your existing carrier and researching the costs of other carriers can add small delays to this process.
Regardless of the case, it’s in your best interest to get the relevant paperwork on file right away. Otherwise, you will not be able to drive without the risk of having your license suspended.
Coverage Amounts: What You Need to Know
When comparing the FR-44 to the SR-22, we noted that the FR-44 requires coverage beyond the absolute minimum. The obvious question, then, is how much coverage you need for the FR-44.
The exact answer depends on the state where you live. In Florida, the required coverage amount for bodily protection is $100K/$300K. Additionally, you must have $50K worth of property damage protection.
Meanwhile, the FR-44 in Virginia requires bodily damage protection in the amount of $50,000/$100,000. And at $40,000, the amount required for property damage protection is a little lower.
What About Canceling the FR-44?
The insurance requirements that come from the FR-44 are not meant to last forever. But there is confusion among many drivers about whether or not they can cancel the FR-44.
Strictly speaking, the answer to that is new. The court or state will mandate a certain amount of time that you must have the FR-44 on file. Typically, this period is about three years.
When that period of time is up, you can contact your insurance company and court or state officials in order to determine the next steps.
What If I Don’t Have a Car?
So far, we have focused on drivers who must get an FR-44 due to a request from the state or court. However, it is also possible for those who don’t own a car to get an FR-44.
That is because the need for the FR-44 form is tied to a record of moving violations rather than actual ownership. In other words, it’s possible to get a DUI or DWI in someone else’s vehicle. At this point, you will still need to get the FR-44 and the requisite insurance.
If this is the case, then you need to contact your insurance company. They should be able to help you find a non-owner policy that meets the FR-44 criteria.
Get Started Today
You can probably tell that this entire process can get annoying and confusing very quickly. And even the existing laws and policies are constantly changing. Because of that, it’s important to have someone in your corner who can help you out!
Let our insurance partner help you get an FR-44 form, find the most affordable insurance plans, and get you back behind the wheel of the car. Get a free quote online or over the phone at 877-822-2049 and get back on track today!