What Is an FR-19 Certificate and How Does it Work?

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In many states, when you’re caught driving without car insurance, you have to file for an SR-22 certificate with your insurance company. This is to show the authorities that you have the required minimum amount of insurance according to state law. The states of Maryland and Delaware, however, require motorists caught driving without insurance to file an FR-19 certificate instead.

What Is an FR-19 Form and How Does it Work?

Just like the SR-22 certificate required in many states after you’ve been caught driving without car insurance, an FR-19 certificate fulfills the same role. Unlike an SR-22 form, which violating drivers must keep on file with their insurance company for a specific amount of time, an FR-19 only verifies that you currently have insurance.
Most importantly, drivers who violate Maryland and Delaware minimum insurance laws don’t have to keep the FR-19 certificate on file. In essence, an FR-19 simply verifies that you had insurance at the time it was filed and can be used to verify this fact if requested.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requests an FR-19 from your insurance company each time you go to renew your registration. This is to show that you have the required insurance.
In addition, both the Maryland MVA and Delaware DMV can audit you for proof of insurance. This is usually done if you have an accident, and it requires you to contact your insurance company and ask them to provide you an FR-19 certificate.

Minimum Amount of Insurance Coverage That You Need in Maryland and Delaware

Both Maryland and Delaware are at-fault states, which require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. This is done to protect the other party in an accident for which you are at fault. As such, both states require you to carry the following amount of liability insurance.
In Maryland, the required amounts of liability car insurance include:
  • Bodily injury/per person/per accident: $30,000
  • Bodily injury/per accident: $60,000
  • Property damage liability: $15,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage/per person/per accident: $30,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage/per accident: $60,000
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: $15,000
In Delaware, the amounts are:
  • Bodily injury/per person/per accident: $25,000
  • Bodily injury/per accident: $50,000
  • Property damage liability: $10,000
  • Personal injury protection/per person/per accident: $15,000
  • Personal injury protection/per accident: $30,000

Penalties and Fines for Driving Uninsured in Maryland and Delaware

If you don’t carry the required amount of liability insurance in Maryland and Delaware, you face fines and penalties. You can find the fines and penalties for each state below.
Maryland: In Maryland, failure to provide proof of insurance following an accident or when pulled over will result in a fine of $1,000. In addition, you’ll also need to pay an administrative fee to get your license reinstated and will have five points added to your license. In extreme cases, you can also end up spending up to one year in jail.
For a second offense, the fine increases to $2,000 or more. Likewise, you could end up spending up to two years in jail. Furthermore, another five points will be added to your driving record, and you might be required to attend a Driver Improvement Program.
Regardless of which offense it is, you’ll also have to get an FR-19 certificate from your insurance company to show the courts that you now have the required amount of liability insurance.
Delaware: For a first offense in Delaware, the fine ranges from $1,500 to $2,000. You could also lose your driver’s license for up to six months and must get an FR-19 certificate to verify that you have the required insurance coverages.
For a second and each subsequent offense committed within three years, the fine increases to between $3,000 and $4,000. You’ll also lose your driver’s license again for six months and must get another FR-19 certificate to show proof of insurance.
As you can see, it’s important that you have the minimum amount of car insurance as required by law in Maryland and Delaware in order to avoid any fines or penalties. If for some reason you do get caught driving without insurance, you’ll have to get an FR-19 certificate before you can drive again.

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