SR-22 in Virginia: What You Need to Know

Virginia drivers with certain traffic violations may need to file an SR-22 or FR-44 to prove they meet the state’s minimum car insurance requirements.
Written by Amber Reed
Edited by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
drivers who commit serious traffic violations are required to file either an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles before they can get their driving privileges reinstated.
  • If you are convicted of a serious traffic violation in Virginia—like driving without valid
    car insurance
    or a vehicle-related felony—you may be required to file an SR-22 certificate with the Virginia DMV.
  • If you are charged with
    driving on a suspended license
    or you get a DUI conviction in Virginia, you’ll be required to file an FR-44 certificate with the DMV, not an SR-22.
  • An SR-22 or FR-44 requirement typically lasts for three years in Virginia.

What is an SR-22 in Virginia?

The basics: An SR-22 is a type of insurance certificate that proves your auto insurance coverage meets your state’s minimum coverage requirements. 
Contrary to popular belief, “
SR-22 insurance
” doesn’t exist, but drivers with an SR-22 requirement are often subject to the higher premiums associated with high-risk car insurance coverage. 
Although drivers with clean records can opt out of
liability insurance
in Virginia by paying the $500
uninsured motor vehicle fee
, those ordered to carry an SR-22 must purchase a car insurance policy that includes the following coverages:

Who needs SR-22 insurance in Virginia?

Here’s a list of some serious driving violations that may result in an SR-22 requirement.
  • Driving without car insurance
    or without paying Virginia’s uninsured motor vehicle fee
  • Being the perpetrator of a hit-and-run
  • Reckless driving
  • Being convicted of voluntary or involuntary vehicular manslaughter
  • Operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license
  • Falsifying insurance information, like using
    fake proof of insurance
  • Making false statements to the DMV when registering a car or applying for a driver’s license
  • Committing any crime punishable as a felony under Virginia’s motor vehicle law

What is FR-44 insurance and who needs it in Virginia?

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI or DWI in Virginia will be required to file an
—not an SR-22. An FR-44 form functions similarly to an SR-22, but your insurance policy will need to have double the SR-22’s required coverage limits. 

How long does an SR-22 or FR-22 requirement last in Virginia?

As long as your insurance company files an SR-22 or FR-44 stating that your policy meets the necessary requirements, you’ll satisfy the state’s legal conditions. If you drive carefully and maintain your coverage, your SR-22 form will expire in three years.

How do you get SR-22 or FR-44 insurance in Virginia?

Quick answer: Your insurance company will file on your behalf. Just make sure you work with an insurance company that’s authorized to file a Virginia SR-22 or FR-44. 
Here are some Virginia insurance companies that do SR-22 and FR-44 filing:
Once you pick an insurance company, you’ll have to provide your insurance agent with important information such as the name and date of birth of the convicted driver, the date the conviction occurred, the case number, length of filing time, and the type of SR-22 you need. 
Your provider may also ask for details about the incident that led to the license suspension or conviction. 
Need to know: If you're required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 in Virginia but you don't have a vehicle,
non-owner SR-22 insurance
may be a good option for you.

How much does SR-22 insurance cost in Virginia?

The average rate for filing an SR-22 form in Virginia is around $50, but you can see the exact amount your insurance company charges by checking your auto insurance policy documents or asking your insurance agent. Most providers include this fee with your first payment. 
That said, you might also be on the hook for additional costs like: 
  • Fines associated with your driving conviction
  • License reinstatement fees
  • The Virginia DMV’s $600 noncompliance fee if you were caught driving without car insurance
  • Higher insurance costs due to the conviction or violation that led to your SR-22 requirement
Insurance note: Depending on your driving history and the severity of the conviction which results in your SR-22 requirement, you might even be classified as a
high-risk driver
and only qualify for expensive
non-standard car insurance

How an SR-22 or FR-44 impacts your car insurance in Virginia

  • You’ll face higher insurance costs: Your insurance company will assume you’re more likely to file claims and increase your premium to offset that elevated risk.
  • Carrying an SR-22 coverage requirement can also complicate the process of shopping for auto insurance. Some auto insurance companies aren't authorized to file SR-22s, and others will simply consider drivers with an SR-22 requirement as too risky to insure.
  • You can reduce the long-term effects of your SR-22 requirement by making an effort to
    clean up your driving record
    . As long as you drive safely and don’t rack up additional tickets or convictions, you can expect a decrease in your premium once your Virginian SR-22 or FR-44 requirement expires after three years.
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As long as you don’t let your insurance lapse or rack up additional violations, your Virginian SR-22 requirement will expire after three years.
You don’t have to file an SR-22 yourself—your car insurance company will do it for you. However, you’ll have to work with an insurance provider that’s authorized for SR-22 filing and pay a small filing fee.
In the state of Virginia, drivers with DUI or DWI convictions are required to file an FR-44, a type of insurance certificate with higher coverage requirements. Just like the SR-22, the FR-44 form can only be filed by certain insurance providers and will raise your insurance rates.
While the cost to file an SR-22 is only about $50, you’ll have to pay a much higher auto insurance premium in addition to fines or court costs associated with your violation, plus DMV fees.
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