What's the Difference Between an SR22 and an FR44?

a man reviews important insurance documents like sr-22 and fr-44 forms

If you've been convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, you've probably heard of an FR44 or SR22. Though similar, FR44s and SR22s are two different insurance filings, and one or the other may be required to retain or restore your driving privileges. In the end, understanding the difference between SR22s and FR44s can help you stay legal on the road.

What is an FR44?

As of August 2022, only Virginia and Florida use FR44s. An FR44 is sometimes called "DUI insurance," however, it's not actually a type of insurance. An FR44 is a certificate verifying insurance coverage that meets the state’s applicable requirements for financial responsibility. An FR-44 filing is required when a person is applying to reinstate their driver’s license following a DUI or DWI conviction.

Your auto insurance company is responsible for filing this certificate with the regulatory authority in your state (e.g. the Department of Motor Vehicles).

Who needs an FR44?

In Virginia, a driver may be required to file and maintain an FR-44 certificate for three years after a serious conviction like:

  • Maiming someone while operating a vehicle under the influence
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with a forfeited license due to a conviction, or in the case of a juvenile, after a finding of not innocent
  • Violation of federal laws, laws of other states, or local laws like those above

In Florida, an FR44 is required if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or other intoxicants. An FR44 is required for driver's license reinstatement and must be maintained for three years.

How much does an FR44 cost?

It generally costs between $15 and $25 to file an FR-44 certificate. However, the actual cost of an FR-44 policy is determined by your age, location, vehicle type, and other factors. If you’re required to keep an FR-44 certificate on file, you’ll be subject to higher minimum coverage limits than most individuals because you are now considered a high-risk driver. And with higher minimum coverage limits, you can expect to pay more than you would for a policy that doesn't have to satisfy FR-44 requirements.

According to Virginia law, drivers who are required to file an FR44 must purchase a policy with coverage that is double the minimum liability limits. The main difference between an SR22 and an FR44 is that an FR44 requires you to buy additional liability insurance. With liability insurance requirements increasing in Virginia as of January 1, 2022, FR-44 coverage requirements are now:

  • $60,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
  • $120,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
  • $40,000 for property damage liability

In Florida, FR-44 liability requirements mean drivers must carry:

  • $100,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
  • $300,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people
  • $50,000 for property damage liability

How to Get Affordable FR-44 Insurance

Even if you’re forced to purchase more than the typical liability limits, there are still ways to make your insurance policy more affordable, including:

  • Searching for discounts: Even if you don’t qualify for a safe driver discount right now, there are plenty of other ways you could save. Maybe you’re eligible for a military discount, multi-policy discount, or homeowner discount. Many insurance companies, like Direct Auto, offer a wide range of discounts to help drivers save money.
  • Adjusting your coverage: While you’ll have to meet coverage requirements in accordance with your FR-44 status, you might have coverages on your policy you could consider dropping. For example, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage provide protection for your own vehicle that liability coverage does not, but they aren’t required by state law. If it’s necessary for your finances, you could consider dropping these coverages (make sure you could pay to repair or replace your vehicle out of pocket, though) or raising your deductibles for a cheaper rate.
  • Shopping around: It’s possible that your current insurance company might not be offering you the best rate, particularly if you’re required to keep an FR-44 filing. In fact, some insurers might not want to cover individuals they consider high-risk drivers at all. However, some companies (like Direct Auto) specialize in SR-22 and FR-44 insurance and work hard to keep your rates low, regardless of your history. Shop around to find a company that works with you and offers you a competitive rate.

How do I submit an FR44?

Worried about making sure your FR-44 filing makes it into the right hands? This responsibility generally falls on your insurer. When you’re shopping around, inform prospective insurance companies that you need an FR44 filed. When you purchase a policy, they will submit the necessary documentation to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.

Can I get an FR44 without a car?

If you don’t have a car, you can obtain a named non-owner policy and attach an FR44 to it. A named non-owner policy provides the necessary liability coverage for individuals who do not own a vehicle and who do not have regular or frequent access to a vehicle for personal use.

Purchasing an insurance policy (even a non-owner policy) and maintaining coverage that satisfies FR-44 liability limits is necessary to get your license reinstated and can allow you to drive in certain circumstances. If you live at a residence where you have regular access to a vehicle, you will need an appropriate policy or must be listed on the vehicle owner’s policy while still meeting your FR-44 requirements.

How do I get rid of FR44?

You’re typically required to keep an FR-44 on file with your state’s DMV for three years. If you maintain continuous coverage and avoid serious driving violations during this time period, there’s a good chance you won’t have to file another one. Making on-time payments, keeping your policy in force, and safe driving are your best bet for getting rid of your FR-44 requirements in the future.

What is an SR22?

An SR22 is also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility. Like an FR44, there's no such thing as SR-22 insurance, though you may hear people refer to it in this way. An SR22 is simply a document that your auto insurance company files with the state to certify that your insurance policy meets that state’s minimum liability coverage or financial responsibility requirements.

When is an SR22 Required?

SR22s are required in many states, and reasons for filing vary. However, generally speaking, you could be required to submit an SR-22 form if:

  • You've been convicted of a DUI or DWI offense (except in Florida and Virginia as noted above) – Florida and Virginia typically use SR22s for violations considered to be less serious than driving under the influence
  • Your driver's license has been suspended
  • You have been cited for failing to maintain auto insurance coverage in the past
  • You've committed serious driving-related violations 

Get help with an FR44 or SR22!

State laws regarding FR44s and SR22s can be complicated, but we can answer any questions and help you find affordable coverage, regardless of your driving history. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), visit us online, or visit your local Direct Auto for a free quote.

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