Last updated: August 2023
Direct Auto Insurance is proud to offer car insurance in Virginia. Whether you live in Arlington, Virginia Beach, or out west in Bristol, you must meet the Virginia minimum car insurance requirements or pay an uninsured motorist fee to be street legal. Take a few minutes to learn what coverages are mandatory, which ones are optional, and how Direct Auto can help you find cheap Virginia car insurance. Get a free quote to see how much money you can save with Direct.
Virginia Car Insurance Laws
Do you have to have car insurance in Virginia?
Virginia law requires all drivers have proof of financial responsibility, which is most commonly satisfied with a car insurance policy. However, some drivers opt to pay the state’s Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee instead. Paying the Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee is a risky choice because it leaves you completely without coverage. The Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee is also going away in 2024, meaning all drivers will be required to have an appropriate insurance policy in the near future. Read more under the Virginia Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee section below the table.
Virginia auto insurance policies must at least meet the minimum liability coverage limits, typically expressed as three numbers representing thousands of dollars. For example, the liability limits in Virginia are 30/60/20, as shown below under Virginia Minimum Car Insurance Requirements. Virginia car insurance law also requires that every policy include uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage equal to the purchased liability coverage limits.
Please Note: Virginia’s minimum insurance requirements increased to their current level at the beginning of 2022 and will increase again in 2025. In 2025, policies will have new liability limits of 50/100/25.
Virginia Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Wondering what your insurance policy needs to qualify as financial responsibility in Virginia? Here’s a quick breakdown by coverage type.
Is It Required by Law?
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage provides financial protection if you cause an accident that injures another person. It helps pay for their medical expenses and your legal services (if necessary).
Yes. $30,000 bodily injury per person/$60,000 bodily injury per accident.
Property Damage Liability Coverage helps pay to repair or replace other people’s property that is damaged in an accident you cause. It typically involves damage to another vehicle, but it could help pay to repair a house, fence, mailbox, and more.
Yes. $20,000 property damage per accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) helps pay for your medical bills and related expenses if the other driver has no coverage (UM), insufficient coverage (UIM), or can’t be identified due to hit and run. In some states, UM/UIM can also help pay for property damage.
Yes. $30,000 UM/UIM bodily injury per person. $60,000 UM/UIM bodily injury per accident. $20,000 UM/UIM property damage per accident.
Medical Expense & Loss of Income Coverage helps pay for your medical and related expenses stemming from an accident, regardless of fault.
Collision Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if you collide with another car, tree, guardrail, or another object, regardless of fault.
Comprehensive Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by something other than a collision, like fire, floodwaters, falling branches, vandalism, or contact with an animal.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While meeting liability limits and purchasing UM/UIM coverage ensures you follow Virginia insurance laws, it doesn’t necessarily protect you and your vehicle in every circumstance. You would need to add additional coverage, like comprehensive and collision, to protect yourself and your vehicle more fully.
1Your lender may require these coverages if you lease or finance your vehicle.
Virginia Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee
Paying a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee allows you to operate an uninsured vehicle at your own risk in Virginia. It does not provide any insurance coverage.
At the time of vehicle registration, the owner must verify whether the vehicle is insured or uninsured. If the vehicle owner chooses to forgo insurance coverage, they must pay the $500 UMV fee in addition to standard registration fees. The fee expires with your vehicle registration and must be paid during renewal.
Because the UMV fee doesn’t provide any insurance coverage, if you are involved in an accident, you remain personally liable. Car accidents often cost more than you think, and you could be stuck paying out of pocket entirely for the damages. Even a minor crash could leave you wishing you paid for an insurance policy instead.
As mentioned above, the statute allowing the Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee was recently repealed, meaning that starting in 2024, drivers will have to purchase an insurance policy.
Are there additional coverage options?
For added peace of mind, Direct Auto offers add-on services and other insurance products for Virginia drivers:
- Roadside Assistance*
- Emergency Protection Plan (EPP)*
- Towing & Labor Coverage
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Virginia Proof of Financial Responsibility and Penalties
What if I don't meet Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements?
The Commonwealth of Virginia imposes some severe penalties for driving without insurance. Vehicle registrants who are uninsured and have not paid the $500 UMV fee will have their driving privileges and vehicle registration suspended. They’ll also have to pay a $600 non-compliance fee. To reinstate driving privileges, drivers are required to:
- File an SR-22 (form proving financial responsibility) with the state for three years
- Pay a reinstatement fee of $145
Drivers must always carry proof of insurance and must be able to present proof of insurance upon request.
Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Virginia
Thinking about driving with a suspended license? Think again! If you’re caught driving without a valid license in Virginia, you’re guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. according to Virginia’s statutes. This could see your license suspended for an even longer period, so don’t drive with a suspended or revoked license.
SR-22 Insurance in Virginia
There’s not actually a thing called SR-22 insurance. However, an SR22 is a certificate your insurance company files with the Virginia DMV, usually electronically, that verifies you have current insurance coverage that satisfies the state's minimum liability requirements. There are several types of convictions that require drivers to file an SR22 financial responsibility certification, including failure to provide proof of insurance associated with Virginia's Insurance Verification Program.
If you need an SR22 filed to demonstrate financial responsibility compliance or have questions about the penalties for non-compliance, we’d be happy to help. Direct Auto specializes in helping people find affordable car insurance coverage, regardless of their history. Give us a call today for a free quote.
FR-44 Insurance in Virginia
An FR44 is similar to an SR22. It’s not actually a type of coverage, but it also certifies financial responsibility. However, in Virginia, an FR-44 financial responsibility certification is required for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI/DWI, driving with a suspended license, or other serious infractions.
Virginia FR-44 liability limits are double the state's SR-22 liability limits. These limits recently increased along with the state’s minimum insurance requirements:
- $60,000 bodily injury liability coverage to pay for injury or death to any one person per accident
- $120,000 bodily injury liability coverage to pay for injury or death to any two or more persons per accident
- $40,000 property damage liability coverage to pay for property damages per accident
High-Risk Auto Insurance in Virginia
Most individuals do not have a perfect driving record, and after a certain number of violations or a serious enough violation, drivers can be considered a major risk to insure. While some companies try to steer clear of these individuals, other insurance companies offer non-standard insurance (another name for high-risk auto insurance) to provide financial protection for these drivers.
At Direct Auto, we're proud to offer non-standard coverage. We believe your driving history shouldn't define you forever, and we work hard to find quality, affordable coverage for every driver, regardless of their past.
Where can I find the cheapest car insurance rates in Virginia?
Car insurance costs vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The amount & type of coverage you choose
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle you drive
- How much you drive, where you drive, and where you live
- Your demographics
- Your driving record
- Your credit history
The good news is that Direct Auto Insurance can help drivers, even those with a less-than-perfect driving record, find car insurance coverage.
Get a free car insurance quote online, or work with a Direct Auto agent to create a coverage plan that not only meets your state's requirements but fits your needs as well. We’ll work hard to make sure you get any discounts you’re entitled to receive so your premium is the lowest price possible.
Virginia Regional Auto Insurance
Depending on where you live, you might have specific wishes and “must-haves” in your mind for your car insurance policy. After all, a policyholder who lives and drives in busy traffic near our nation’s capital might need different coverage than someone who lives in a quiet town on the Chesapeake. But no matter what city you call home in Virginia, we’re here to help you get covered.
Other Virginia Auto Insurance Resources
- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- State Corporation Commission
- Virginia Department of Transportation
- Official Commonwealth of Virginia Website
Find Cheap Car Insurance in Virginia with Direct Auto!
Call, click, or come in to get a Virginia car insurance quote from Direct Auto! We always offer affordable coverage options, and we work hard to get you cheap car insurance in Virginia so you can keep driving.
*Emergency Protection Plans (EPP) and Roadside Assistance are not insurance and are administered through Nation Safe Drivers, Boca Raton, FL. Not all benefits available in all states