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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What Is SR-22 Insurance?
  • Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?
  • What Is FR-44 Insurance?
  • Types of SR-22 Insurance in Virginia
  • How to Get an SR-22 in Virginia
  • How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Virginia?
  • FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in Virginia
 

Introduction

When you’re driving, letting your attention wander for even a split second can be costly.

If the court or Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (Virginia DMV) suspends your driver’s license after having found you guilty of speeding, reckless driving, or another major moving violation, figuring out how to get it reinstated can be a daunting process.

While the process of getting your license reinstated is fairly simple, it takes some know-how to save money during the process, especially when it comes to your car insurance.

Remember, you’ll need to have car insurance before you can get your driver’s license reinstated.

Your SR-22 insurance is likely to be more expensive than the car insurance you had before your traffic infringement.

This is because car insurance companies will now consider you a high-risk driver and raise the cost of your car insurance premiums.

Key Point: High-Risk Driver

The term ‘high risk’ is used by insurance companies to describe drivers who are more likely to claim from their auto insurance company.

Some of the factors that may get you classified as a high-risk driver include moving violations (such as being charged with a DUI), while other factors aren’t always related to your driving record (for example, being a young driver under 25 years of age).

If your driver’s license suspension had any associated fines, penalties, or court orders, you will need to pay or complete these before you can begin the process of reinstating your license.

Depending on the severity of your infringement, some of the requirements may include:

  • Community service.
  • Jail time.
  • Alcohol education courses.
  • Paying a fine.

Once you’ve addressed any issues related to your driver’s license suspension, the next thing you’ll need to do is get SR-22 insurance coverage.

This is as simple as asking your car insurance company to file an SR-22 document and provide you with the certificate.

Although it’s straightforward, it can be expensive. Often, it’s the most expensive step towards your driver’s license reinstatement.

It can also be difficult to find SR-22 insurance because some car insurance companies will consider you to be too high-risk to insure.

To help you find the best car insurance companies with affordable rates for SR-22 insurance, we’ve compared quotes from companies in these five Virginia counties:

  • Fairfax County.
  • Prince William County.
  • Virginia Beach City/County.
  • Loudoun County.
  • Chesterfield County.
 

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

SR-22 insurance is “Safety Responsibility Insurance”, although it’s sometimes called “Financial Responsibility Insurance”.

Even though the terms contain the word “insurance”, SR-22 isn’t actually a type of stand-alone insurance coverage.

Instead, it’s an addition to standard car insurance policies that proves the policyholder is meeting Virginia’s minimum auto liability requirements.

Key Point: Minimum Auto Liability Coverage

Getting into a car accident can be expensive, especially if you injure another person or cause damage to their property.

Paying for medical bills and property repairs can cost thousands of dollars, and the state knows that most people don’t have enough money to cover these costs if they’re in an at-fault accident.

To help drivers cover these costs if the worst should happen, almost every U.S. state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of auto liability coverage that will pay out on their behalf.

Each state has unique requirements, but three key aspects are always covered:

  • Bodily injury coverage per person.
  • Bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • Property damage liability.

If you’re in an at-fault car accident and do not meet the minimum coverage requirements, you are likely to be held personally responsible for paying the other driver’s bills, including:

  • Medical bills.
  • Lost wages.
  • Lawyer’s fees.
  • Damage to another person’s property, including their vehicle.
 

All drivers in Virginia need to meet the minimum auto liability insurance requirements. These are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident.
 

All drivers in Virginia—even those with a clean driving record—need to have an auto liability policy that meets these minimums.

These minimum coverage requirements do not increase if you are ordered to get SR-22 insurance.

An SR-22 certificate simply proves you are meeting these financial responsibility requirements.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?

Only drivers who have had their license suspended and want to have it reinstated will need to get SR-22 insurance.

If your license hasn’t been suspended, you won’t need to get SR-22 insurance.

In Virginia, the following violations can lead to having your driver’s license suspended:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Driving uninsured.
  • Being in an at-fault car accident.
  • Being charged with prior driving violations.
 

Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense in Virginia. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, some of the penalties you may face include:

  • Up to one year in jail.
  • A fine of up to $2,500.
  • Fees to get your license reinstated.
  • Fees to release your car from being impounded.
  • Increased car insurance costs.
 

Obtaining SR-22 insurance coverage is the first step to getting your driving privileges reinstated so you can drive legally.

While most states include drug-related offenses (including a DUI conviction) under their SR-22 requirements, Virginia has a separate insurance coverage called FR-44 insurance for drivers who are convicted of a DUI or DWI.

What Is FR-44 Insurance?

FR-44 insurance is sometimes called “DUI insurance”.

There are only two states in the U.S. that require drivers to carry FR-44 insurance instead of SR-22 insurance after a DUI or DWI conviction. These states are:

  • Virginia.
  • Florida.
 

Because driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is such a serious offense, FR-44 insurance comes with even stricter requirements than SR-22 insurance.

It also increases the minimum auto liability coverage requirements, which will cause your auto insurance rates to skyrocket.

Key Point: Auto Insurance Rates

Your auto insurance rate (or premium) is the amount you will pay monthly to your car insurance company in exchange for coverage.

Auto insurance rates can be impacted by these factors:

  • Your age.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your location.
  • Poor credit.
  • The value of your car.
  • Whether you need SR-22 or FR-44 insurance.

Like SR-22 insurance, FR-44 insurance isn’t a type of stand-alone insurance coverage. Rather, it’s an add-on to a standard car insurance policy.

If you are required to get FR-44 insurance in Virginia, the minimum auto liability coverage requirements you will need to meet, are:

  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
  • $40,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident.
 

While your SR-22 insurance can be paid monthly, many car insurance companies will require you to pay six months of auto insurance rates upfront if you need to obtain FR-44 insurance.

Types of SR-22 Insurance in Virginia

When you ask your insurer to file your SR-22 documentation, they will confirm what kind of SR-22 insurance coverage you need.

This is because there are actually three types of SR-22 insurance:

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

Non-owner insurance is for people who:

  • Do not own a vehicle.
  • Do not plan to purchase a vehicle.
  • Do not live in the same household as someone who does own a vehicle.
  • May infrequently drive a vehicle that they do not own (e.g. driving a rental or borrowing a friend’s vehicle).
 

Owner SR-22 insurance

Owner insurance is for people who:

  • Already own a vehicle.
  • Plan to purchase a vehicle.
  • Live in the same household as someone who owns a vehicle.
 

Owner/operator SR-22 insurance

Owner/operator insurance is for people who:

  • Own more than one vehicle.
  • Drive multiple vehicles that they do not own (e.g. for work).
 

How to Get SR-22 Insurance in Virginia

As we’ve outlined, getting SR-22 insurance in Virginia is a straightforward process—all you need to do is ask your car insurance company to file an SR-22 document on your behalf.

Although the process itself is simple, finding SR-22 insurance coverage at a rate you can afford can be difficult. This comes down to two reasons:

  1. Some car insurance companies might decide you are too high-risk to insure, and they will decline to provide you with coverage.
  2. Other car insurance companies may offer you coverage, but at a rate that is unaffordable.
 

The first thing you should do is check whether your current insurance company offers SR-22 insurance. Even if they do, it might not be at the best price.

Like with all types of insurance coverage, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from different car insurance companies.

This can be a time-consuming process, and you’re likely to spend many hours researching various companies and filling out lengthy questionnaires with their insurance agents.

To save money and time, get free quotes from different insurers to find the best rates on SR-22 insurance.

Once you have managed to find a car insurance company that will provide coverage at a rate you can afford, the process is simple:

  • The insurer will file your SR-22 form with the Virginia DMV.
  • You’ll pay a once-off fee that is usually under $50.
  • Your SR-22 documentation will be issued within 30 days.
  • You will need to carry SR-22 insurance for three years.
 

If you drive without SR-22 insurance, the penalties you will face are the same as driving without auto liability insurance. These potential penalties include:

  • A $500 fine.
  • Driver’s license and license plate suspension.
  • A Class 3 misdemeanor conviction.
  • A fine of between $500 and $1,000.
 

If you are in an at-fault car accident while driving without SR-22 insurance, you will be held financially liable for paying the other driver’s medical fees and property damages.

You also will not be able to claim from your car insurer for damages to your own vehicle.

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in Virginia?

When you apply for SR-22 insurance, here are some of the costs you can expect:

  • Higher auto insurance rates.
  • A once-off filing fee of between $25 to $50 to your insurer.
  • Paying any fines and fees for your traffic violation.
  • A driver’s license reinstatement fee of $220.
 

SR-22 insurance will cause your monthly auto insurance rates to increase, but this isn’t due to the cost of an SR-22 certificate.

Once you apply for SR-22 insurance, your insurance carrier will be able to access your file with the Virginia DMV.

Here, they can see the type of violation that caused your license to be suspended.

The severity of your infringement is what will determine how much your auto insurance rates will increase by.

To make sure you’re getting the best deal on car insurance, you should compare quotes from different insurance carriers.

To help you find cheap auto insurance with an SR-22 certificate, we’ve looked at the rates offered by Virginia insurance providers in these counties:

  • Fairfax County.
  • Prince William County.
  • Virginia Beach City/County.
  • Loudoun County.
  • Chesterfield County.
 

The average cost of SR-22 car insurance in Virginia is $259.04.

  • The cheapest SR-22 insurance provider in Virginia is AA Insurance with average monthly rates of $207.75.
  • The most expensive SR-22 insurance provider in Virginia is Elephant with average rates of $287.40.
 
Provider Fairfax County Prince William County Virginia Beach City/County Loudoun County Chesterfield County Average
AAA Insurance $215.00 $215.00 $189.00 $212.00 $207.75
Elephant $336.00 $301.00 $279.00 $268.00 $253.00 $287.40
CSAA $278.00 $269.00 $275.00 $243.00 $275.00 $268.00
Bristol West $324.00 $267.00 $269.00 $247.00 $258.00 $273.00

Looking for the best rates on SR-22 insurance? Get a free personalized quote today!

FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in Virginia

Does Virginia have SR-22 insurance?

Yes. You might need to carry SR-22 insurance in Virginia if your driver’s license has been suspended after being charged with one of these moving violations:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Speeding.
  • Driving uninsured.
  • Being in an at-fault car accident.
  • Being charged with prior driving violations.
 

What is FR-44 insurance?

FR-44 insurance is sometimes called “DUI insurance”.

There are only two states that require drivers to carry FR-44 insurance instead of SR-22 insurance after a DUI or DWI conviction. These states are:

  • Virginia.
  • Florida.
 

Because driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense, FR-44 insurance comes with even stricter requirements than SR-22 insurance.

While your SR-22 insurance can be paid monthly, many car insurance companies will require you to pay six months of auto insurance rates upfront if you need to obtain FR-44 insurance.

How long is an SR-22 required in Virginia?

You will have to keep your SR-22 insurance for three years.

If you allow your SR-22 coverage to lapse during this period, you will need to obtain SR-22 insurance again and restart this period.

Why do I need an SR-22 in Virginia?

All drivers in Virginia need to meet the state’s minim minimum auto liability requirements of:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • $20,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident.
 

Drivers who have been charged with a serious traffic violation will need a certificate to prove they are meeting these requirements. This certificate is called SR-22 insurance.

How do I get SR-22 insurance in Virginia?

You won’t be able to file your own SR-22 certificate in Virginia. Instead, your insurance carrier will file the form on your behalf with the Virginia DMV.

What is the cheapest SR-22 insurance in Virginia?

According to our research, the average cost of SR-22 car insurance in Virginia is $259.04.

  • The cheapest SR-22 insurance provider in Virginia is AA Insurance with average monthly rates of $207.75.
  • The most expensive SR-22 insurance provider in Virginia is Elephant with average rates of $287.40.
 

The cost of your SR-22 insurance will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your age.
  • Your driving history.
  • Which Virginia county you live in.
  • The value of your car.
  • Your credit score.
 

Can I drive someone else’s car in Virginia?

If you have a clean driving record and meet the state’s minimum auto liability requirements, you can legally drive another person’s car.

If you’ve been ordered to carry an SR-22 certificate, you may only drive another person’s car if you have one of these types of SR-22 insurance:

  • Non-owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner SR-22 insurance.
  • Owner/operator SR-22 insurance.
 

If you don’t have SR-22 insurance, you may not drive someone else’s car in Virginia.