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FR-44 in Florida: What It Is and How It Affects Your Auto Insurance

If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida, you’ve probably heard about FR-44. This certificate is crucial for getting your license back and legally returning to the road.

This article explains in detail what FR-44 is, how to get it, and how it affects your auto insurance. If you still have questions after reading this article, contact us. We have the necessary experience to answer your questions, advise you, and handle FR-44 and SR-22.

What is an FR-44?

An FR-44 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) required in Florida and Virginia states for drivers convicted of DUI. This certificate shows you have the necessary insurance coverage to meet state requirements. Unlike the SR-22, which is also a CFR, FR-44 requires higher coverage limits due to the severity of the offense.

In other words, an FR-44 proves you have the necessary insurance to meet state requirements after a DUI or DWI conviction. This is crucial for getting your license back and legally driving again.

States that require the FR-44

FR-44 is a specific requirement in only two states in the U.S.:

  • Florida: FR-44 is required for drivers convicted of DUI or DWI in Florida. The coverage limits are higher than the state’s standard requirements due to the severity of these offenses.
  • Virginia: Like in Florida, Virginia also uses the FR-44 for alcohol or drug-related offenses. The coverage limits in Virginia are $60,000 for bodily injury per person, $120,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $40,000 for property damage.

Is the FR-44 certificate an auto insurance?

No, FR-44 is not a type of auto insurance. It’s a form that your insurer submits to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) to show that you have acquired the necessary insurance coverage.

Essentially, it’s proof that you have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements after a DUI conviction.

What is the minimum coverage amount for an FR-44?

To meet the FR-44 requirements in Florida, you must have a minimum coverage of:

  • $100,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $50,000 for property damage

These limits are significantly higher than the standard auto insurance requirements in Florida, reflecting the severity of a DUI conviction.

FR-44 vs. SR-22

Although both are Certificates of Financial Responsibility, the FR-44 and SR-22 have key differences:

  • Coverage: The FR-44 requires higher coverage limits than the SR-22. For example, Florida requires a minimum coverage of $100,000 for bodily injury per person, $300,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $50,000 for property damage.
  • Offense: The SR-22 may be required for a variety of serious offenses, while the FR-44 is specifically reserved for alcohol or drug-related offenses.

With these forms, your auto insurer notifies the state’s motor vehicle department that the driver has the required coverage.

Detailed steps to get an FR-44

1. Contact your insurance company

  • Research and choose an insurer: Not all insurance companies offer the FR-44, so it’s important to do your homework and find one that does. You can start by searching online or asking friends and family.
  • Inquire about the CFR: Once you find an insurer, contact an agent and ask about the FR-44. Make sure they understand your needs and your DUI situation.

2. Purchase the necessary coverage

  • Review minimum requirements: As mentioned earlier, you require a minimum coverage of $100,000 for bodily injury per person, $300,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $50,000 for property damage.
  • Get a quote: Request a quote for a policy that meets these requirements. Keep in mind that the cost will be higher due to the elevated coverage limits and the risk associated with a DUI conviction.
  • Buy the policy: Once you agree with the quote, proceed to purchase the policy. Ensure all details are correct and that the policy meets the CFR requirements.

3. Filing

  • Your insurer will be responsible for completing and filing the FR-44 form with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). This form is proof that you have acquired the necessary insurance coverage.
  • Make sure you receive confirmation that the Form has been submitted correctly. This is crucial to avoid issues with reinstating your license.

4. Maintain your policy

  • Generally, you must maintain the FR-44 coverage for at least three years from the date your license is reinstated. This means you cannot let your policy lapse or be canceled during this period.
  • Ensure you make all your policy payments on time to avoid cancellation. Some insurers offer payment plans to make this process easier.
  • If your policy is about to expire, renew it in advance to avoid any interruption in coverage.

Additional tips

  • Documentation: Keep all documents related to your FR-44 and your insurance policy in a safe place. This includes copies of the FR-44 form, the insurance policy, and any correspondence with your insurer.
  • Communication: Maintain open communication with your insurer. If you have any questions or issues, don’t hesitate to contact them for assistance.
  • Compliance: Follow all traffic laws and regulations to avoid future infractions that could further complicate your situation.

How much does an FR-44 cost, and how does a DUI or DWI affect the price?

The cost of an FR-44 can be significantly higher than a standard insurance policy due to the higher coverage limits and the risk associated with a DUI conviction. For the same reason, the FR-44 requires higher coverage limits than the SR-22. On average, you can expect to pay between 50% and 100% more for your auto insurance. Additionally, some insurers may charge extra fees for filing the CFR.

Frequently asked questions

1. How long do I need to maintain the FR-44?

Generally, you must maintain it for at least three years from the date your license is reinstated.

2. Can I change insurers while I have an FR-44?

Yes, but make sure your new insurer files the FR-44 with the FLHSMV to avoid suspension of your license.

3. What happens if I don’t maintain my FR-44?

If you don’t maintain your FR-44, your license will be suspended again, and you could face additional fines.

4. When will you need an SR22 or an FR44?

If you find yourself requiring an SR22 or an FR44, it’s likely because you’ve had a serious traffic violation. Here’s when you might need each of these certificates:

You’ll need an SR22 if:

  • You’ve been convicted of driving without insurance.
  • You’ve had multiple at-fault accidents.
  • You’ve been convicted of reckless driving.
  • You’ve accumulated too many traffic violations in a short period¹.

You’ll need an FR44 in Florida or Virginia if:

  • You’ve been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
  • You’ve been convicted of driving with a suspended license due to an alcohol or drug-related offense.

Final words

The FR-44 is an essential requirement for drivers convicted of DUI or DWI in Florida and Virginia. Although it may seem complicated and costly, meeting these requirements is crucial for getting your license back and legally getting back on the road.

At Veneville Insurance, we understand that nobody’s perfect and anyone can make a mistake. That’s why we’re here to help you handle the FR-44 and the SR-22, ensuring you meet all legal requirements and can get back on the road with peace of mind.

If you have any questions or need help obtaining an FR-44, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

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