The SR-22 form is used in Virginia to provide the state with up to date status on your proof of liability insurance. This form is added to an auto insurance policy and normally costs $20 to $45 depending on the insurance company you choose.
When do I need an SR22 in Virginia?
Depending on the type of conviction you may be required to file an SR22 or FR44 with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Here is a list of convictions that require an SR22 insurance filing:
- Failure to carry proper insurance
- Falsifying insurance certification
- Unsatisfied judgments
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from operation of a motor vehicle
- Making false affidavit to DMV regarding vehicle registration or driver's license application
- Any felony under motor vehicle law or use of motor vehicle to commit a felony
Liability insurance limits for SR-22
The minimum limits of liability that must be provided on your SR22 auto insurance policy are:
$25,000 Bodily Injury per person
$50,000 Bodily Injury per occurrence
$20,000 Property damage
Virginia now accepts electronic proof of insurance during traffic stops.
What is the difference between SR22 insurance and FR44 insurance?
The FR-44 filing became law for those drivers who had the listed violations on or after January 1, 2008 in addition to those drivers needing to file an SR-22 beyond December 31, 2008. Any driver who commits the violations listed below should ask their insurance company to add an FR44 filing to their insurance policy.
The increased level of coverage required on the FR-44 certificate is due to the increasing number of drunk driving accidents resulting in serious injury and/or death. After 2008 Virginia made it state law that any driver convicted of driving under the influence would need to file an FR44 in order to reinstate their license.
It is important to not let your FR44 auto insurance cancel anytime during your probation period as this will result in suspension again. In Virginia you will be required to carry the FR44 for three (3) years from the end of your suspension. Your required time to file an FR-44 will start again so it is in your best interest to maintain this policy for the life of your probation.
When do I need an FR-44 in Virginia?
The FR-44 filing is only needed for more serious violations including:
- Driving under the influence of intoxicants or drugs
- Driving while license suspended or revoked
- Maiming while under the influence
- Violation of any federal law, other state law and/or local ordinance similar to the above listed
Liability insurance limits for FR-44
The minimum limits of liability that must be provided on your FR44 auto insurance policy are:
$50,000 Bodily Injury per person
$100,000 Bodily Injury per occurrence
$40,000 Property damage
Suspended License Reinstatement
Your license can be suspended for many different reasons including DUI, failure to maintain proper insurance, failure to appear in court, failure to pay child support and leaving the scene of an accident.
Most of these suspensions will require you to file either an SR-22 or FR-44 with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Since each suspension is different reference your court ordered suspension requirements for details on your suspension.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Virginia
The state of Virginia has strict rules regarding driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For first time offenders the minimum fine is $250 and a one year suspension. If a child under age 17 was in the car during the arrest you will serve a minimum of 5 days in jail in addition to fines $500 to $1000.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits in Virginia are as follows:
- All drivers = BAC .08% or higher
- Drivers under age 21 = BAC .02% or higher
- Commercial drivers = BAC .04% or higher
What if I refuse the road side breathalyzer test?
If the law enforcement officer suspects you have been driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs they will ask you to perform a chemical test of your blood, urine or breathe to determine BAC. You can refuse to take the test but your penalties can be higher than if you just were convicted of a DUI. It is up to the court to determine your suspension period and fines which can add up to similar or greater penalty than a DUI conviction.
Required to get an Ignition Interlock Device?
For your first DUI offense with a BAC over .15% you will be required to install an ignition interlock device. This device is installed on each vehicle you operate and the cost is your responsibility.
Here is a list of approved IID installers in Virginia:
Smart Start Inc - (800) 880-3394
Lifesafer Interlock - (888) 301-6906
Guardian Interlock Systems (888) 526-6384