Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: February 8, 2024

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The Difference Between SR22 and FR44: Here’s What You Should Know

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If you’ve been charged with a DUI or other serious driving infraction, you’ve likely heard of either SR22 or FR44 forms, depending on where you live. These aren’t types of car insurance, but rather certificates filed on your behalf to your insurance provider. 

So, what is the difference between SR22 and FR44 forms, and when do you need them? We’ll dive into everything you need to know about SR22 vs FR44 certificates below, so you can ensure you have the coverage you need to get back on the road. 

While an SR22 is for non-alcohol-related motor vehicle violations, an FR44 is specifically for DUI or DWI violations. In Virginia, an FR44 filing is necessitated by alcohol- or drug-related offenses, including offenses such as maiming under the influence or driving while intoxicated.

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What Is an SR22 Form?

If you’ve had a DUI or several serious driving offenses, you’re going to need an SR22 form. This is where your car insurance provider submits a form to your state’s motor vehicle department certifying that you have the state’s minimum required auto insurance

This is designed to protect others from high-risk drivers by ensuring you have enough auto insurance in place should they get into an accident. Your car insurance provider will need to file this form on your behalf, and they’ll also be required to notify the motor vehicle department if your policy lapses.

What Is an FR44 Form?

FR44 are very similar to SR22 forms, but they’re only used in Florida and Virginia. They’re also only applicable to those who’ve been charged with a DUI or driving with a suspended license. 

An FR44 form also shows that you carry much higher liability insurance than the state minimum:

  • Florida: you need to have a minimum bodily injury liability of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, plus $50,000 for property damage.
  • Virginia: you need to have a minimum bodily injury liability of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, plus $40,000 for property damage.

These are much higher than what the state minimum is for other drivers, and the purpose is to protect others from you as a high-risk driver. 

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Understanding the Difference Between SR22 and FR44 Forms

When it comes to SR22 vs FR44, the differences are fairly minimal. The main differentiator is where they’re needed: you only need an FR44 form in Florida and Virginia, whereas most other states would require an SR22 form (if applicable).

Another key difference is when each form is required. SR22 forms can be mandated for DUIs, driving without a license, multiple at-fault accidents, and more, while FR44 forms are reserved for DUIs and driving with a suspended license.

You’ll also notice that different liability coverage minimums are needed for each form. This means you may have to increase your coverage for a few years to meet these higher minimums. 

Both forms are required for a similar length of time, which can range from 3-5 years depending on how long you’re required to file. But once your filing period is up, you can get the form removed and your rates should start to lower. 

The Cost of SR22 vs FR44

This brings us to the issue of cost. The cost of SR22 vs FR44 forms both depends on your insurance provider. Many providers charge you a small fee in order to file either form on your behalf, while some will waive the cost.

You’re also likely going to see your auto insurance premiums increase, but that’s because of the DUI or other offense on your driving record. Having to file an SR22 or FR44 form doesn’t necessarily increase your rates, but a poor driving history definitely will. 

Your rates will also increase as a result of having to purchase more coverage than you might have otherwise, but this won’t last forever. By driving carefully and avoiding any other infractions, you can prevent your premiums from going up even more and also ensure they lower back down over time. 

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The Bottom Line

Car insurance is legally required almost everywhere, and even more so if you have some serious marks on your driving record. SR22 and FR44 forms are there to prove that you carry the minimum amount of liability coverage should anything happen and to try to deter high-risk drivers from making poor driving decisions. 

Having an SR22 or FR44 doesn’t replace your car insurance coverage, but it also doesn’t last forever. By maintaining a good driving record and staying safe, you can ensure that your car insurance goes back to normal after your SR22 or FR44 period is over. 

Lauren Lewthwaite Lauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.

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