Elijah Black is a Greenville, South Carolina native with a B.A. English from Coastal Carolina University. He is a fiction writer and also works as a freelance writer and editor. He’s worked as a Production Assistant for WYFF 4 and has been published in several publications and websites across the United States.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2021

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Don't Forget These Facts

  • SR-22 and FR-44 are not types of car insurance coverage
  • SR-22 and FR-44 filings are required when you are convicted of certain moving violations
  • Virginia is one of two states (the other is Florida) that uses the FR-44 form specifically for more serious offenses

Sometimes things happen; you let your car insurance policy lapse or you take a spin on your new wheels prior to coverage — or you’ve proved you’re a high-risk driver in other ways, such as getting a DUI or repeated moving violations.

The aftermath of these events will generally end up before a judge, and in some circumstances, you may be required to get a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, or an SR-22 bond. Finding a cheap SR-22 insurance policy will save you money.

The SR-22 bond is filed in most states, but in Virginia, there is a second type of form called an FR-44 bond. This FR-44 versus SR-22 insurance guide will explain how each of these court-ordered liability requirements works, what they are, and in what circumstances you would need either one.

For affordable car insurance rates, even with an FR-44 or SR-22 requirement, compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save.

What is FR-44 coverage in Virginia?

An FR-44 is not a type of car insurance coverage, so what is an FR bond? An FR-44 is an insurance requirement as a result of a serious motor vehicle violation. It’s a more stringent form of financial responsibility than an SR-22, although you file both through your insurance company.

This form only provides proof of liability coverage. Liability coverage is insurance that only replaces the costs of the damage you inflict on other people and their property.

Liability-only coverage provides no physical protection for the motor vehicle you are driving. An FR-44 still requires only liability but has higher than the minimum requirements for the limits.

What is an FR-44 bond?

What is a financial responsibility bond? An FR-44 form is a certificate proving that a driver has the required liability coverage. FR (or Financial Responsibility)-44 forms are only required in Florida and Virginia.

In Virginia, FR-44 bonds prove that you are carrying liability limits of at least $50,00 per person and $100,000 per incident for bodily injury, and $40,000 for property damage. These are higher than the regular state minimums.

This is not a form of car insurance, rather proof that a driver has acquired new or more insurance coverage after a state order.

An FR-44 form comes with stricter state requirements than can be found under an SR-22.

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What is an SR-22 bond in Virginia?

Even though some refer to an SR-22 bond as “SR-22 insurance,” this is not an insurance policy. It is a state-required document to prove you’ve acquired the minimum liability insurance in your state. The SR-22 form may also be called a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

With an SR-22, insurance companies assure the Virginia DMV that you’ll maintain coverage for a certain period of time. If you don’t, the insurer will alert your state, and your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked.

Can I get an SR-22 today? Not immediately, but you can get the paperwork filled out. There are a few auto insurance companies where you can buy a policy with an SR-22 online.

Most states have SR-22 requirements, including Virginia. If you leave the state that requires you to have an SR-22, you will still be required to follow the rules of the document.

In Virginia, SR-22 filings are required for less serious violations than FR-44 filings.

What types of SR-22 certificates are there in Virginia?

You can get an SR-22 if you do not own a car, but you would need a different variation of the form.

There are three types of SR-22 certificates available to those who own a vehicle and for those who do not. These are:

  • An Operator Certificate is for licensed drivers who borrow or rent, but who don’t own a car.
  • An Owner’s Certificate is for those who own and drive their own car.
  • A combined Owner/Operator Certificate is, as it describes, a combined document. It is for those who own their own car, but also borrow or rent occasionally.

Non-owner insurance protects you when you cause an accdent in a car that isn’t yours, as you may not be covered under the vehicle’ insurance.

Will an SR-22 or FR-44 raise my insurance?

It’s not really the SR-22 or the FR-44 that raises your rates, but the violation that caused you to require it. Because these filings are only required for people that have fairly serious issues on their driving record, rates will rise accordingly. Depending on the violation, rates may be double those offered to someone with a clean record.

Your policy rate will also vary based on your ZIP code, the vehicle make and model year, driving record, insurance history, and other factors.

How much does SR-22 or FR-44 insurance cost a month?

As for SR-22 bond costs, SR-22 forms cost about $25 to file, with some as low as $15 and as high as $40. The filing cost is about the same for an FR-44. The final cost may vary depending on the state you live in and the insurance company you are under. In some states, you’ll have to pay that up front.

Progressive, for example, includes the cost of the SR-22 in your first payment. This is because some insurers consider drivers under an SR-22 as high risk. Your rates will likely increase in addition to the cost of filing the document.

Because an FR-44 in Virginia requires a higher level of coverage, it will be more costly policy. That cost is increased not just by the requirement but by the risk you pose to insurance companies as a result of the violation.

A non-owners policy is a solution for lifting an FR-44 requirement in your state. It can also be a way to limit your premiums while you’re waiting for a violation to be removed from your record. These policies tend to be cheaper as they provide only liability coverage.

What is the difference between an FR-44 vs. SR-22 bond in Virginia?

In Virginia, an FR-44 may be required instead of an SR-22, in some cases, based on your driving record.

Similar to an SR-22, the FR-44 is a document of financial responsibility proving you carry car insurance. However, an FR-44 may require your liability coverage limits to be significantly higher than the state minimum.

Why would you need an SR-22 or FR-44 bond?

Check out the tables below that explain when you would get an FR-44 or an SR-22 in Virginia.

Virginia SR-22 vs FR-44
When Virginia Drivers Need an SR-22When Virginia Drivers Need an FR-44
Unsatisfied judgementsMaiming while under the influence
Uninsured motor vehicle suspension
Driving while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs
Failure to provide proof of insurance associated with insurance monitoringDriving while the driver's license has been forfeited for a conviction, or finding of not innocent in the case of a juvenile
Falsifying insurance certification
Violation of the provisions of any federal law, law of any other state, or any valid local ordinance similar to the above
Driver license suspension as a result of a conviction for specific violations
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So, how long does an SR-22 or FR-44 last?

While the duration might vary, an FR-44/SR-22 is also usually required for three years. By law, an FR-44 policy can’t be canceled.

For Virginia drivers, an FR-44 is required after a driving under the influence charge or if a driver gets behind the wheel while their license is suspended.

What if my policy cancels?

If your policy lapses, you will need to remediate that immediately. The SR-22 is still in effect, though it may be extended.

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How can you avoid an FR-22 or SR-22?

This filing with your car insurance company, whether for an FR-44 or SR-22, came to be because you pose a risk to other drivers. Be safe on the road so you don’t find yourself needing this service.

But, as we all know, things happen, so be prepared and work with a company that has the services you need. Enter your ZIP code to start comparing car insurance companies near you.

Before you buy car insurance, compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save.

Frequently Asked Questions: FR-44 vs. SR-22 in Virginia

Here are some other frequently asked questions about FR-44 and SR-22 filings.

#1 – Who needs an SR-22?

An SR-22 allows you to keep or reinstate your driving privileges after serious or repeated offenses. Drivers are required to file this document with their insurance company after their license has been suspended to reinstate it.

You could be required to get an SR-22 or FR-44 if:

  • You have a DUI, DWI, or another serious mark against your driving record
  • You’ve caused an accident without insurance.
  • You’ve gotten too many traffic tickets in a short time
  • Your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.

Not all states require an SR-22 or FR-44. If you need one, you’ll find out from your state department of motor vehicles or traffic court.

#2 – Is an SR-22 bond considered car insurance?

No. An SR-22 is inflicted on high-risk drivers to ensure they maintain the state’s minimum car insurance requirements.

#3 – What do I need to do to get SR-22 insurance?

You will need to start by contacting your car insurance provider. You may find that your company doesn’t offer the filing service and you’ll need to switch to a provider that does.