Having your driver’s license suspended after being convicted of a traffic violation is a serious thing and should be handled promptly.
To reinstate your license in Florida, you will likely need to obtain either SR22 insurance or FR44 insurance, depending on the circumstances of your violation.
You will want to make sure whichever insurance requirement you have been hit with is filed properly to avoid further penalties. The insurance guide below will assist you with fulfilling your insurance responsibilities as a driver in Florida.
SR-22 Insurance in Florida
SR22 insurance isn’t a type of coverage but instead a form you file with your auto insurance company that serves as proof to the state of Florida that you meet their required liability insurance minimums.
Also commonly referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, Florida requires an SR-22 to be filed with your auto insurance company if you are found to be a high-risk driver after a major traffic violation, excluding driving under the influence (DUI).
Those with a DUI violation will need to obtain FR44 insurance, which will be explored in a later section. To keep your SR-22 certificate active, you simply have to keep up with your car insurance payments.
Who Needs an SR-22 in Florida?
Thankfully, not every Florida driver has to carry SR-22 insurance. Keeping a clean driving record will ensure that you never need to file an SR-22.
SR-22 insurance is only required in Florida after committing a traffic violation that has resulted in you losing your driving privileges. The state will notify you when you are required to obtain SR22 insurance.
The following traffic violations will require you to get an SR-22 certificate in Florida:
- Reckless driving
- Driving without insurance
- Driving with a suspended license
- Accumulating multiple minor traffic violations
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Florida FR44 Insurance
FR44 insurance is fairly similar to SR-22 insurance in the way that you must file it with your insurance provider, and it proves to the state of Florida that you meet their car insurance requirements.
However, the circumstances in which you must obtain an FR44 differ from an SR-22. Florida requires a driver to purchase FR44 insurance after being convicted of a DUI violation. For this reason, it is often referred to in Florida as “DUI insurance.”
How much car insurance you will be required to carry in Florida to file your FR44 insurance also differs from an SR-22 certificate. To fulfill your FR44 requirement, you will need to purchase much more insurance coverage.
Listed below is the car insurance requirements you will have to at least meet in order to obtain FR44 insurance in Florida:
- $100,000 for bodily injury per person
- $300,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $50,000 for property damage
Florida Car Insurance Minimums
As previously mentioned, an SR-22 form assures the state of Florida that you carry the minimum liability insurance with your auto insurance company.
When shopping for insurance, it is recommended that you purchase beyond the Florida minimums. However, to fulfill your SR-22 requirement in Florida, you will just need to carry at least the following amount of insurance:
- $10,000 for bodily injury per person
- $20,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
Every Florida driver must meet the minimum liability insurance requirements at the very least. Carrying strictly the state minimum amount of insurance is known as basic auto insurance and is generally the cheapest policy available.
However, it is important to remember that liability insurance only covers the other driver in a collision by paying for injuries and damages you cause in an accident.
To have coverage for your damages and injuries, you will need to utilize auto policy add-ons like collision coverage and medical payments (MedPay). Adding this kind of insurance to your auto policy will increase your insurance premiums but provide you with incredibly valuable coverage.
How Much Does SR-22 or FR44 Insurance Cost in Florida?
Having to file an SR-22 or an FR44 in Florida will not be cheap. The filing fee your Florida car insurance provider charges you will only be about $15-$25, but your car insurance premiums will increase significantly.
How much they increase will depend on which type of insurance form you have to file, the circumstances of your violation, and your insurance provider.
On average, a Florida driver may pay around $3,500 per year for coverage following an SR22 requirement. If they are convicted of a DUI violation and need FR44 insurance, it is likely to be even higher as their liability insurance limits will increase.
A DUI conviction is also one of the most serious traffic violations you can commit, naturally leading to a steep hike in your insurance premiums. Once you can drop your SR-22 or FR44 insurance, you may see a slight decrease in your insurance rates, but this is not guaranteed.
How long your violations are required to stay on your driving record will be a big factor in if your insurance rates will lower, which can take years.
If you are struggling to find cheaper car insurance in Florida due to your driving record, it is recommended that you shop around and get quotes from a number of insurance companies.
Pretty much every insurance company offers free quotes online, over the phone, or via their app, making shopping for coverage fairly simple. Using an online insurance calculator can also help you decide how much coverage you need.
When shopping for insurance, make sure to look both locally in Florida and nationally so you can get a good idea of what is on the market. Analyze any insurance policy you come across to find coverage that fits your budget.
If you believe you have already found the lowest insurance rates possible in Florida for you, talk to your insurance agent about auto policy discounts. Insurance companies offer a number of policy discounts, a few of which you may qualify for to get cheap rates.
How Long Must You Maintain an SR-22 or FR44 in Florida?
The great news about both SR22 insurance and FR44 insurance in Florida is that it isn’t required forever. So long as you keep a good driving record and don’t get additional violations, you will be able to drop your SR-22 or FR44 insurance after a few years.
In Florida, on average, drivers are required to maintain their SR-22 insurance or FR44 insurance for around three years. This is on par with the national average.
However, it should be noted that, depending on the severity of your infraction, you could be required by Florida to maintain SR-22 or FR44 insurance for longer than three years.
Whatever has been decided by the state of Florida, once your designated maintenance period is over, you are responsible for informing your insurance company. They will then go about canceling your SR-22 or FR44 insurance.
Failure to maintain your SR-22 or FR44 insurance for the assigned period of time can be incredibly damaging to your driving record. Letting your insurance coverage lapse will effectively end your SR-22or FR44 insurance. If this happens, your insurance provider is required to inform the state of Florida.
As a result, your license can be suspended again, and you will have to restart your SR-22 filing period. This includes paying all the associated fees once again. It is likely that after you let your car insurance coverage lapse, your provider will drop you.
In order to obtain SR22 or FR44 insurance again, you will need to purchase a new insurance policy in Florida which can be challenging given your driving profile. Insurance companies will likely label you as a high-risk driver, and many of them will not want to take on the risk associated with providing such drivers with coverage. To avoid these headaches, it is best to pay your insurance premiums continuously.
Florida Non-Owner SR-22 Insurance
Even if you do not own a car, you can still be required to purchase SR-22 insurance in Florida. Not owning the car you were driving at the time of your traffic violation does not make you exempt from any SR-22 or FR44 insurance laws.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you will want to purchase cheap non-owner SR-22 insurance. A non-owner insurance policy provides you with mandatory insurance coverage and successfully fulfills your Florida SR-22 requirements.
By carrying a non-owner car insurance policy, you will be recognized as an insured driver and can go about filing your SR-22 or FR44 certificate with the state of Florida. However, don’t wait until you have an SR-22 requirement before purchasing car insurance.
Driving without car insurance is incredibly dangerous and leaves you and your assets at risk. Not to mention that every driver in Florida must carry insurance, and failure to have coverage comes with severe penalties, including having to get an SR-22.
Florida DUI Convictions
Florida has strict DUI/DWI penalties beyond getting cheap FR44 insurance. This is not a surprise, given that a DUI is one of the worst offenses a driver can commit. Many states, just like Florida, do not take driving under the influence lightly.
After your first DUI conviction, you could be facing a fine anywhere between $500 and $1000. If blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.15, the fine can be between $1,000 and $2,000.
Regarding jail time, a first offense could land you in jail for up to six months and even higher depending on your BAC. Penalties escalate in subsequent offenses. Impoundment of your car could also be on the table, depending on your case.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement in Florida
If convicted of a DUI or DWI, the state of Florida may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car.
An IID is a device that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath or if you fail to complete the breath test. The allotted time an IID can be mandated for in Florida varies based on your number of previous convictions and blood alcohol level (BAL).