Virginia law requires that drivers have auto insurance for any vehicle they intend to drive. Car insurance is required to provide financial protection in case of an accident. It may also cover property damage and medical bills. Virginia requires that all drivers have at least the minimum liability coverage. Driving without Virginia insurance can lead to heavy fines, suspension of license, and higher insurance premiums. It is crucial to understand the specific requirements of each state before you can drive in Virginia.
Virginia requires minimum insurance
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles requires that all drivers have minimum liability insurance. You must ensure that your policy covers the minimum insurance coverage when you register a vehicle.
- $25,000 per person for bodily injuries
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $20,000 per accident for property damage
The coverage will usually read “25/50/25” on the policy. The DMV recommends that proof of insurance be kept in your car. Virginia allows drivers to drive uninsured vehicles at their own risk, but they must pay an Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee at each renewal. This fee does NOT provide coverage for an accident.
Virginia drivers without insurance face severe penalties
Virginia has strict penalties for vehicles found uninsured to encourage motorists to drive only insured vehicles. Driving an uninsured car can result in costly fines and even the loss of your driver’s license. Driving without insurance in Virginia can lead to severe penalties.
- Noncompliance Fee to DMV: $600
- Three-year form SR-22 certificate
- Reinstatement fees to be paid if applicable on your plates, registration, and license
What is an SR-22?
The SR-22 (Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate), is essentially a document that must be filed with the DMV to ensure that you have the required insurance coverage. This certificate informs Virginia auto insurance companies that you are a high risk driver. This can increase the price of your premiums. An SR-22 certificate will remain on your insurance records for three years. It can be difficult to shop for insurance because companies might refuse to issue you a policy if you have an SR-22 form.
Online insurance verification in Virginia
To verify that all vehicles registered in the state have the required liability insurance, the VA DMV uses an Insurance verification Program. All insurance companies must send the DMV proof of insurance when a new policy or cancellation notice is sent. The DMV will notify the registered owner if a vehicle is found to be without insurance.
You must provide proof of insurance immediately if you are given a notice stating that your vehicle is not insured. If you don’t respond or if you have no insurance, the DMV will issue you an Order of Suspension. You will only be allowed to pay the penalty fee and obtain an SR-22 certificate within 30 days. A reinstatement fee must be paid if the Order of Suspension is issued before your driving privileges are restored by the DMV.
In an accident and not having insurance
The minimum liability limits are there to protect other drivers in an accident. However, financial advisors and insurance agents will recommend that you buy more coverage than you need to stay safe. It can be dangerous to not have insurance in case you are involved in an accident. You could be responsible for paying all costs associated with an accident that results in property damage or medical expenses. This can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, depending on how severe the accident was. You could even be sued by the other driver.
In addition to this financial burden, the driver in the other vehicle may report the accident to DMV because they do not have insurance. You will be sent a notice by the DMV requesting proof of insurance. You will be charged a $600 fee for not providing proof of insurance and your driver’s licence, registration and plates will be suspended. You will also need to keep an SR-22 certificate valid for three years. This will likely lead to higher premiums for the policy that you now must purchase in order to reverse suspension. You may also be subject to reinstatement fees.
Questions frequently asked
What happens if you give false information about your insurance?
The VA DMV uses an online reporting system where auto insurance carriers inform the DMV about new and canceled policies. The insurance verification system may require you to prove that you have a current, active policy if you provide false information. You could be penalized for driving in Virginia without insurance if you cannot do so.
What is the cost of car insurance in Virginia
For minimum coverage, the average cost for car insurance is $109 per year and for full coverage it’s $1,304. The cost of car insurance in Virginia depends on many factors, including the type of coverage that you buy, how much coverage you purchase and the vehicle you insure. Your driving record, as well as your insurance history, will also play a role. Your car insurance company will determine the rates and discounts available.
How can I show proof of insurance to the VA DMV
It is important that you immediately provide proof of insurance if you receive an insurance inquiry from DMV. Failure to do so could result in heavy fines, suspension of driving privileges, and increased insurance rates. In response to inquiries, the DMV offers an online form where drivers can submit proof of insurance. You will need your vehicle title and the last four digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to use this form.
Do I need to deactivate my plates in order to cancel my insurance?
Before you cancel your liability insurance, always surrender or deactivate your plates . The VA DMV will consider your vehicle uninsured if you cancel insurance on an existing plate.