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What’s the Difference between an SR-22 and FR-44?

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If you’re a high-risk driver or have a DUI on your driving record, you might have to get an SR-22 or FR-44. These are special filings that are attached to your car insurance policy, proving that you have the required amount of insurance coverage in your state. Having an SR-22 or FR-44 filing is usually an indication of poor driving behavior or an unfortunate mark on your driving record. But if you need one, it’s important to understand how they work.

SR-22 Insurance

SR-22 insurance is simply a special filing attached to an auto policy. When you have an SR-22, your auto insurer will notify your state’s motor vehicle department that you are insured. In addition, the filing agreement will also mean that your auto insurer will need to notify the state if your policy cancels for any reason. Having SR-22 insurance typically means you are in a higher risk category, so you probably will pay higher premiums than someone who does not require an SR-22 filing.

What is SR-22 insurance?

SR-22 insurance isn’t actually a type of car insurance. Rather, it’s proof of insurance and is sometimes called a certificate of financial responsibility. An SR-22 certificate verifies that you carry your state’s minimum required amount of car insurance. 

Not every driver needs an SR-22. In fact, only drivers who are considered high-risk need one. So if you’ve been charged with a DUI, have multiple at-fault accidents, or were caught driving without insurance, you may be required to get an SR-22.

How much does SR-22 insurance cost?

SR-22 is not a type of insurance but is a form — the cost for which will vary by provider. For instance, Progressive charges a one-time fee of $25 for an SR-22 form, but Dairyland will issue one for free.

FR-44 Insurance

FR-44 serves a similar purpose but relates more often to those who get a DUI in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Florida. If you are charged with a DUI, you will likely need an FR-44 filing. This is similar in nature to an SR-22 — however, it has the additional requirement that the insured carries a minimum of $100,000 liability on the auto policy.

The theory behind this type of filing is due to statistics that show drivers who drive drunk are likely to repeat this offense. Since drunk driving has potentially destructive and life-threatening consequences, the higher liability will provide a little more help to the other party if the DUI driver hits another car and causes injury.

What is FR-44 insurance?

FR-44 is another form of proof of financial responsibility, similar to SR-22 insurance. The difference is that FR-44 insurance is specifically for DUI offenders in Virginia and Florida. If you get charged with a DUI in either state, you’ll be required to get FR-44 insurance before you can get back on the road.

The other difference is that FR-44 certificates have a higher liability requirement. If you need an FR-44 after a DUI, you will have to increase your car insurance liability coverage to a minimum of $100,000. Because of that, having an FR-44 will likely correlate to an increase in your insurance premium.

When is FR-44 insurance required?

If you are convicted of a DUI in Florida or Virginia, you are legally required to produce an FR-44 in order to reinstate your license. Drivers in the other 48 states will probably have to file an SR-22. Remember that car insurance is a requirement in almost every state, and an FR-44 doesn’t replace your auto policy. As it is not an actual insurance product but just a certification that you have the minimum required liability in place, you will need insurance to get an FR-44.

How much does FR-44 insurance cost?

The cost of an FR-44 form is similar to that of the SR-22 and does not affect your insurance rate, unless you have to increase coverage to meet the FR-44 requirements. Your premium is based on your state, age, marital status, driving record, credit score and other factors, so if you have a DUI on record (and thus need to produce an FR-44 form), the mark on your driving record may also affect your rate. In most cases, you have to pay a filing fee, which is typically between $15 and $25, according to Direct Auto.

The takeaway

  • SR-22 and FR-44 refer to certificates of financial responsibility.
  • Drivers who are convicted of a DUI or DWI are required to have an SR-22 or FR-44 to prove they carry a certain amount of car insurance.
  • FR-44 is generally only requested for drivers in Florida and Virginia.
  • SR-22 and FR-44 do not cost much out-of-pocket but whatever led to you needing the forms may have an impact on your rates (such as a DUI).
  • If you have to increase your liability to qualify for an FR-44 form, your premium will increase with the higher policy value.

Drunk driving comes with many consequences, one of which is needing to produce an SR-22 or FR-44. These certificates of financial responsibility come at an added cost. If you get a DUI or are found to be a high-risk driver, which can stay on your record for a few years, you may need to keep an active SR-22 or FR-44 during that time period.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is an insurance writer for coverage.com, where she covers insurance providers and reviews policies to help consumers find comprehensive and affordable coverage for every area of their life. She has more than three years of writing experience for top online insurance and finance publications.

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