The state of Virginia requires that all drivers prove that they are financially responsible for costs associated with a car accident. Most drivers choose to purchase a car insurance policy to meet this requirement. However, drivers can also pay the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to register as an uninsured motorist.
Financial responsibility requirements
The minimum financial responsibility requirements for Virginia drivers are as follow:
A minimum of $25,000 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $50,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $20,000 for property damage liability
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $70,000 to cover bodily injury or death, and property damage liability.
Additionally, all drivers are required to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage in their minimum insurance policies that is equal to the total amount of financial responsibility listed above ($70,000).
In order to register as an uninsured motorist, drivers in Virginia may choose to pay an annual $500 fee to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. By choosing to register as an uninsured motorist, a driver is legally responsible for the cost of damages and injuries for any accident wherein they are found at-fault.
Increase liability requirements for DUI convictions
If a driver in Virginia has been convicted of a DUI, they will be required to file an FR-44 document. This sentence may also be required if a person is found guilty of driving with a forfeit driver’s license after such a conviction. When filing an FR-44 document, the total minimum amount of liability insurance requirement increases to the following amount:
A minimum of $50,000 per person, for bodily injury or death. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $100,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $40,000 for property damage liability
If you do not carry the legally required financial responsibility in Virginia, or your insurance cannot be electronically verified, you could face several penalties. These include:
Suspension of your driver’s license
Suspension of your vehicle registration and license plates
Required filing of an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility document, which guarantees that you will carry the legally required insurance for three years. This document is usually only required for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI or other reckless driving charge, or for those that have been convicted of felonies involving a motor vehicles. If you are required to file this document, you no longer have the option to register as an uninsured motorist, and you must purchase an insurance policy.
A $500 fine to reinstate your vehicle registration and license plates
A fine of $145 to $220 to reinstate your driver’s license
For more information, or to renew your registration online, contact the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles through their website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Virginia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.