LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Andrew Taylor Morgan | Mar 13, 2013

FR44 and DUI Convictions in Florida

FR-44 is not a type of Florida automobile insurance.

An FR-44 is a financial responsibility certification that is required for high risk auto insurance customers by the Department of Motor Vehicles after you have received a DUI conviction. The necessary coverage for an FR-44 is Bodily Injury Liability in the amounts of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident and $50,000 of Property Damage Liability. A single combined limit of $300,000 is also normally sufficient.

An FR-44 filing is similar in theory to an SR-22, except that it may indicate that you maintain more than just the minimum amount of coverage required by the state requesting it. The FR-44 form is submitted by auto insurance companies to Florida’s Bureau of Financial Responsibility on behalf of their insured.

The Bureau of Financial Responsibility is a division of the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. The primary objective of the Bureau of Financial Responsibility is to make sure drivers are accountable if they become legally liable to pay for damages involving motor vehicles. The Bureau of Financial Responsibility will assist consumers in the collection of payment for damages caused by the liable party. If the liable party had no insurance at time of accident and is unable to compensate for damages they become legally obligated to pay, a judgment against the liable driver from a court of law may be obtained. Once a final judgment from a court of law is obtained the Bureau of Financial Responsibility has the authority to suspend the liable individual’s license and registration as long as 20 years or until the judgment is satisfied.

The cost of the FR-44 itself is just $15.00. Higher limits, points, and rate tier assessment for the DUI driver are the factors that drive up the cost of the premium. The tier or category the insurance company places drivers with a DUI is most often the worst one with the highest overall rates. Drivers with multiple DUI convictions may not be able to purchase insurance through a private company. For these drivers the Florida Auto Joint Underwriting Association or FAJUA is a place to secure insurance as a last resort. Unfortunately for people in this position the insurance will be very expensive.

The Florida requirements for a drivers license after a DUI mandate the FR-44 certificate of insurance whether a driver owns a car or not. Usually, the least expensive coverage is the non-owner version of FR-44. Insurance companies usually require the first 6 month term to be paid in full. However, the total paid over 6 months for the non-owner FR-44 is usually less than if you owned the vehicle. If you can remain free of car ownership to start the first term it can be financially beneficial.

Once mandated by the Bureau of Financial Responsibility to file an FR-44, failure to do so may result in your driver’s license and/or vehicle license plate being suspended for up to 3 years. Reinstatement of your driver’s license and or license plate will only occur after certified proof of the required liability insurance in the form of an FR-44 is once again filed with the Bureau of Financial Responsibility.

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