FR44 Insurance in Florida: Frequently Asked Questions with Full Answers

When did the Florida FR44 insurance application go into effect? What are the requirements for one? What type of policy is eligible for compliance?

As of October 1, 2007, a person convicted of drunk driving in Florida must maintain higher limits on auto accident liability coverage. The minimums are $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury liability, and $50,000 for property damage. A single combined limit of $300,000 is also acceptable. The liability must be covered by a Florida policy. This can be a car insurance policy or that of an operator where there is no vehicle to insure. A vehicle that insures a vehicle with fewer than 4 wheels is not eligible as this type does not include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

The flexibility to fit different types of policies, and as a policyholder or additional driver, allows the convicted driver to secure a well-suited car. For example, a young entrepreneur often finds a lower rate as a co-driver on his parents’ policy. In the past, another good option was to insure a scooter that might cost as little as $100.00 for the whole year. Unfortunately, Florida no longer allows a submission with this type.

Do all drivers with a Florida DUI need FR44 insurance? How long will the requirement be in effect?

To clear an FR44 DUI case number for license recovery, a driver, receiving the violation before November 1, 2014, is required to provide proof that 100/300/50k enhanced vehicle liability insurance was in effect at the time of the breach date or they must purchase an FR44 policy for three years from the original suspension date. After November 1, 2014 all drivers convicted of a DUI will be required to purchase and maintain an FR44 policy, which cannot be canceled, for three years from the recovery date of the DUI.

When can I restore my license after purchasing a policy? How will the Florida DMV be notified that my FR44 requirement has been met? Can I receive the FR44 certificate at the point of sale?

The FR44 form (certificate) is filed by the company with the Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility. As required by law, they will be sent electronically within 15 days of commencement. Companies typically ship to the agency at the point of sale, and the DMV database is updated within 24 to 48 hours, allowing the license to be reinstated.

Some companies will generate a “hard copy” certificate at the point of sale which can then be combined with proof of insurance and faxed to a local DMV office, from the agency or company with an identifying cover sheet. This is the quickest way for a convicted driver to have their license reinstated.

Since companies send the FR44 certificate electronically to the state, a special request is required to have one issued directly to the policyholder. It is usually typed and then faxed or emailed, and usually takes up to 2 hours to get done. If you are in a hurry, inquire before purchasing, or even before getting a quote, whether a certificate is immediately available.

How much will this cost? What is the cheapest way? Are there additional filing and recovery fees?

There is a $25.00 filing fee for everyone. A license reinstatement fee is required for drivers who did not have increased liability limits of 100/300/50k on their policy at the time of the DUI. However, the total cost is determined by many variables unique to each person, including location, age, history, vehicle type, etc. Usually the least expensive way to purchase FR44 insurance is with an operator’s policy or non-owners. which does not belong to a vehicle. This type of policy is not available to drivers who have access to a vehicle or require a locking device.

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Can I cancel? Can the insurer cancel? If I cancel, can I replace it with another one?

As of May 4, 2012, all policies with a Florida FR44 filing may not be canceled. Businesses can only cancel during the first 30 days to determine eligibility. Of course, there are many legitimate reasons to cancel a policy, such as moving to another state, selling your vehicle, getting married, etc., and there is a way to cancel these policies. Approval can be submitted to remove the FR44 application from an existing policy and then that policy can be cancelled. Please note that if the FR44 requirement is still in effect, the canceled policy must be replaced or the driver’s license will be suspended. When you cancel, you may be asked to provide a registered affidavit stating your reason and how you plan to continue compliance. Of course, if your compliance period ends during the policy period, all restrictions can be removed from that policy.

Can I get a monthly payment plan? Does the state of Florida require payment in full? Can I have more than one policy?

Since they cannot be canceled, companies require full payment. Unlike the cancellation provision, requiring full payment is not a government mandate. Since companies are not free to cancel a policy for non-payment, they will generally not offer payment arrangements. However, there are a few, in limited circumstances, that allow a payment plan. One of them recently started offering installment payments on all of their renewal policies. Keep in mind that companies offer a significant discount when paid in full and the FR44 requirement does not remove that discount. There can only be one declaration per driver, but a driver can have more than one policy and this provides additional flexibility.

When is my FR44 requirement no longer needed? How can I contact the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles?

The best way to find out is to contact the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and have them tell you the exact date your requirement ends. I recommend contacting them by email at https://www3.flhsmv.gov/DDL/CQS/ so you get their written response. When you are within 60 days of the requirement ending, you can bear the 100/300/50 liability without actually having to file an application and you will be deemed to comply. This option can be especially useful when starting a new policy, as payment plans, driver exclusions, and all other options can be exercised.