When did the Florida FR44 insurance filing become effective? What are the requirements needed for one? Which type of policies qualify for compliance?
As of October 1, 2007, a person convicted of DUI in Florida is required to maintain increased limits of vehicle accident liability coverage. The minimum amounts are $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident of Bodily Injury Liability and $50,000 of Property Damage Liability. A single combined limit of $300,000 is also acceptable. The liability must be provided by a Florida policy. This may be a car insurance policy or an operator’s one where there is no vehicle to insure. One that insures a vehicle with less than 4 wheels does not qualify because this type does not include Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP).
The flexibility to comply with a variety of policy types, and as policyholder or additional driver, enables the convicted driver to secure a well suited one. For example, a youthful operator will often find a lower rate as an additional driver on their parents policy. In the past, another good option was insuring a scooter which might have been as little as $100.00 for the entire year. Unfortunately, Florida no longer allows a filing with this type.
Do all drivers with a Florida DUI require FR44 insurance? How long does the requirement remain in effect?
To clear a FR44 DUI case number for license reinstatement, a driver, receiving the infraction prior to November 1st 2014, is required to provide proof that increased vehicle liability insurance in the amount of 100/300/50k was in effect at the time of the offense date or they must purchase a FR44 policy for three years from the original suspension date. After November 1st 2014 all drivers convicted of a DUI will be required to purchase and maintain a FR44 policy, which cannot be cancelled, for three years from the reinstatement date of the DUI.
When can I reinstate my license after I purchase a policy? How is the Florida DMV notified that my FR44 requirement has been satisfied? Can I receive the FR44 certificate at point of sale?
The FR44 form (certificate), is submitted by the company to Florida’s Bureau of Financial Responsibility. As required by law, they are transmitted electronically within 15 days after beginning. Companies typically transmit to the bureau at point of sale, and the DMV database will update within 24 to 48 hours allowing for license reinstatement.
Some companies, will generate a “hard copy” certificate at 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 page. This is the fastest way a convicted driver can have their license reinstated.
Since companies electronically send the FR44 certificate to the State, it takes a special request to have one issued directly to the policyholder. It is usually typed, and then faxed or emailed, and typically takes up to 2 hours to get done. If you are in a hurry, find out before you buy, or even before you get a rate quote, if a certificate would be immediately available.
How much will this cost? What is the least expensive way?Is there a filing fee and reinstatement fee in addition?
There is a $25.00 filing fee for everyone. A license reinstatement fee is required for drivers that did not have increased liability limits of 100/300/50k on their policy at the time of the DUI. However, the overall cost is determined by a host of variables that are unique to each person including location, age, history, vehicle type etc. Usually, the least expensive way to secure a FR44 insurance policy is with an operators or non-owners policy which does not include a vehicle. This type of policy is not available to drivers, who have access to a vehicle, or that require an interlock device.
Can I cancel? Is the insurance company allowed to cancel? If I cancel can I replace it with another one?
As of May 4th 2012 all policies with a Florida FR44 filing are not allowed to be cancelled. Companies may only cancel during the first 30 days while determining eligibility. Naturally, there are many legitimate reasons for cancelling a policy such as, moving to another state, selling your vehicle, getting married, etc., and there is a way to cancel these policies. An endorsement to remove the FR44 filing from an existing policy can be submitted, and then that policy can be cancelled. Keep in mind that if the FR44 requirement is still in effect, the cancelled policy must be replaced or the driver license will be suspended. When canceling, you may be asked to provide a recorded sworn statement indicating your reason and how you intend to continue compliance. Naturally, when your compliance period ends during the policy period, all the restrictions may be removed from that policy.
Can I get a monthly payment plan? Does the State of Florida require full payment? Can I have more than one policy?
Because they cannot be cancelled, companies will require payment in full. Unlike the canceling provision, requiring payment in full is not a state mandate. Since companies are not at liberty to cancel a policy for non-payment, they generally will not offer payment plans. However, there are a few, in limited circumstances, that will allow a payment plan. One recently began to offer installment payment plans for all their renewing policies. Keep in mind companies provide a substantial discount when paying in full and the FR44 requirement does not eliminate that discount. There can only be one filing per driver, however, a driver can have more than one policy and this creates additional flexibility.
When will my FR44 requirement no longer be 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 have their response in writing. When you are within 60 days of ending the requirement you may carry the 100/300/50 liability without having to actually file and you will be considered in compliance. This option can be particularly helpful when starting a new policy as payment plans, driver exclusions, and all other options can be exercised.