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Financial Responsibility Requirements

Virginia has a financial responsibility law, Motor Vehicle Code 46.2-706, that requires all Virginia registered motor vehicle owners to have motor vehicle liability insurance or enough money to pay for any losses that may result from an automobile accident.

The financial responsibility requirement can be met in one of three ways:

1. The vehicle owner can insure the motor vehicle with minimum liability coverage through a policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in Virginia. The minimum liability coverage is:

  • Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000
  • Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000
  • Property damage $20,000

OR

2. The vehicle owner can show proof that a Surety Bond has been duly executed, by depositing cash or securities with DMV, or apply for and receive a self-insurance certificate from DMV.

OR

3. The vehicle owner must pay the Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee.

Every person registering an uninsured motor vehicle shall pay a fee of $500 at the time of registration. Payment of this fee allows a motor vehicle owner to operate an uninsured motor vehicle. Payment of this fee does not provide the motorist with any insurance coverage. If involved in an accident, the uninsured motorist remains personally liable. The fee is valid for twelve months but may be prorated for the unexpired portion of the registration period.

Note: If liability insurance coverage on a vehicle terminates or cancels during the registration period, the vehicle owner must either reinsure the vehicle, pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee or surrender the license plates to DMV.

Every person applying for registration of a motor vehicle and declaring it to be an insured vehicle faces stiff penalties if the motor vehicle is subsequently found to be uninsured. DMV suspends all driver's license and registration certificates and license plates issued to the owner of the motor vehicle. These items are suspended until the person pays a $500 statutory fee (collected by DMV and deposited into the Uninsured Motorist Fund), furnishes and maintains proof of financial responsibility (form SR-22) for three years and pays a reinstatement fee, if applicable.

DMV monitors insurance coverage through our Insurance Verification Program. You can view insurance companies licensed to conduct business in Virginia. The Virginia Auto Insurance Consumer Guide contains additional insurance information.