What is an FR-19?

car keyThe FR-19 is a form that motorists in certain states, Delaware and Maryland specifically, can be required to file with their department of motor vehicles or like state agency.

The FR-19 can only be issued by a car insurance company and certifies that you carry at least the state’s minimum liability auto insurance coverage on your registered vehicle. 

The FR-19 is not the same as an SR-22 form.  The SR-22 is required in many states to verify that you have certain car insurance coverages in place and that the insurance company will alert the state if you cancel that coverage.  The FR-19 only verifies that you currently have insurance (and, if requested, that you were also insured at a previous point in time).

An SR-22 is typically required due to some serious offense, such as driving without insurance or driving under the influence (DUI), and must remain in effect with the state for three or more years. There is no such requirement with the FR-19 since it just verifies coverage is in place.

Delaware FR-19 requirements

The FR-19 is used in Delaware to provide proof to the state that you have had continuous coverage on a registered vehicle.  Delaware’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) audits drivers as a way to check for uninsured motorists – and get them off the road.

If the Delaware DMV audits you for proof of insurance, you must contact your car insurance company to ask it to provide you with the FR-19 form (also known as an insurance certification form).  Your insurer will then certify on the form that your vehicle was insured on the verification date, and that coverage is currently still in effect.

If you can’t provide proof of Delaware car insurance with the FR-19, because when audited your vehicle was uninsured, then the vehicle’s registration and the driver’s licenses of all listed owners will be suspended. 

You will also be hit with an insurance lapse fee of $150 for the first $30 days, then $5 per each extra day up to $2,500.  To reinstate your registration and license, you’ll need to pay reinstatement fees for each and provide proof of insurance for the previous uninsured vehicle.

Delaware doesn’t utilize the SR-22 form, so if you’ve been convicted of a serious offense or involved in an auto accident, you may also be required to file an FR-19 form to show proof of insurance.

Maryland FR-19 requirements

Maryland also makes use of the FR-19 form to verify that Maryland car insurance was in force on a registered vehicle during a certain time period.  The Maryland form is only valid for 30 days, thus, if you don’t get it in on time you’ll need your insurer to fill out a new FR-19.

You must provide the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) verification of car insurance with an FR-19 for the following situations:

·         When you register a newly title car and the MVA notifies you that verification of insurance is needed.

·         If your previous auto insurer has informed the MVA your policy has canceled and the MVA then notifies you that verification of new insurance is necessary.

·         If you receive a notification from the MVA requesting verification insurance (typically due to audit)

·         If you receive a letter from the MVA for the accumulation of at least three driving points.

The reason the state requires verification of auto insurance is the same as Delaware, to help identify and remove uninsured drivers from the roadway. 

If you’ve been asked to supply the Maryland MVA with an FR-19 form, contact your car insurance agent.   Maryland insurance companies must provide the FR-19 forms free of charge to all policyholders upon request.  The form itself should be faxed or submitted electronically to the MVA by your insurance company or agent.

If you’re unable to provide an FR-19 form when requested, due to a lapse in coverage, you will face penalties.  Maryland charges an uninsured motorist penalty fee for each lapse of insurance of $150 for the first 30 days, then $7 for each day thereafter.  Your vehicle’s registration will also be suspended. Once you have insurance back in place, you’ll have to pay a restoration fee to reinstate your registration. 

In Maryland, you’re unable to reinstate a suspended registration or register any new vehicles until all car insurance violations are cleared up.

The bottom line is if you’ve been asked by your state to send in an FR-19 form, talk to your insurance company.  Your insurer is the only one that can fill out the form for you.