An FS-1 form is a certificate of insurance only used in North Carolina. Like most other states, North Carolina requires drivers to carry specific liability coverage to drive legally out on the street.

You must prove that you carry at least the minimum required amount of coverage when registering or titling a car, if you are in an accident, or are pulled over. An FS-1 form provides proof of insurance in North Carolina and is issued by your insurance company, which must be licensed in North Carolina. 

Key Highlights
  • An FS-1 document shows you have liability insurance compliant with North Carolina insurance laws. 
  • North Carolina minimum liability insurance requirements for private vehicles are 30/60/25.
  • Insurance companies must notify the North Carolina DMV when coverage is canceled, and penalties can be levied if caught driving without car insurance.

What is an FS-1 form in North Carolina?

The FS-1 document proves you have liability insurance to comply with North Carolina car insurance laws. It’s an acceptable proof of insurance in North Carolina and must list a vehicle’s year, make, model and vehicle identification number. Other acceptable forms of proof of insurance include a current insurance policy and a DL-123 insurance form.

The FS-1 is a simple form provided to drivers by insurance companies in North Carolina. Currently, North Carolina is the only state that uses an FS-1 form.

In North Carolina, an FS-1 is often used for:

  • Drivers with a DUI violation must show proof of coverage.
  • Drivers whose coverage has lapsed.
  • Drivers who use the FS-1 in addition to an insurance card to demonstrate proof of coverage.

Just about every state requires drivers to carry a certain amount of liability insurance to be legal out on the road. The amount of required coverage varies by state.

In North Carolina, drivers are currently required to carry the following insurance:

  • 30/60/25, which means:
    • $30,000 for bodily injury for one person
    • $60,000 for bodily injury for two or more people
    • $25,000 for property damage
  • North Carolina also requires coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists.

If you are pulled over, involved in an accident or want to register a vehicle, you must prove you carry the minimum amount of insurance that North Carolina requires, which is where the FS-1 comes into play. 

North Carolina allows drivers to self-certify

North Carolina allows drivers to self-certify by providing their insurance information, including the insurance company name and policy number. If you don’t want to memorize your policy number, carrying an FS-1 in your vehicle is the easiest option and, in some cases, may be necessary.

In situations such as accidents, police stops or interactions with your insurance provider, self-certification is usually sufficient. But if you have let your insurance lapse, have a DUI or are trying to get your license back after it has been suspended or revoked, you will need an FS-1.

You can get a proof of insurance (FS-1) form from your insurance company. Almost every driver in North Carolina will need an FS-1 at some point.

You will need to show proof of insurance if:

  • You want to register a car in North Carolina.
  • Your insurance got canceled.
  • You want to switch car insurance companies.
  • Your insurance coverage lapsed.
  • You want to show proof of coverage in addition to your insurance card.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT), you must show proof of insurance when titling or registering your vehicle in North Carolina.

 If your insurance coverage lapses, you need an FS-1 to prove you carry the proper coverage. North Carolina law requires each car insurance company to notify the DMV when coverage has been canceled. Driving without insurance coverage can result in fees and the possible loss of your license.

 In addition to needing an FS-1 to prove you are covered, a lapse in coverage can be quite expensive. A lapse in coverage for even a week will hike your car insurance rate by an average of 9%, or about $130, a year. A 60-day lapse gets you 13%, or roughly $190 more yearly. 

How to submit an FS-1 form

North Carolina allows car insurance companies to file FS-1 forms electronically with the state. If you need to provide proof of insurance coverage to the DMV, you can speak with your car insurance agent to obtain the FS-1 form.

You can have your car insurance company electronically submit the form, or fax it to 919-733-6949, at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). Call the NCDMV Customer Contact Center at 919-715-7000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays to confirm receipt of the form.

– Penny Gusner contributed to this story.

Resources & Methodology


N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. “Liability Insurance Help.” Accessed October 2022.

Laura Longero

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