The state of Virginia has recently changed some of its car insurance laws. Paramount among them is a new law requiring drivers in Virginia to purchase and carry proof of insurance. Failure to submit liability insurance information within 30 days will result in a license suspension.

As a driver in Virginia, learn about the changes to ensure you comply with the new laws.

Key Highlights
  • The uninsured motorist fee program ended as of July 1, 2024, and all Virginia drivers must purchase car insurance.
  • Drivers with farm-use vehicles must have new tags that reflect a DMV-approved vehicle for farm use by July 1, 2024.
  • Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements will increase on January 1, 2025.
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Written by:
Sarah Sharkey
Contributing Researcher
Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida. She enjoys helping readers find money solutions that work. She has written for numerous personal finance publications including Money Under 30 and The College Investor.
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Edited by:
Laura Longero
Executive Editor
Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

What are the new auto insurance laws in Virginia?

Virginia’s new auto insurance requirements are outlined in Virginia Code § 38.2-2206. Below, we take a closer look at the significant changes for 2024 and 2025.

All Virginia drivers are now required to carry car insurance

Until recently, Virginia was one of two states that allow drivers to register a car without purchasing car insurance. Instead of buying car insurance, drivers could pay a fee when registering their vehicle in Virginia. The fees accumulated in the Uninsured Motorists Fund reduced the cost of uninsured motorist coverage in the state.

However, this law changed as of July 1, 2024. The new law stipulates that all drivers must purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance. Drivers who have avoided paying for a minimum liability policy until now will no longer have that option.

Minimum coverage limits increase in 2025

Virginia’s minimum liability insurance requirements are also changing. Currently, the minimum requirements in Virginia are 30/60/20 – $30,000 bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident and $20,000 in property damage liability insurance.

As of January 1, 2025, Virginia drivers must increase their limits to a minimum of 50/100/25 liability coverage. This breaks down into $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. 

If you have a state minimum liability coverage policy, you’ll need to adjust your coverage when the limits increase in 2025.

Farm use vehicle changes

If you have a farm-use vehicle, you can no longer purchase an unofficial red and white tag. Instead, you must apply a farm-use vehicle tag from the DMV.

“As farm vehicles are key to agricultural productivity, it is important that Virginia farmers can continue to use them in their operations while preventing farm use tags from being used on other vehicles inappropriately,” Joseph Guthrie, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services commissioner says in a recent press release.

Enforcement of the new farm use tags are in effect as of July 1, 2024. Drivers with farm-use tags must apply for new tags as soon as possible to remain legally compliant.

Auto insurance law changes in Virginia

With these latest changes, car insurance requirements in Virginia look similar to those in other states. Drivers in all states except New Hampshire must carry a minimum amount of liability coverage without the option to pay for an uninsured vehicle registration.

Drivers in Virginia will see several changes to their car insurance requirements in the coming months. Below is a timeline of some of those changes.

  • Effective July 1, 2024: Drivers must carry a minimum amount of car insurance, without the option to pay a fee to register an uninsured vehicle.
  • Effective July 1, 2024: Drivers with farm-use vehicles must have new tags that reflect a DMV-approved vehicle for farm use.
  • Effective January 1, 2025: The minimum required liability coverage for Virginia drivers will be increased to $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.

If you’re a driver in Virginia, ensure you take the following steps to remain compliant with legal changes in the state:

  • Drivers who are only paying the uninsured motorist fee must purchase car insurance. “If you previously paid the UMV fee, you will need to obtain an insurance policy that meets or exceeds Virginia’s liability limits prior to July 1, 2024,” says Jillian Cowherd, the public relations and media liaison of the Virginia DMV.
  • Drivers with farm-use vehicles must apply for an updated tag by July 1, 2024.
  • All Virginia drivers must review their policies. If you are carrying less than the new minimum coverage amounts, you’ll need to get a more robust policy by January 1, 2025, to stay compliant. 

What happens if you drive without insurance in Virginia?

If you are caught driving without the required insurance, the first offense comes with a $600 fee. Plus, you’ll face a $145 fee for the reinstatement of your license and registration and be required to file an SR-22 insurance form for three years after the violation. Further, having a driving without insurance violation on your record will make your insurance rates skyrocket – this is a costly mistake.

How will the new laws impact insurance premiums?

As the insurance laws change, it’s natural to wonder how this may impact your car insurance premiums. The impacts vary based on your situation.

If you previously avoided the cost of car insurance by paying the uninsured motorist fee, you must start paying for car insurance as of July 1, 2024.

On average, car insurance cost drivers $122 per month for full coverage in Virginia in 2023. But the reality is that the amount you’ll pay for coverage varies based on your situation. Use our free calculator to estimate Virginia insurance costs based on your ZIP code.

How to find cheap car insurance in Virginia

Shopping around is the best way to save money on car insurance. Below are some strategies to help you find cheap car insurance in Virginia.

  • Shop around. Comparing coverage options across multiple insurers can help you lock in the cheapest rates for your unique situation.
  • Raise your deductible. If you have the cash on hand to cover a higher deductible, choosing this option could lower your premiums. Deductibles apply to collision and comprehensive coverage, not liability-only insurance.
  • Look for discounts. Most car insurance companies offer a range of discounts to drivers. Make sure to ask about potential discounts before committing to a policy.

In addition to the tips above, John Crist, founder of Prestizia Insurance, says to “maintain a clean driving record as this is a critical factor in determining your rates.”

Frequently asked questions

How can you adjust your car insurance policy under Virginia’s new car insurance laws?

Typically, insurers sell policies with at least the minimum limits in your state, so it should increase automatically – your premiums probably will increase as well. If your premiums increase too much, shop around to find a new policy. 

Is Virginia dropping the uninsured motorist fee?

Yes. Virginia drivers will now be required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage and no longer have the option to pay an uninsured motorist fee in lieu of purchasing insurance.

Resources & Methodology

Sources

Methodology

CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to pull rates for 40-year-old male and female drivers driving a Honda Accord LX with good insurance scores and no violations on record. The analysis covered a full coverage insurance policy with limits of 100/300/100 and a $500 comprehensive and collision deductible. We analyzed 53,409,632 records across approximately 35,000 ZIP codes and 170 insurance companies nationwide.

Laura Longero

Ask the Insurance Expert

Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Researcher

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida. She enjoys helping readers find money solutions that work. She has written for numerous personal finance publications including Money Under 30 and The College Investor.