Auto Insurance in Virginia (VA)
If You Are Paying More Than $1,141.14 on Auto Insurance in Virginia, You Are Paying Too Much.
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Auto Insurance Industry in Virginia
- An average consumer pays $1,364.00 on auto insurance
- 131 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
- Accident fatality rate of 0.94%
- Of all accidents: 59% are road-way accidents, 20% are intersection accidents, and 13% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.
Driving along the scenic highways in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a breathtaking experience. As a resident of the state, driving is enjoyed best when you comply with state laws. This means establishing financial responsibility to ensure you can cover expenses related to an auto accident.
Virginia's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance
Before you can register a vehicle in Virginia, you must purchase an auto liability insurance policy. Other options such as self-insurance and surety bonds are not available for private passenger vehicles. You may also pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee that is valid for 12 months. This inexpensive alternative still leaves you financial liable for damages that may occur during an accident.
Therefore, you should purchase an auto liability insurance policy that includes the state’s minimum coverage amounts. In Virginia, requirements for liability insurance are based on a 25/50/20 policy:
- $25,000 to cover physical harm or death to one person
- $50,000 to cover physical harm or death to two or more persons
- $20,000 to cover property damage
An electronic reporting method is used by Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to track auto insurance policies throughout the state. Your insurance provider will submit all information regarding your insurance policy including cancellations and new coverage to this system. In addition to the electronic system, you should keep proof of insurance in your vehicle. Failure to maintain financial responsibility with an auto liability insurance policy will result in penalties.
Continuous coverage is required by state law even if your registered vehicle is inoperable. Not having proof of insurance can result in a suspension of your driver’s license vehicle registration and license plates. Additionally, you must pay a $500 statutory fee and reinstatement fees. For the next three years following suspension, you must file a SR-22 financial responsibility certificate with the DMV.
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Consumer Car Licensing Information in Virginia
You must apply for a driver’s license to operate passenger vehicles, SUVs or pick-up trucks in Virginia. This is a requirement whether you are a teenager, first-time adult driver or a new resident. Residents over 19 must keep a learner’s permit for 60 days prior to taking the driving test for a regular license. You may apply for a driver’s license after 30 days if you complete a driver training class approved by the state.
As a new resident to Virginia, you can transfer an out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to the state. Typically, you are not required to take the written and driving tests.
Appointments are not necessary to take the written and road tests at a local DMV office. On the day of the test, make sure you provide:
- Two forms of your legal identity
- Proof that you are a Virginia resident
- Proof that you are in the U.S. legally
- Completed driver’s license application
- Social security card
You will also need to pass a vision test and pay the $3 learner’s permit fee. The driver’s license fee is $4 per year up to eight years.
Motorcycle Licensing Information in Virginia
Legally driving a motorcycle in Virginia requires wearing a state-approved helmet, face and eye protection, and having a Class M endorsement or motorcycle-only license. Additionally, your motorcycle must include a windshield that passes state standards. Motorcycle applications are accepted at a DMV office with the same documentation required for a regular Virginia driver’s license.
A Class M endorsement is available to residents with a valid Virginia driver’s license. A vision screening and written motorcycle knowledge test are required to receive the endorsement. You will receive a 30-day motorcycle permit after passing the written test. A road skills test is also required for new drivers.
For a motorcycle-only license, you must meet the same qualifications as a Class M endorsement.
Class M endorsement fees are $2 per year and lasts for the same length of time as your driver’s license. The motorcycle-only license costs $6 per year for eight years.
Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Virginia
Virginia issues a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to residents who want to operate commercial vehicles. Class A, B and C CDLs are available for both intrastate and interstate driving. Residents who are 18 years old can obtain an intrastate CDL after satisfying regular driver’s license requirements. Those who are at least 21 years old may receive an interstate CDL to drive across state lines and transport hazardous materials.
First-time CDL applicants must obtain a 30-day learner’s permit before receiving a commercial license. If you fit this category, you must complete a state-approved commercial driver education program. This is required before you can take the road skills test. The permit fee is $3.
Once you receive a permit, you will also need to pass a vision screening and a written knowledge test. Additional tests are required for each commercial endorsement you will need.
On-road driving tests are administered at a DMV office. Be prepared to take this test in the vehicle class for which you are applying. You are responsible for providing a properly registered and insured commercial vehicle. The test is three parts: pre-trip inspection, basic commercial vehicle control and driving in regular road conditions.
In addition to written and road tests, you must also certify compliance with motor carrier safety regulation standards set by Virginia and the federal government. This includes a medical certification requirement that is completed by a doctor after you pass a medical examination.
Virginia CDLs cost $8 per year plus an additional $1 per year for each endorsement. The DMV calculates CDL fees based on the number of years before the renewal date. Typically, a CDL expires on your birthday and is valid for eight years. You must renew the license every five years if you have a hazmat endorsement.
More Resources on Auto Insurance in Virginia
Department of Insurance
- P.O. Box 1157 Richmond, Virginia 23218-1157
- Phone: (804) 371-9741 or 1-800-552-7945 (VA Only)
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