If you've been convicted of a DUI in Florida, you'll be required to obtain two insurance-related certificates in order to regain your driving privileges. These are the national SR-22 form and the lesser-known FR-44 form. While the procedure for obtaining the former has been documented exhaustively in print and online, there's far less information available about the latter. Since the FR-44 is a Florida-specific document that has few analogs elsewhere in the United States, it can be difficult to find reliable advice about procuring one. Fortunately, it's not difficult to file an FR-44. Once you've done so, you'll be able to source insurance quotes from a range of providers.
First, it's crucial to recognize the differences between the SR-22 and the FR-44. As a resident of a state that requires drivers to file an FR-44 form, you'll almost certainly be required to pay upfront for your insurance coverage. In fact, Florida law prohibits insurers from charging monthly premiums on FR-44 policies. This restriction is designed to protect the financial health of the insurers that operate the state and penalize DUI-convicted drivers in equal measure.
Unfortunately, the high cost of FR-44 policies means that this requirement will force you to make a substantial outlay before getting back behind the wheel of your car. To make matters worse, Florida is notorious for its high insurance rates. After your DUI, it's likely that your already-high auto insurance premiums will double overnight. Even if you have an impeccable driving record, you might be unable to find an FR-44 insurance policy that costs less than $2,500 per year.
Additionally, you may have to pay for your policy in six-month increments. If you have a new or financed vehicle, this is especially likely. Given the constraints of the "paid-in-full" rule issued by Florida's insurance regulators, many insurance companies prefer to shorten the effective periods of their high-risk policies. Frequent renewals permit these companies to account for any changes in a driver's accident history, criminal status or credit profile. What's more, this arrangement enables DUI-convicted drivers to make smaller insurance outlays and put more of their hard-earned funds toward other DUI-related expenses.
Ultimately, you'll find affordable FR-44 insurance quotes by searching online aggregators or calling the various auto insurance companies that conduct business in Florida. While you might be shocked by the cost of the policies that you find, you may be able to reduce your total insurance costs by taking advantage of certain discounts and credits.