Virginia Minimum Car Insurance Requirements, Penalties and Other Auto Insurance Laws

Although driving without insurance in Virginia is legal, car insurance laws still require you to carry a policy to register your car. Your coverage must meet Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirement of 25/50/20 along with uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, typically with the same coverage limits. To drive an uninsured car, you have to pay an uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Remember that Virginia is an at-fault state. It means that should you cause an accident, you have to cover the other driver’s costs from injuries and property damage.

Loading...
tip icon

What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Virginia?

If you’re wondering how much car insurance you need in Virginia, the answer is liability coverage with limits of at least 25/50/20. On top of this, you also need to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. At the very least, your policy should have the following limits:

  • $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for bodily injuries per person for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorists
  • $20,000 for property damage for uninsured/underinsured motorists

Car insurance laws in Virginia require you to have insurance to register your car. But unlike most states, you’re not required to have car insurance in Virginia before you can take your vehicle on the road. If you choose to drive an uninsured car, you have to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee at the DMV, which does not provide any insurance protection.

Loading...

What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

At the very least, you should have liability coverage of 25/50/20 to get your car registered in Virginia. It means that if you are at fault in an accident, your policy covers costs from the other driver’s medical bills up to $50,000 for the accident, with a $25,000 limit for each person. It also covers expenses up to $20,000 from property damage.

Underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance (UIM or UM) typically have the same limits — $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident with a $25,000 limit per individual and $20,000 for property damage. It comes into play if the at-fault driver doesn't have coverage. It also applies if their policy doesn't meet the minimum car insurance requirements of Virginia.

In Virginia, these are minimum car insurance requirements, which means you can choose to increase limits to provide yourself with better financial protection on the road. However, limits for uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance cannot exceed your liability thresholds for bodily injuries or property damage. To increase coverage for UM or UIM insurance, you also have to increase your liability limits.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Virginia?

There are several factors used to calculate car insurance rates in Virginia. Your age and driving experience contribute to how much your premium costs — if you are a new or inexperienced driver, your premium may be more expensive since insurance carriers may deem you riskier to insure. Similarly, your driving history impacts the policy rate. Drivers with clean records have lower rates than those with violations. Your insurance carrier may even factor in your credit standing.

The cost of car insurance may also vary between carriers. MoneyGeek compared several car insurance quotes in Virginia and found the most affordable option to be a tie between USAA and Progressive, with both costing $333 per year on average. USAA policies are only available to current or former military members and their families, while Progressive is more widely available.

The table shows rates for policies with 25/50/20 coverage, which meets the minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia. These also include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance with similar limits. MoneyGeek used the driver profile of a 40-year-old male with good credit and a clean record driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

Cheapest Minimum Liability Car Insurance in Virginia

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in Virginia
  • Company
    Annually
    Monthly
  • 1.
    $333
    $28
  • 2.
    $333
    $28
  • 3.
    $350
    $29
  • 4.
    $350
    $29
  • 5.
    $392
    $33

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Virginia driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

The table shows rates for policies with 25/50/20 coverage, which meets the minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia. These also include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance with similar limits. MoneyGeek used the driver profile of a 40-year-old male with good credit and a clean record driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

Loading...

What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Virginia While Leasing a Car?

While driving without insurance isn’t illegal, you need to present proof of insurance when registering your car. Typically, a policy meeting Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements will suffice.

Leasing a car may prove to be a different experience. Most leasing companies will require you to have a full coverage insurance policy, which provides additional protection through comprehensive and collision coverage. They may also expect higher liability limits — most leasing companies prefer at least 100/300/50 coverage.

It’s best to communicate with your leasing company directly to make sure you have a clear understanding of their car lease requirements and terms.

When determining how much insurance you need in Virginia, there are several factors to consider. Although Virginia’s car insurance laws only require 25/50/20 liability coverage, MoneyGeek recommends purchasing a full coverage policy with 50/100/50 limits. It may cost you more per year, but it provides more protection than a policy that only complies with Virginia's minimum car insurance requirements.

10.5% of drivers in Virginia drive without insurance. If you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage — or someone who is entirely uninsured — having liability-only insurance will not cover you, which is why having uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance is part of Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Virginia

Though you can drive a car without insurance in Virginia, car insurance laws require it for the registration process. You also have to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle (UMV) fee to Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles to show you are aware of the risks. If you don’t pay this fee, you may face penalties for driving a car in Virginia with no insurance, such as:

  • Paying a $600 non-compliance fee
  • Filing of SR-22 to prove financial responsibility
  • Suspension of registration
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Paying a $145 fee to reinstate your driver’s license

SR-22 insurance is a form that guarantees the state your policy meets Virginia’s minimum car insurance requirements. Your insurance carrier can file it on your behalf as soon as you request it. It typically results in increased premiums as you will be considered a high-risk driver. You will also have to carry it for at least three years.

In addition to the fines and restrictions to your driving privileges, driving uninsured puts you at financial risk should you cause a collision. Since Virginia is an at-fault state, you need to cover the other person’s expenses from medical bills or property damage if you are at fault. Even if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, the cost of repairs from a collision may be hefty, and you’ll have to pay for the remaining amount their policy does not cover.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Virginia

Learn More About Car Insurance

About the Author


expert-profile

Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


sources