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Virginia Car Insurance Laws and Requirements (Updated August 2022)

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Charlie Mitchell

By: Charlie Mitchell

Edited by Jackie Cohen

Last Updated June 17, 2022

Virginia law dictates the minimum requirements for insurance coverage that all drivers must carry. All insured drivers in Virginia must hold 30/60/20 in liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. Additionally, drivers can pick from a long list of additional coverages for added protection. If they choose, they may pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee to drive at their own risk.

Quick Facts

  • Car insurance is not required by law in Virginia.
  • Drivers in Virginia must carry 30/60/20 in liability and uninsured motorist coverages or pay an annual $500 uninsured motorist fee.
  • If caught driving uninsured, drivers face $1,100 in fines and potential jail time.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Virginia

The minimum car insurance requirements in Virginia[1] are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage liability per accident
  • $30,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury liability per accident
  • $20,000 for uninsured motorist property damage liability per accident

If these numbers look unfamiliar, it’s because Virginia auto insurance minimum limits have recently changed. And as of 2025, those limits will be even higher. Virginia is a classic at-fault state, and it even allows Virginia drivers to pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee at registration and renewal to drive without insurance at their own risk.

Why is car insurance required in Virginia?

Auto insurance protects drivers from financial liability in the event of an accident. Depending on a policy’s specific coverage limitations, car insurance may cover everything from vehicle damage to medical bills.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability is part of your liability car insurance coverage. If you cause an accident, this coverage will help cover the other party’s medical expenses. This type of coverage will not cover your own medical expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident you caused. Bodily injury liability coverage is required in Virginia.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability is the other half of your liability car insurance. It covers repair costs and damage expenses to the other cars involved in an accident you caused. This coverage does not cover damage to your own car in an accident you were at fault for. Property damage liability coverage is required in Virginia.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If an uninsured (or underinsured) driver causes an accident and you suffer bodily injury, uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses. If the at-fault driver surpasses their bodily injury liability coverage limits, your underinsured motorist coverage will cover the rest of your medical expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in Virginia.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance in Virginia

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Is state minimum car insurance enough in Virginia?

The minimum required car insurance coverage in Virginia provides drivers with a solid foundation of auto insurance coverage, but it may not be enough for everyone. When it comes to property damage liability, the minimum insurance coverage requirement is a relatively high $20,000—if you total someone’s new Audi A6, damages will be almost triple that amount.

Similarly, medical expenses can get alarmingly high if you find yourself in a wreck and the accident is your fault. Virginia’s auto insurance requirements for bodily injury are substantial, but experts advise most drivers to aim for 100/300 liability limits in order to have adequate liability insurance—especially for homeowners and others with assets to protect.

But let’s be clear—even the minimum amount is better than forgoing liability insurance altogether, a path that Virginia drivers can legally take. Assuming financial responsibility for yourself on the road is very risky—you could be liable for huge amounts in the blink of an eye.

Optional Car Insurance Coverage for Virginia

Virginia drivers who want to be protected in any situation should consider bolstering the minimum car insurance coverage with the following supplemental car insurance coverages:

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers damages to your car after a collision with another vehicle or object. If your vehicle is a total loss, collision coverage will reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. This is a great addition to the required property damage liability coverage in Virginia, which applies only to the damages to the other driver’s vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Complementing your collision coverage, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that occurs during an event that is not a collision with another vehicle or object. This may apply in situations of vandalism, theft, weather damage, or a run-in with an animal. Adding comprehensive and collision coverage together creates a full-coverage car insurance policy.

Other Supplemental Coverage

Medical payments coverage is an add-on to your liability insurance that helps pay for medical expenses after a crash. With medical payments coverage, you’re covered regardless of fault. Since the minimum insurance requirements only pay for other people’s medical bills, it can give you peace of mind to have insurance for your own.

Additionally, insurers offer additional coverages designed to help drivers go about their everyday lives in the face of car trouble. Rental car reimbursement helps pay for your rental while your car is being repaired for a covered loss; this is great for commuters and rural Virginians. Roadside assistance coverage is another popular and affordable add-on.

See More: Average Cost of Car Insurance in Virginia

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Virginia

It is illegal to drive in Virginia without the minimum car insurance coverage unless you’ve paid the Virginia DMV the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. If your auto insurance expires during the registration period of your car, you’ll be penalized with a litany of fees and limitations that will cost you time and money for years on end. So be careful. You’ll have to:

  • Pay a $600 noncompliance fee
  • Pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee
  • Pay a reinstatement fee (if applicable)
  • Immediately deactivate your license plates (or permanently surrender them)
  • File an SR-22 certificate for three years

These are very punishing measures against driving without liability insurance. Drivers should take extreme care to always have auto insurance and carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times.

See More: High-Risk Car Insurance in Virginia

Minimum Requirements for High-Risk Drivers in Virginia

If you are involved in a serious accident, are found to be uninsured, or rack up a lot of violations on your driving record, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may require you to secure an SR-22 certificate via your insurance company. Your minimum limits will still be the same as everyone else, but your insurance company will probably raise your rates.

Similarly, if your driver’s license is suspended, the Virginia DMV may require you to secure an SR-22 policy before it reinstates your license. More serious violations and accidents, especially those that involve drugs or alcohol, may land you an FR-44 financial responsibility requirement, which carries double the minimum limits of all other Virginia auto policies.

More Information for High-Risk Drivers in Virginia

DUI Insurance in Virginia

SR-22 Insurance in Virginia

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in Virginia

Car insurance companies weigh different factors to determine what to quote drivers on their car insurance policies. Minimum coverage generally means lower car insurance rates. It also means low coverage limits, which may cost you if you’re ever involved in an accident. Here are the cheapest car insurance quotes for minimum coverage in Virginia.

Insurance CompanyMonthly Quote for Minimum Coverage
Progressive$71
Travelers$89
Bristol West$119
Liberty Mutual$131
Nationwide$140
Dairyland$142
Disclaimer: actual quotes may vary based on the policyholder's unique driver profile.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Virginia

This decade, Virginia drivers are getting their minimum coverage limits raised. So they’re going to feel extra pressure to keep their insurance rates low. For that, we recommend Insurify. It’s a simple website that helps you compare car insurance quotes that are personalized to you. You can see quotes from a number of companies all in one place. It saves time, and it’s free.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes. Drivers in Virginia are required to carry 30/60/20 liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage or pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee upon registration and every subsequent renewal in order to legally drive at their own risk.

  • No. Virginia operates a traditional at-fault or “tort” model for auto insurance, which is based on liability coverage. When a car accident occurs, the person who is found to be at fault pays for the relevant damages with their liability insurance.

  • Yes. Virginia drivers must carry uninsured motorist coverage with minimum limits equal to the state minimum coverage limits for liability insurance: 30/60/20.

  • Yes. You must provide proof of insurance or pay the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee when you apply for your Virginia vehicle registration.

  • Finding cheap car insurance is a simple matter of shopping around, but it can be labor-intensive. Insurify helps you cut through the noise to compare car insurance quotes that are specific to your car, driving record, and household. It’s like a personal insurance agent working to find you cheap insurance, completely free.

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Charlie Mitchell
Charlie Mitchell
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Insurance Writer

Charlie Mitchell is a journalist, researcher, and writer specializing in personal finance subjects. He holds a degree from Middlebury College. His work can be found in Vox, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and other publications. Charlie uses his expertise in home, renters, and auto insurance subjects to help inform people to make better financial decisions. Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.

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Sources

  1. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. "State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements." Accessed June 15, 2022