Virginia has some fairly unique rules when it comes to car insurance. You are not required to carry liability insurance on your vehicle if you pay a $500 fee to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Once you pay the fee, you are legally permitted to drive a vehicle in the state without car insurance. Bear in mind, however, you are not purchasing any form of insurance by paying the fee. If you are at fault for an accident, you will likely be personally liable for whatever damages you cause. This could amount to several thousand dollars.
If you choose not to pay the fee, you are required to carry the following minimum amounts of liability coverage in Virginia:
Remember that liability coverage is designed to cover someone else's medical bills, property damage, and other costs when you are at fault for a car accident. Liability coverage does not protect you or your vehicle. So, it may be wise to carry additional kinds of coverage, and in some situations -- when you're financing or leasing a vehicle, for example -- you may be contractually obligated to add options like comprehensive coverage to your policy. Learn more about your Car Insurance Coverage Options.
In Virginia, all car insurance policies must include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The amount of UIM coverage must be equal to your liability coverage amounts. You can, however, request lower limits in writing.
If you drive uninsured, and have not paid the $500 fee to the DMV, your driver's license and registration will be suspended. To restore your driving privileges, you will need to pay $500 and file a proof of insurance form with the DMV for the next three years. The Virginia DMV's website has more information about Virginia Auto Insurance Requirements. You can also find more information in our article Virginia Auto Insurance Laws and Regulations.