What Is the FR-19 Car Insurance Form?
Last Updated on June 21, 2021
The FR-19 is a form requested by the Maryland MVA to verify insurance coverage.
Also known as the Maryland Vehicle Insurance Certification, the FR-19 proves you meet or exceed minimum car insurance requirements in the state of Maryland. If you fail to submit the FR-19 to the MVA within 15 days, then the MVA may suspend your driving privileges.
Any insurer can submit the FR-19 to the MVA on your behalf. Once the MVA receives and verifies your FR-19, the MVA should take no further action against you or your driving privileges.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Maryland’s FR-19 system and how it works.
How Does the FR-19 Work?
The FR-19 is a proof of insurance document verifying you have valid coverage. By law, drivers in Maryland must meet certain minimum insurance requirements to drive on public roads. If you fail to meet these requirements, then you could face penalties.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), the FR-19 can only be issued by an auto insurance company licensed to do business in Maryland. An insurer submits the FR-19 to the MVA on your behalf to verify you have valid insurance coverage. Once the MVA verifies the FR-19, they should allow you to continue driving.
The MVA may request the FR-19 if they believe you had a lapse in coverage. The MVA may request proof that you carried valid car insurance on a specific date, for example.
As of 2021, the MVA allows insurers to submit an electronic FR-19 (eFR-19). Insurers can fax or submit the eFR-19 to the MVA electronically.
Why Do I Need an FR-19?
The MVA typically requires proof of insurance after an insurance claim. If you recently caused an accident in Maryland, or if you had a major insurance claim, then the MVA may require you to submit the FR-19 to verify insurance coverage.
Some drivers receive an MVA notice by random. Every year, the MVA randomly mails drivers to request proof of insurance. It’s a way to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on Maryland’s roads.
Reasons You May Need an FR-19 Include:
You Were Picked by Random Draw: Each year, the Maryland MVA randomly sends FR-19 requests to its pool of tagged vehicle owners. If you are chosen by random draw, then you must submit proof of insurance to the MVA through the FR-19.
You Recently Switched Insurers: Drivers in Maryland may get an FR-19 request after switching insurers. Insurers notify the MVA when you cancel or change your provider. This could trigger an FR-19 request. Most drivers start their new insurance policy the day their old policy ends. However, the MVA could request an FR-19 to ensure there’s no gap in coverage when switching insurers.
You Recently Changed Vehicles on your Insurance Policy: If you changed vehicles on your auto insurance policy, then you could get an FR-19 request. The MVA may request proof of insurance for the old vehicle or new vehicle on the policy. Your insurer reported the change in vehicles to the MVA, triggering the FR-19 request.
You Kept Tags for an Old Vehicle: If you canceled an insurance policy on an old vehicle but kept the tags, then the MVA could submit an FR-19 request. The MVA considers the tags to still be active, even though you don’t have insurance. You must return the tags to the MVA soon after canceling your old insurance policy.
You Canceled Your Insurance Policy: If you cancel your insurance policy in Maryland, then your insurer will notify the MVA of this cancellation. If the MVA does not receive a confirmation of a new insurance policy from your next provider, then the MVA may submit an FR-19 request to verify you have valid coverage.
Depending on your situation, you may need to pay a fine. If you were uninsured during a specific period, for example, then you may need to pay a fine of $150 for your first 30 days without insurance, then an additional fine of $7 per day for each day you go without insurance beyond the 30 days.
However, if the FR-19 verifies that you had valid car insurance coverage on the specific date, then you should face no further penalties.
Do I Need an FR-19?
If you need to submit an FR-19 to the MVA, then the MVA will notify you in writing. You may receive a letter from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration notifying you of an FR-19 requirement.
As the MVA letter explains, your vehicle tags will be suspended if you do not comply with the order by a certain date. Typically, you have 15 days from the date the letter was generated to comply with the FR-19 requirement. If you do not submit the FR-19 to the MVA by that date, then the MVA will suspend your tags, and you will no longer be able to legally drive.
How to Obtain the FR-19
If you have valid car insurance, then obtaining the FR-19 is easy. Contact your insurance company or your insurance agent, then ask them to submit the FR-19 to the MVA on your behalf.
Your insurance company requires the following information to submit the FR-19 on your behalf. All of this information should be on the FR-19 request letter you received from the MVA:
- Case number
- Title number
- Insurance verification date
Most insurers can immediately submit an eFR-19 to the MVA, verifying you have valid insurance coverage for your vehicle on the specific requested date.
If you do not have insurance, then you need to obtain insurance to avoid further penalties. Shop around for car insurance and compare quotes online. Once you have insurance, your insurer should be able to submit the FR-19 to the MVA on your behalf. However, if you were uninsured for a specific date or time range, then the MVA may assign a penalty.
SR-22 Insurance Versus FR-19 Insurance
Most states use the SR-22 system to manage high-risk drivers. Maryland uses the SR-22 system and the FR-19 system.
The SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility verifying you have valid insurance coverage. Certain high-risk drivers may need to submit an SR-22 to the Maryland MVA. If you recently caused a serious accident, for example, or have been convicted of multiple DUIs/DWIs, then you may need to get SR-22 insurance in Maryland. SR-22 insurance is more expensive because you’re a higher risk driver to insure.
The FR-19 is different. It’s a certificate of financial responsibility required regardless of your driving history. The FR-19 also verifies you have valid car insurance on a specific date – say, if the Maryland MVA detected a lapse in your car insurance coverage.
Final Word on the FR-19
The FR-19 is an insurance certificate verifying you have valid coverage. Government organizations in certain states, including Maryland and Delaware, may require the FR-19 to verify insurance coverage on a specific date.
Contact your insurer to submit proof of insurance to the Maryland MVA on your behalf. Your insurer should be able to quickly submit the FR-19 to prove you had valid insurance, allowing you to continue driving on public roads without facing a license suspension.