What is the FS-1 Form in North Carolina?
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Drivers in North Carolina may need an FS-1. The FS-1 form is unique to North Carolina. It’s a simple form you can get from your car insurance company. If you are a driver in North Carolina who allowed your car insurance to lapse, then you may need an FS-1 to prove you have insurance and avoid issues with registration.
If the North Carolina DMV believes your car insurance has lapsed, then you may need to provide an FS-1. If you canceled or paused your car insurance, for example, then your insurer is required to notify the DMV of this change. If you cannot prove you have insurance, then the North Carolina DMV will invalidate your registration, and you will need to return your license plates.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the FS-1 form in North Carolina, including how the form works and what it does.
What is the FS-1 Form?
The FS-1 form is a document proving you have car insurance on specific dates. All states have some type of “proof of financial responsibility” form, although North Carolina is the only state that calls this form the FS-1.
The FS-1 is not car insurance; instead, it’s a document proving you have insurance. You get the document from your insurance company.
To obtain the FS-1 form, you buy car insurance as you normally would, then request an FS-1 form from your insurer. You must show this form to the DMV, and the DMV will validate your registration.
If you cannot obtain the FS-1 form, then the DMV will assume you do not have insurance. The DMV may cancel your registration. That means you need to return your license plate or risk driving illegally.
Why Does Car Insurance Lapse?
Car insurance can lapse for several reasons. When your car insurance has lapsed, you no longer have insurance coverage. Some insurers have a grace period – say, 14 to 21 days after a missed payment. Beyond that grace period, however, you no longer have insurance and cannot legally drive.
Reasons car insurance can lapse include:
- Late or missed premium payment
- Non-renewal of insurance policy
- Multiple accidents or claims within a short period of time
Car insurance companies will generally only cancel your policy for fraud or missed payments. However, if you have multiple at-fault accidents in a short period of time, then you could face non-renewal, which means your policy will not be renewed when it expires, and you will need to find another insurer.
If your car insurance has lapsed, then you may need an FS-1 form to verify you have legal insurance coverage.
What’s on the FS-1 Form?
The FS-1 form is a certificate proving you have insurance coverage in North Carolina. The document lists your name, the dates your insurance coverage is active, and other relevant information.
- Your name
- The name of your insurance company
- Your insurance policy number
- The date the policy becomes active
- The date the policy expires
That’s it. By giving this document to the North Carolina DMV, you can verify you have insurance coverage, then continue driving as you normally would.
Why Do I Need an FS-1?
You must provide proof of insurance when registering or titling a vehicle in North Carolina. Most drivers can simply provide their normal insurance documentation. Some drivers, however, need an FS-1 as proof of insurance.
Why do you need an FS-1? Why can’t you provide normal car insurance documentation?
You may need an FS-1 if you let your car insurance lapse. The DMV may require an FS-1 form to show that you have the minimum required car insurance in North Carolina.
Remember: if you cancel your car insurance, or if you let your car insurance lapse, then your insurer sends a notification to the DMV. The DMV notices you don’t have insurance, and then they’ll mail a request for the FS-1 form.
Alternatively, you may require an FS-1 form if you were caught driving without insurance. You may have been pulled over without proof of insurance documentation. If you do not provide this documentation within a certain period of time, then you may have to pay a $50 fine to the North Carolina DMV. You could also have your license suspended for 30 to 60 days.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in North Carolina
Drivers in North Carolina must meet certain insurance requirements to legally drive. If you cannot meet these insurance requirements, then you cannot drive.
North Carolina has similar insurance requirements to every other state. You must maintain a certain minimum level of liability insurance. However, North Carolina also requires uninsured driver coverage.
As with all states, collision and comprehensive coverage are optional.
NC Minimum Insurance Requirements
- $30,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $60,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 of property damage liability coverage
- $30,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $60,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage coverage
The FS-1 form verifies that you (at least) meet the minimum required car insurance levels of North Carolina. Any policy you buy from a licensed insurance agent in North Carolina will meet these minimum requirements.
Insurers may express this policy as 30/60/25.
If you’re shopping for car insurance online in North Carolina using a ZIP code tool, then any policies you see will meet these minimum requirements.
Final Word on the FS-1 Form
To register or title a vehicle in North Carolina, you must show proof of insurance. Most drivers can show their normal proof of insurance documentation, which is a card from your insurance company verifying your coverage.
However, if your car insurance has lapsed, or if you are a high-risk driver, then you may need an FS-1 document. This document proves to the DMV that you have valid insurance in North Carolina. It proves you met at least the minimum required car insurance limits of North Carolina on a specific date.
To obtain an FS-1 document, contact your insurer. Anyone with valid insurance will be able to obtain an FS-1 document in North Carolina and avoid further penalties from the DMV.