Defensive Driving Resource

Florida Auto Insurance Requirements and “Warning Letters”

At DTA, we receive a large number of calls from people who have received a warning letter from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that their insurance has been canceled and they are in danger of losing their driver license. The following article is based on information provided on the DHSMV website that explains why these letters are issued and what a driver is supposed to do if he or she receives one.

In Florida, the no-fault insurance law states that all vehicle owners must carry two types of automobile insurance coverage.  They must have $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL). Some drivers might not know if they are supposed to report to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when they switch insurance companies.

In general, the answer is no, they do not have to notify DHSMV. This is because all licensed insurance companies report electronically to DHSMV if a driver cancels his or her PIP coverage or takes out a new policy. However, if your insurance provider notifies DHSMV that you canceled your policy AND no other active policy has been reported by another company, you will receive a letter from DHSMV telling you that they need the information on your new coverage.

If you do not pay your insurance premium, your insurance company will cancel your policy and report this to DHSMV. You are required to maintain PIP and PDL insurance on every vehicle that is registered to you in Florida, regardless of whether or not you drive it regularly. If you fail to provide proof of insurance before your suspension date, your driver license, tag, and registration will be suspended.

If you DO provide proof of insurance before your suspension date, you will not have to pay reinstatement fees.  Otherwise, those fees are as follows:

  • 1st Offense: $150 reinstatement fee
  • 2nd Offense within 3 years: $250 reinstatement fee
  • All subsequent offenses: $500 reinstatement fee

DHSMV lists three methods for providing them with your insurance information:

  1. Go online and update your information on the DHSMV website.
  2. Mail your information in response to the “warning letter” you received from DHSMV.
  3. Take physical proof of insurance to a Florida driver license office in your area.
  4. Call (850) 617-2000 and use DHSMV’s automated system to update this information.

To be sure that you do not mistakenly receive a warning letter after you sell your vehicle, surrender your Florida tags and registration immediately after you cancel the insurance for that vehicle.

If your Florida driver license is suspended, you will need to show proof of enrollment in an Advanced Driver Improvement class before your license can be reinstated. This class can be taken from any of Florida’s state approved ADI course providers.

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