What’s Financial Responsibility Suspension?

One of the most basic obligations all Florida drivers—or any driver in the USA for that matter—learns is that having car insurance is not a luxury, it is a requirement. If you attempt to drive a car in the USA without having appropriate car insurance, you are obviously free to do so, but, should you get into a car accident, or even simply get stopped by the police for a speeding or parking ticket, and a background check reveals that your car is on the road uninsured, you are breaking the law, and you may be punished for it.

While this isn’t a criminal charge, this is certainly still a breach of law and it’s possible you may be denied your driving privileges because of it. When you drive without the proper insurance coverage, you may be charged with an “FR suspension,” which means Financial Responsibility Suspension, and it is both for your protection and that of other drivers on the road that the law has decided to revoke your ability to drive.

Sometimes, however, this charge may not actually be true, and that’s when you have to be careful.

Imperfect Tracking

The bureaucracy of something as large as the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles is vast, sprawling, complex and interconnected. This means that are a lot of “moving parts” as well as huge amounts of data that the department needs to process, and not all of it gets processed when it should, or even at all. Sometimes, insurance coverage can be one of those things.

For example, if you start your driving life with the same insurance company as that of your family, all of this is likely to be registered with the Florida DHSMV as you begin to drive. Many years may go by without incident, but, as you become older and begin your professional career, you may eventually make the decision to switch over to another company for your insurance coverage because you find their policies and service more to your liking.

You cannot assume that just because you have made this switch over to another company and start making your payments to them that the Florida DHSMV—and subsequently, the police—will be aware that you have made this switch.

It has been known to happen, for example, that drivers had switched over to another insurance company, and while everything appears legal to them, and the paperwork they’ve received, all the DHSMV knows is that you stopped making payments to your original insurance company. Then, as you get stopped for a speeding ticket one day, the police officer conducts a quick check on your license and car, and, according to their database, you are driving uninsured. If you don’t happen to have any documents in the car to refute this, you can be charged with financial responsibility suspension.

Always Stay Up To Date

A responsible driver doesn’t just drive safely, he or she ensures that the documentation, registration and other important information is up to date with the appropriate agencies. If you’re switching over to a new company for your car insurance, take the time to inform the Florida DHSMV, and make the transition smoother for everyone.