What is an FR19 and why does the MVA need it?
Why does the MVA need an FR19 from me?
You go about your day and head home from a productive day at work. When you get home you get your mail and as you are going through it, you notice that there is a letter from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
You think to yourself, “what could this be?” So you open it up and notice that they are requesting an FR19.
What is an FR19? An FR19 is a form that the Maryland MVA requests in order to verify that your vehicle in which you have tags for does have the required automobile insurance.
It sounds simple enough, but believe me, the letter they send looks a bit demanding and threatening in nature and tone. You will see big bold letters stating that you tags will be SUSPENDED if you do not comply by a certain date, usually only 15 days from the date that the letter was generated, and you will be fined by the state if you do not comply and prove you have car insurance.
So now you start to get a little upset, worried and may even start to get a little mad at your insurance agent and/or insurance company. You start thinking that they must have done something wrong if the MVA thinks that you do not have auto insurance for your vehicle. Why else would they have sent this threatening letter?
It is at this point that you can take a deep breath and relax. If you in fact had car insurance for the vehicle on the date that they are asking for the proof, then you have nothing to worry about. It will only take us a few minutes to go online with the MD MVA and enter the information to get the case closed.
The information that we will need in order to get it processed and closed is the following (and it all in the upper right side of the FR19 request):
- FR19 Case Number
- Insurance Verification Date
- Title Number or VIN for the vehicle that they need proof for (Title number is shorter and easier to convey with less chance of data entry error)
And after we get the information, it will only take a few minutes to process online and you can go about your day. It really is that simple if you in fact had insurance on the date in question.
Now you are thinking to yourself, “I had car insurance the whole time, so why did they send me this request for proof?”
This is a great question and there could be several reasons for getting the request from the MD MVA.
- Random Draw – Each year, the MVA will randomly send out requests to a selection of tagged vehicle owners and you just can be one of the lucky ones to get the letter.
- You switched insurance companies – If you change insurance companies (even if you stay with the same insurance agent), you could get an FR19 request. This happens because you are in essence canceling the auto insurance with your former company to move to the new company. When an auto policy cancels, the insurance company is required to report to the MVA that the policy has cancelled. They usually do this on a weekly basis. So if the MVA receives this notice and generates the FR19 before they get notice from the new company that the insurance is in place, you will get the letter.
- Your policy cancelled and was later reinstated without a lapse – Just like above, the company is required to notify the MVA of the cancellation and the FR19 can be generated before the MVA is notified that the policy has been reinstated.
- You changed vehicles on your auto insurance policy – If you replace vehicles, there is a chance that you could get an FR19 request for either the old vehicle, or the new vehicle. The odds increase if you are keeping the same tags of the new vehicle that you had on the old one. This is again because the insurance company has to report that the insurance on the old vehicle was cancelled.
- You asked your insurance company to remove the vehicle but did not turn the tags in for a couple of days. Since the tags were still “live” in the eyes f the MVA, you could be subject to a fine in this case. We recommend that you never cancel the auto insurance policy on a vehicle until you have physically turned in the tags and received a tag turn in receipt from the MVA or their representative. And keep the receipt as proof, should anything come up in the future.
- Your policy actually did cancel – In this case you will get the notice and then have to show when you had purchased a new auto insurance policy.
Now let’s talk about the last scenario where you policy actually cancelled and you did not have auto insurance on date that they are requesting? Say the policy cancelled and you did not obtain auto insurance for a few days afterwards, so there is a lapse in coverage.
If this is the case, then you will have to let the MVA know of the situation and there will be a fine that you will have to ay or they will suspend your tags. The fines work like this:
- $150 for the first 30 days that there was no insurance on the vehicle
- $7 per day for each day beyond 30 days that the vehicle in question did not have insurance
So as you can see, the fines can add up quickly if you do not take car of securing the proper car insurance. And these fines are PER VEHICLE, so if they send a request for multiple vehicles, the fines can get high pretty fast.
So as you can see, there are several reasons that you may be receiving the FR19 request from the MVA. In most of the scenarios, there is really nothing to worry about and it can be taken care of in a matter of minutes.
So although the letter seems a bit harsh and bitter, there usually is nothing to worry about. They design the letter so it will not be ignored. But this sometimes also creates some angst and animosity towards towards your insurance agent or insurance company. But as you can see, there is no reason to worry, we can handle it for you quickly with the right information.
Below is a sample of an FR19 that Nancy and I received earlier this year. It was taken care of by our staff in less than 3 minutes.
So the next time you get one of these love letters from the MVA, sit back, relax, smile, and remember that we have you covered.
Huff Insurance is a full service Independent Insurance Agent We have been dedicated to Protecting Lifestyles™ since 1960. We offer a full array of Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance and Life Insurance products. Call us at 410-647-1111