A view of the New Jersey city
  • Introduction
  • What Is SR-22 Insurance?
  • Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?
  • Types of SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey
  • How to Get SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey
  • How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in New Jersey?
  • Alternatives to SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey
  • FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey
 

Even people who are generally good drivers have days where they’re rushing or distracted, and small mistakes while driving can have expensive consequences.

If you’ve had your driving privileges suspended due to being charged with a serious driving violation, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission may order you to get SR-22 insurance.

For drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked, obtaining SR-22 insurance is an important step to getting your driving privileges reinstated.

Unfortunately, it’s not the only step. Before you can apply for SR-22 insurance, you may also need to:

  • Pay any fines or penalties.
  • Complete community service.
  • Complete a court-ordered program.
  • Complete a jail sentence, if your violation was serious.
 

Although the process of getting SR-22 insurance may seem daunting, the process isn’t actually complicated.

It simply requires a clear understanding of what you need to do, and taking the necessary steps to comply with the terms of your SR-22 documentation.

In this article, we’ll outline everything you need to know about SR-22 insurance in New Jersey. Most importantly, we’ll help you find cheap SR-22 insurance in the state.

While getting SR-22 insurance isn’t difficult, the most challenging part is finding an insurer who will be able to provide coverage at a rate you can afford.

SR-22 insurance can raise the cost of your car insurance by up to $1,300—but it’s not the SR-22 document itself that is so expensive.

When you inform your car insurance company that you need SR-22 insurance, they will flag you as a high-risk driver. This is what will cause the cost of your car insurance to increase.

Key Point: High-Risk Drivers

‘High-risk’ is a term car insurance companies use to refer to drivers who are likely to claim from their car insurance policy. An insurer may flag you as a high-risk driver for a range of reasons, including:

  • Having a poor credit history.
  • Having a car insurance policy canceled.
  • Having a criminal record.
  • Being a young driver.
  • Needing to carry SR-22 insurance.

To help you find cheap car insurance in New Jersey, we’ve researched the costs of car insurance with an SR-22 certificate in these counties:

  • Bergen County.
  • Middlesex County.
  • Essex County.
  • Hudson County.
  • Monmouth County.
 

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

SR-22 insurance is sometimes called “financial responsibility insurance” or “high-risk insurance”, but it isn’t really a type of stand-alone car insurance policy.

Rather, it’s an add-on to your existing car insurance. SR-22 insurance is a form that proves you are meeting the minimum auto liability insurance requirements as laid out by New Jersey law.

Key Point: Minimum Auto Liability Insurance

Auto liability insurance is a type of car insurance policy that will help you pay for injury or damage you may cause while driving. Say, for example, you injure another driver and become responsible for their medical bills. Your auto liability insurance policy will cover their bills on your behalf, up to your policy limit.

Medical bills, repairing another person’s property, or replacing their property can run into thousands of dollars.

To make sure that drivers aren’t underinsured, almost every state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of auto liability coverage.

While each state has different minimum insurance requirements, they always cover three key points:

  • Bodily injury coverage per person.
  • Bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • Property damage coverage per accident.

The minimum auto liability requirements in New Jersey are:

  • $15,000 liability coverage per person.
  • $30,000 liability coverage per accident.
  • $5,000 liability cover for property damage coverage.
 

Every driver in New Jersey needs to have auto liability insurance that meets the above requirements, but only some drivers will need to carry a form that proves they are meeting these minimums.

The form that acts as proof that they have taken on this financial responsibility is called SR-22 insurance.

Key Point: Is Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Enough?

While meeting the minimum liability coverage requirements is enough to remain on the right side of the law, it might not provide enough coverage in real-life scenarios.

Say, for example, you cause an accident that results in $20,000 of property damage.

If you are only meeting the state’s minimum coverage requirements, your insurer will only pay out $5,000. You will be held personally responsible for paying the outstanding $15,000.

Most insurance professionals recommend that drivers go beyond the minimum requirements and get an auto liability insurance policy that provides sufficient coverage.

Unfortunately, the higher your coverage level, the more expensive your insurance will be.

Who Needs SR-22 Insurance?

If you want to overturn your driver’s license suspension and reinstate your driving privileges after being charged with a major traffic violation, you will need SR-22 insurance.

Some of the driving violations that can lead to your license being revoked or suspended include:

  • Being in an at-fault accident.
  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident.
  • A DUI or a DWI.
  • Getting an excessive number of points on your driving record.
 

If you have a clean driving record and have not had your driver’s license suspended, you do not need to carry SR-22 insurance.

Once you’ve obtained SR-22 insurance, New Jersey requires drivers to carry it for three years. Certain drivers may need to carry it for longer in the case of serious driving violations.

 

Types of SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey

When you apply for SR-22 insurance, you will need to tell your insurer which type of SR-22 insurance you need, depending on your unique circumstances.

There are three different kinds of SR-22 insurance:

 

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

This is for drivers who:

  • Don’t plan to own a car.
  • Don’t share a household with someone who owns a car.
  • Still want to drive on occasion (e.g. a rental or borrowing a friend’s car).
 

Owner SR-22 insurance

Owner SR-22 insurance is for drivers who:

  • Already own a car or plan to buy one.
  • Share a household with someone who does own a car.
  • Want to reinstate their driver’s license.
 

Owner/operator SR-22 insurance

If more than one car is registered in your name or you regularly drive vehicles you do not own (for example, as part of your job), you will need to carry Owner/operator SR-22 insurance.

 

How to Get SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey

As we’ve outlined, SR-22 insurance is a certificate added to your auto insurance coverage.

While it’s as simple as asking your insurance provider to add it to your policy, it can be difficult to find an insurer who will provide it at a rate that you can afford.

Key Point: Car Insurance Rates

When you sign an agreement with a car insurance company, you will agree to a car insurance rate (or ‘premium’) that you’ll pay in exchange for coverage. Various factors affect the price of your car insurance, including:

  • Your age.
  • Your driving record.
  • Your location.
  • Your credit.
  • The value of your car.
  • Whether you need SR-22 insurance.

Some car insurance companies don’t cover higher risk drivers, and may decline to provide you with coverage altogether.

Once you’ve managed to find an insurer who can provide full coverage with an SR-22 certificate, the insurer will file your SR-22 certificate with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. After 30 days, you will receive your certificate in the mail.

Once you have your certificate, you will need to carry it every time you drive.

If you’re caught driving without SR-22 insurance, it’s considered the same offense as driving without car insurance and you may be subject to the following penalties:

  • A fine of between $300 to $1,000.
  • Community service.
  • A driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
 

If you are in an at-fault car accident and do not have SR-22 insurance, you will need to pay for the other driver’s medical bills and any resulting property repairs or replacements from your own pocket.

In the event that the car accident was not your fault, you won’t be able to claim compensation from the third party’s insurance company.

If you do have SR-22 insurance but are stopped without carrying the necessary documentation, you will have a chance to submit your insurance paperwork before your court date to avoid having your license suspended.

 

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost in New Jersey?

While the SR-22 certificate itself is not expensive, some of the costs related to getting SR-22 insurance can be expensive.

Here are some of the costs you can expect throughout the process:

  • Your monthly SR-22 liability coverage premium.
  • Higher car insurance rates.
  • You will lose your good driver discount from your insurer.
  • A once-off filing fee of between $25 and $50.
  • Paying any related fines and fees, which are usually over $300.
  • A $100 driver’s license reinstatement fee to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
 

Although your car insurance rates will increase after applying for SR-22 insurance, this isn’t due to the SR-22 document itself.

Instead, the traffic violation that led to needing SR-22 insurance will dictate how much your auto insurance policy premiums will increase by.

When your car insurance company files your SR-22 with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, they will be able to access your driving history and see what violation you were charged with.

The increased insurance premiums will be based on the severity of your violation.

If you already have car insurance, you should ask your current insurer whether they can add an SR-22 to your existing insurance. Even if they can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal.

Remember, rates can vary significantly between different auto insurance companies. You should always compare quotes from various insurers to save money.

To help you find the best New Jersey car insurance rates, we’ve looked at quotes offered by insurers in these five counties:

  • Bergen County.
  • Middlesex County.
  • Essex County.
  • Hudson County.
  • Monmouth County.
 

On average, car insurance with an SR-22 certificate costs $353.00 in New Jersey.

The cheapest option is $233.80 with Mercury, and the most expensive option is $454.20 from Allstate.

ProviderBergen CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyHudson CountyMonmouth CountyAverage
Plymouth Rock$309.00$251.00$426.00$385.00$241.00$322.40
Bristol West$417.00$313.00$505.00$474.00$299.00$401.60
Allstate$501.00$363.00$545.00$527.00$335.00$454.20
Mercury$236.00$200.00$294.00$257.00$182.00$233.80

Looking for the best deals on SR-22 insurance? Get a free customized quote today!

 

Alternatives to SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey

SR-21 insurance

SR-21 insurance cannot be used as an alternative to SR-22 insurance in New Jersey.

While SR-22 insurance proves that you are meeting the state’s minimum auto liability requirements, SR-21 insurance proves that you already had insurance at the time of a car accident.

If you were in a car accident with insurance at the time, your insurance company will issue an SR-21 insurance certificate as proof that you had coverage.

 

SR-22A insurance

If you fail to meet the terms of your SR-22 insurance or allow your insurance to lapse, you may be ordered to carry SR-22A insurance.

This is a certificate that shows insurance companies that you have violated the terms of your SR-22 and are a very high-risk driver.

There are only three states that may require you to carry SR-22A insurance after violating the terms of your SR-22:

  • Georgia.
  • Missouri.
  • Texas.
 

If you carry SR-22A insurance in one of these states and then move to New Jersey, you will need to inform your insurer about this when you get car insurance in the state.

 

FR-44 insurance

If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, you may need to carry FR-44 insurance instead of SR-22 insurance.

FR-44 insurance is only applicable in two states:

  • Florida.
  • Virginia.
 

If you carry FR-44 insurance in one of these states and then move to New Jersey, you will need to tell your car insurer.

They may provide you with an FR-44 certificate if they offer this, or convert your FR-44 insurance into SR-22 insurance.

 

SR-50 insurance

SR-50 insurance is only used if you commit a serious driving violation in Indiana.

If you have SR-50 insurance and then move from Indiana to New Jersey, you will need to contact your car insurance company to get SR-22 insurance in New Jersey.

 

FAQs about SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey

Does New Jersey have SR-22 insurance?

Yes. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission can require you to carry SR-22 insurance if you are charged with one of these traffic violations:

  • Being in an at-fault accident.
  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident.
  • A DUI or a DWI.
  • Getting an excessive number of points on your driving record.
 

How long is an SR-22 required in New Jersey?

Usually, you will need to carry SR-22 insurance for three years in New Jersey. Depending on the severity of your traffic violations, this duration may be increased.

If your SR-22 insurance lapses prior to the end date, you’ll need to reinstate your SR-22 insurance and the period will start again from day one.

 

Why do I need an SR-22 in New Jersey?

SR-22 insurance proves that you are meeting the minimum auto liability requirements in New Jersey. These minimum auto liability requirements are:

  • $20,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person.
  • $40,000 bodily injury liability insurance per accident.
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident outside New Jersey.
  • $15,000 liability coverage per person.
  • $30,000 liability coverage per accident.
  • $5,000 liability coverage for property damage.
 

Every driver in New Jersey needs to have auto liability insurance that meets the above requirements, but only some drivers will need to carry a form that proves they are meeting these requirements—this form is called SR-22 insurance.

 

How do I get SR-22 insurance in New Jersey?

If you have been ordered by the court or the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to get SR-22 insurance, you will need to tell your car insurance provider and they will file your SR-22 insurance on your behalf.

 

What is the cheapest SR-22 insurance in New Jersey?

To help you find the best New Jersey SR-22 car insurance rates, we’ve looked at quotes offered by insurers in these five counties:

  • Bergen County.
  • Middlesex County.
  • Essex County.
  • Hudson County.
  • Monmouth County.
 

On average, car insurance with an SR-22 certificate costs $353.00 in New Jersey.

The cheapest option is $233.80 with Mercury, and the most expensive option is $454.20 from Allstate.

 

Can I drive someone else’s car in New Jersey?

If you have a clean driving record and meet the state’s auto minimum liability requirements, you may drive another person’s car in New Jersey.

If you’ve been ordered to carry SR-22 insurance, you may only drive another person’s car if:

  • Your driver’s license has been reinstated.
  • You have one of the three types of SR-22 insurance (Owner SR-22 insurance, Non-owner SR-22 insurance, or Owner/operator SR-22 insurance).
 

If you don’t have SR-22 insurance, you cannot drive someone else’s car.