Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime in New Jersey?

car insurance

Having a car can be a great asset. It offers the freedom and convenience to go anywhere you want whenever you want. However, it can be a costly asset. Many expenses are required when you have a car, like loan payments, gas, and maintenance. Insurance is one of the more expensive aspects of driving, but it is necessary. Driving without insurance is illegal in the state of New Jersey. If you require legal assistance related to a car or insurance situation, an experienced Oradell, New Jersey lawyer can help.

Does New Jersey Require Auto Insurance?

New Jersey is one of 48 states in the U.S. that require every driver to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. Operating a vehicle without having insurance is a crime and will be treated as such if you are caught.

Insurance, while costly, is an important part of owning a car. If you were to get into an accident and are found to be at fault, you may be responsible for paying damages to the other parties. Costs can include property damage, bodily injury, loss of wages associated with the accident, pain and suffering, and more. These costs can add up quickly and if you do not have insurance you will have to pay them out of pocket. Depending on how much compensation you are required to pay it could have a significant negative impact on your life and financial well-being, and you could end up going into debt.

How Much is Auto Insurance in NJ?

Every driver is different. The amount you have to pay for auto insurance will depend on varying factors including your age, driving record, where you live, the make and model of your vehicle, what coverage option you choose, etc. On average, full coverage in New Jersey will range from $1,500 to $2,500 per year depending on the aforementioned factors.

The minimum amount of coverage that a New Jersey driver is required to have was updated in 2023. The new policies are as follows.

  • $25,000 for property damage liability
  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability of one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability of multiple people
  • $15,000 for personal injury protection

What Will Happen If I’m Caught Driving Without Insurance?

Driving without insurance in New Jersey is a serious crime and may be accompanied by harsh penalties. Consequences will depend on how many prior offenses you have had and varying other factors.

For a first offense, some consequences you can expect to face if you are caught driving without insurance can include:

  • Fines ranging from $300 to $1,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year
  • A $100 fee for reinstatement of your license
  • Mandatory community service

For a second or subsequent offense, you can expect:

  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for two years
  • A $100 fee for reinstatement of your license
  • Mandatory community service of up to 30 days
  • Jail time of up to 14 days
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