Auto Insurance in New Jersey (NJ)
If You Are Paying More Than $1,804.37 on Auto Insurance in New Jersey, You Are Paying Too Much.
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Auto Insurance Industry in New Jersey
- An average consumer pays $2,502.00 on auto insurance
- 176 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
- Accident fatality rate of 0.8%
- Of all accidents: 30% are road-way accidents, 25% are intersection accidents, and 7% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.
To enjoy the privilege of driving in New Jersey, residents must comply with the state’s requirements for establishing financial responsibility. These laws are enforced to make sure drivers can cover expenses related to an accident that they may cause.
New Jersey's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance
Legally driving in the state of New Jersey involves showing financial responsibility. This not only keeps you in compliance with state laws, but it also protects you when an accident occurs. For most drivers, financial responsibility is fulfilled with an auto liability policy.
New Jersey has three insurance options for its residents to establish financial responsibility. Basic liability is an auto insurance policy that meets the minimum requirements. A standard policy includes the minimum plus additional coverage options. The third option is self-insurance for residents who have more than 25 registered vehicles.
The minimum auto liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles include:
- Basic option - $10,000 for death or injury to multiple persons in an accident; $5,000 property damage coverage
- Standard option - $15,000 for death or injury to one person; $30,000 for death or injury to multiple persons; $5,000 property damage; $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP); and, $15,000 for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
The basic auto insurance option does not include death or injury coverage for one person. This policy option is frequently purchased for young drivers.
Proof that you have insurance and are being financially responsibility is required while driving in New Jersey. You must show physical proof to a police officer upon request. Acceptable documents include an insurance identification card or a self-insurance certificate.
Failing to show proof of insurance and maintain financial responsibility while driving will result in penalties. The state will fine you $300 for the first offense. Additionally, you may receive a one-year suspension and a community service sentence. A second offense will cost $500, a two-year suspension and 30 days of community service. You could also send 14 days in jail.
Consumer Car Licensing Information in New Jersey
Every person who wants to drive a passenger vehicle in New Jersey must apply for a Class D driver’s license. This applies to teenage drivers, first-time adult drivers and new residents. While everyone must apply, the process is slightly different for each group.
Teenagers and first-time adult drivers must participate in New Jersey’s graduated driver’s license system (GDL). This system involves receiving an examination permit to practice driving skills. Each applicant will have a one-year probationary license before receiving the regular driver’s license.
New residents to New Jersey can transfer their out-of-state license at the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office. Unlike most states, New Jersey does not allow new residents under 18 to surrender their license right away. Instead, drivers under 18 must also complete the GLS process and pay a $10 permit fee.
If you are over 18, you must transfer the out-of-state license before it expires or within 60 days of becoming a new resident. The written knowledge and road tests are waived for new residents.
In an effort to prevent identify theft, New Jersey has a six-point ID and address verification process in which every driver must comply. You will need to present the proper legal documents when you are applying for a driver’s license. Acceptable documents include but are not limited to:
- Birth certificate
- Utility bill
- Checking account statements
- School transcripts
- Tax documents
The fee for a standard four-year license is $24; a six-year license costs $33.
Motorcycle Licensing Information in New Jersey
The MVC issues a Class E motorcycle license to every resident who wants to drive a motorcycle in New Jersey. The minimum age is 17 to operate a motorcycle in the state. Additionally, 17 year olds who do not have a Class D driver’s license must participate in the GDL program. You can add an endorsement to a current driver’s license without applying for a Class E motorcycle license.
You can obtain a motorcycle license by submitting a completed application to the MVC. Generally, you will also need to provide proof of identity and a current Class D license. The state issues a four-year Class E motorcycle license for $24. A motorcycle endorsement costs $18.
Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in New Jersey
Like other states, New Jersey issues Class A, B and C commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to drivers who operate commercial vehicles. You must have a regular Class D driver’s license before you can apply for a CDL with the MVC. Each class determines the type of commercial vehicle you are authorized to drive.
Class A allows you to operate a truck and trailer with a combined weight of 26,001 lbs. or more. This class also applies to operating a trailer that weighs more than 10,000 lbs.
Class B allows you to operate a vehicle that has 26,001 lbs. or more of gross vehicle weight rating GVWR. The trailer must be less than 10,000 lbs. in GVWR. You can also drive a bus that carries 16 or more passengers and has 26,001 lbs. or more in GVWR.
Class C allows you to drive a commercial vehicle that has a GVWR less than 26,001 lbs. and is used for transporting hazardous materials. You can also drive a school bus that carries 16 or more passengers and is below 26,001 lbs. in GVWR. Any vehicle that carries eight to 15 passengers also fits in this class.
To apply for a New Jersey CDL at a MVC office, you must:
- Show proof of identity
- Have a New Jersey driver’s license
- Pay the $125 application fee
- Receive a physical examination form
- Pass the written knowledge test
- Pass the vision screening with a 20/40 score
- Pass the road skills test
- Pay the $42 CDL fee and $2 for each CDL endorsement
More Resources on Auto Insurance in New Jersey
Department of Insurance
- PO Box 325, Trenton, NJ 08625
- Phone: 609-292-7272
- Fax: 609-777-0508