What is the penalty for driving without insurance in New Jersey?

Driving while uninsured in NJ in punishable by up to $5,000 in fines, a two-year license suspension, community service, and jail time. Penalties escalate for multiple offenses.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • New Jersey imposes very harsh penalties for those caught driving without insurance
  • New Jersey residents can choose between a basic or standard auto insurance policy
  • The policies offered in New Jersey include mandatory personal injury protection coverage

The New Jersey Supreme Court made a ruling in 2011 that revealed why it is so critical to avoid any lapses in auto insurance coverage. Per the court’s ruling, uninsured motorists cannot sue for any injuries suffered in their own vehicle.

This rule applies even when the owner of the vehicle was only a passenger. The ruling is consistent with New Jersey’s attitude towards uninsured motorists. The state simply has little tolerance for uninsured drivers.

While certain uninsured drivers do not carry a policy out of reckless disregard, others simply make the mistake of not paying a premium on time. No matter why a policy lapses, the result is the same. The policy and its coverages don’t exist.

Driving on any road in the United States without insurance puts the driver and others at tremendous financial risk. Those who do so in New Jersey find themselves facing even more risks both civilly and criminally.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the coverage you need at the best rate! Use our free rate tool above to get started.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance

Millions of cars travel the roads throughout the state of New Jersey. The traffic coming to and from New York City in the northern region of the state is immense. That traffic is only a portion of what takes place in the state.

Significant traffic means the potential for accidents increases. New Jersey wants to make sure its residents carry reliable insurance policies as evidenced by the state’s no fault insurance requirements.

Those who choose to drive without insurance in New Jersey may find themselves facing:

First Offense

Upon being convicted of a first offense of driving without insurance, a driver faces a fine of no less than $300 and no more than $1,000. The monetary fine might be the least of the driver’s worries as a conviction also comes with a mandatory one-year suspension of a driver’s license.

Once driving privileges are reinstated after the suspension, a driver must pay a $250 surcharge to the Department of Motor Vehicles for three years. This added charge comes on top of the increased insurance rates the driver would surely face.

Second Offense

A second offense conviction for driving without insurance in New Jersey brings about very serious consequences.

  • The fine amount can reach a maximum of $5,000.
  • A suspension of driving privileges is imposed for two years.
  • Additionally, the driver faces a mandatory 14-day jail sentence.
  • 30 days of community service is also required.

The jail sentence, a misdemeanor conviction, remains on a person’s record permanently. He/she would now have a criminal record.

Clearly, it would be in the best interest of any driver in the Garden State to purchase an auto insurance policy. Online comparison shopping makes doing so fairly effortless.

Those previously unable to find affordable auto insurance may discover some excellent deals through online shopping.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What proof of insurance is accepted in New Jersey?

For those who rely on their smartphone for everything, there is some good news. Gov. Chris Christine did sign into law a change to the state’s proof of insurance requirements. Electronic proof of insurance, proof displayed digitally on a smartphone or other device is acceptable.

For many, this allowance can make showing proof of insurance a lot easier.

Carrying the original paper document makes sense as well. Order a copy of the proof of insurance from your provider and keep it in the car. You cannot always rely on a smartphone’s battery or internal components.

If the device fails, at least there is a paper copy of proof of insurance available to show the police.

How to Get Car Insurance in New Jersey

As a no-fault state, New Jersey’s auto insurance rules are different. Person’s injured in an accident must file against their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage regardless of who caused the accident.

Suing a negligent driver is limited by state law. Only in egregious instances can someone file a claim against another driver’s auto liability coverage.

Mandatory coverage rules in this state are somewhat unique. New Jersey puts forth two different categories of minimum auto insurance: standard and basic. The minimums on a standard policy are:

  • Bodily injury: $15,000 per person with a maximum of $30,000 per accident.
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000 per accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection: $15,000 per person and per accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Driver: Up to liability/bodily injury limit.

A basic auto policy is available for those who have very limited assets and means. The coverage amounts are very minimal. The actual amounts are:

  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000 per accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection: $15,000 per accident and per accident.

Only those who have very low net worth should contemplate purchasing such low amounts of coverage. The coverage amounts would not come close to paying for losses in a serious accident.

A car accident could leave you with bills far more than the $15,000 PIP coverage provides.

How can I get solid car insurance in New Jersey?

Those who never purchased an auto insurance policy in New Jersey may think the unique rules make buying insurance complicated. This is not the case at all.

Requesting several quotes online allows drivers to review a number of exceptional policies. After checking out a few excellent policies, a decision can be made about selecting the right one.

Compare car insurance quotes right here for free. Just enter your zip code below to get started.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption