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What Is SR-22 Insurance in New Jersey and How Much Does It Cost?

SR-22 coverage isn’t a type of car insurance; it’s an insurance filing requirement for drivers who commit serious traffic offenses. New Jersey doesn’t have SR-22 filing requirements but high-risk drivers can expect to pay more expensive car insurance rates just the same.

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Although it’s casually referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” SR-22 isn’t really a type of auto insurance; rather, it’s an insurance filing requirement. Filing SR-22 documents with the state’s driver and motor vehicle agencies proves you’ve purchased and are maintaining the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements.

Many states have an SR-22 filing requirement for high-risk drivers; those drivers who are convicted of serious traffic violations and, usually, lose their driving privileges as a result. Once they’ve maintained SR-22 filing for a specific period of time — usually three years — these drivers can drop the filing requirement and shop around for more affordable auto coverage rates.
SR-22 insurance filing has a reputation for being expensive; it’s not. The SR-22 filing fee is typically around $25. However, because car insurance companies see drivers with sketchy driving records as high risks to insure, annual premiums are higher than usual.

Does New Jersey Have SR-22 Insurance Requirements?

No. Neither the State of New Jersey nor the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) requires SR-22 insurance filing.

However, as a NJ resident there are a couple of things you should remember:

  • If you’ve just moved to New Jersey from another state and you did have an SR-22 filing requirement in that state, you might need to maintain that coverage until the time period is up.
    • A NJ MVC representative can advise you when you go to transfer your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
  • You still need to carry the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements. By law, you can’t drive without auto coverage.
  • Even though you won’t have to pay for SR-22 filing, your regular car insurance rates will increase.

When you commit a serious traffic offense, car insurance companies view you as a “high-risk driver” and charge more expensive annual premiums than they do other drivers. You can expect these higher rates as long as the violation is on your driving record. Read more on how to get your driving record cleared.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost For High-Risk Drivers in New Jersey?

Again, New Jersey doesn’t have SR-22 filing requirements but auto coverage providers do raise rates for high-risk drivers. Let’s take a look at the average premiums for some common serious offenses.

OffenseAverage NJ Annual Rate% Increase
At Fault Accident$2,72661.6%
DUI$3,02576.5%
Speeding Ticket$2,20830.9%

Rates After a DUI

Here are the average rates ranging from least expensive to most expensive from a few reputable car insurance companies if you need to get car insurance after a DUI conviction:

Insurance ProviderAverage NJ Annual Rate After DUI
New Jersey Manufacturers$1,409
Progressive$1,767
GEICO$1,827
Allstate$4,965
State Farm$6,905

New Jersey Manufacturers is by far the most affordable insurance provider if you have a DUI. Another company to consider is Progressive. Here are other insurance providers to consider if you have a DUI.

Final Thoughts

Although New Jersey doesn’t require SR-22 insurance filing for high-risk drivers, you still must carry the state’s minimum liability insurance and auto insurance providers notoriously charge higher rates for drivers with less-than-clean driving records. After a few years pass and your driving record looks a bit healthier, you can shop around for a cheaper car insurance policy. Here is a guide to the best cheap car insurance providers in New Jersey.

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