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To drive legally in New Jersey, you must have car insurance. If you're caught driving without coverage, you could face serious penalties, including fines and license or registration suspension. If your license and registration are suspended, here the steps you'll need to follow to reinstate them.
License or registration suspended for driving without insurance
Drivers in New Jersey must purchase either a Basic or Standard auto insurance policy, as defined by the state, to drive legally.
If an officer requests proof of insurance and you're unable to provide it, you will receive a fine and have 24 hours to prove that you are covered. If you fail to provide proof of insurance within that time frame, it will be presumed that you do not have insurance. Those caught driving without insurance coverage will see their licenses suspended for a mandatory minimum of one year, in addition to other penalties.
Penalties for driving without insurance in New Jersey
- Your license will be suspended for one year.
- Your vehicle will be impounded, and you'll have to pay a $100 fee to retrieve it.
- You will receive a fine of between $300 and $1,000.
- You'll need to pay an annual surcharge of $250 for the next three years.
- Depending on the severity of the incident, you could also face mandatory community service, which would be determined by a court.
Finally, if this is your second or subsequent offense of driving without insurance, you may receive higher fines and more severe legal ramifications, such as jail time.
How to reinstate your license or registration in New Jersey
Once you've completed your suspension period and paid any associated fines, you may reinstate your license and registration. To do this, you must pay a $100 reinstatement fee, which you can submit in one of three ways.
|At your local motor vehicle agency||Find an MVA near you|
|By mailing a check or money order||Include the bottom portion of your suspension notice and make it payable to the NJMVC. Mail to:
|If you do not have the bottom portion of your suspension notice, mail your payment to this address instead:
Include your driver's license number with your payment and proof of payment for any additional tickets or fines associated with your suspension. After the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) processes your payment, you'll receive a notice of restoration in the mail. If your license expired or was surrendered during your suspension, you'll need to follow the same process as you would to renew or obtain a new license.
You could struggle to get car insurance from a major provider after your suspension period is over. Instead, you may have to turn to a non-standard auto insurance company, or New Jersey's Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (PAIP) to purchase coverage. We recommend you start your search with the following insurers that cover higher-risk drivers in New Jersey.
What happens after your restoration?
After your suspension period is over and you've reinstated your license and registration, you may be subject to a one-year probationary period. If, during this one-year probationary period, you commit another violation, you will face the following suspension terms:
|Within six months||90 days|
|Within seven to nine months||60 days|
|Within 10 to 12 months||45 days|
|Within six months||180 days|
|Within seven to nine months||120 days|
|Within 10 to 12 months||90 days|
If you receive a third violation within three years, your license and registration could be suspended for up to 3 years.
Other causes for license and registration suspension
In addition to driving without auto insurance, your license and registration may be suspended if you earn too many eligibility points on your license. Eligibility points can be earned for committing violations such as reckless or drunken driving, excessive speeding or fleeing the scene of an accident.
Points are applied to your license due to traffic violations you have committed. If you earn six or more points within three years, you will receive a surcharge from the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System (NJSVS). Your surcharge will equal $150 for the first six points, plus $25 for each additional point, and you may have to pay this surcharge for up to three years.
If you earn 12 or more points, your license will be suspended. Details about the suspension will be explained in a notice of scheduled suspension, which you'll receive by mail. In addition to fines and potential suspension, any points you earn may increase your auto insurance rates.
How to remove points from your driving record
|Drive for one year with no violations or suspensions.||3||The year begins on the date of your most recent violation or restoration.|
|Complete a Defensive Driving Program.||2||Can only be used to deduct points once every five years.|
|Complete a Driver Improvement Program (DIP).||3||Can only be used to deduct points once every two years in response to action proposed by the MVC.|
|Complete a Probationary Driver Program (PDP).||3||Can only be used once if ordered by the MVC.|
To reinstate your license or registration after it was suspended due to an excess of points, you'll need to follow the same steps as you would if you were caught driving without insurance: Pay all associated fines, complete the suspension period and submit your license restoration fee to the New Jersey MVC.