SR-22 in New Jersey

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If you have been told that you need an SR-22 in New Jersey, you might think you need to buy SR-22 insurance. However, an SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance policy. Rather, it’s a form that proves that you carry at least the state minimum car insurance limits. SR-22s are usually required for high-risk drivers after a severe violation like a DUI.

Many states besides New Jersey also use SR-22s to verify insurance compliance, but some states have their own versions, like FR-44s or SR-19s. Understanding how these forms work, why you need one, how to get one and what to expect from your car insurance might help you prepare if you need an SR-22 filing.

What is “SR-22 insurance?”

An SR-22 is a form submitted by your car insurance company to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) that proves you are adequately insured. Drivers are often ordered to submit an SR-22 after a severe traffic violation or after a string of repeat offenses. Should you cancel your policy, your insurer will notify the MVC of that as well, which could result in your license being suspended.

To file an SR-22, you’ll need to have an auto insurance policy that meets or exceeds New Jersey’s state minimum limits. New Jersey uniquely has two minimum coverage options, the basic policy and the standard policy. The minimum coverage types and limits are as follows for each policy type:

Basic policy:

  • Up to $10,000 in optional bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)

Standard policy

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $15,000 personal injury protection (PIP)
  • $15,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $30,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $30,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury per accident

To submit an SR-22, you’ll need to contact your insurance provider and ask for the SR-22 to be sent to the MVC. If you are not currently insured, you will need to find a company willing to insure drivers with SR-22 requirements. Not all New Jersey car insurance companies will file an SR-22 for you, though. If your insurance company isn’t set up to insure high-risk drivers, or if you need to find a cheaper car insurance policy, you may need to shop around and switch companies.

SR-22 New Jersey alternatives

New Jersey and many other states use SR-22s, but there are variations of insurance verification forms across the country that essentially do the same thing. Having some knowledge of these form types could come in handy if you need to file any of these forms in the future.

Form States issued Required insurance minimums
SR-22 Most states (excluding Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania) State minimum
SR-19 California, Texas Uninsured motorist coverage
SR-21 Florida, Hawaii State minimum
SR-22A Georgia, Texas, Missouri State minimum or more, pre-paid
FR-44 Florida, Virginia Higher than state minimum (up to double)
FR-19 Maryland State minimum
SR-50 Indiana State minimum
  • SR-19: SR-19 forms are used in California and Texas after accidents with uninsured motorists.
  • SR-21: An SR-21 proves that a driver had adequate coverage at the time of an accident or ticket.
  • SR-22A: SR-22As are similar to SR-22s but require that drivers pay up front for six or more months of car insurance coverage.
  • FR-44: Florida and Virginia use this form to confirm that very high-risk drivers or repeat offenders are insured and carrying liability limits in excess of the state minimum.
  • FR-19: Maryland is the only state that uses this form, which confirms coverage for 30 days.
  • SR-50: SR-50s are used in Indiana to confirm insurance coverage on a date in the past.

Non-owner SR-22

If you do not own a car but are still required to have an SR-22, you may need to purchase a non-owner insurance policy. This type of policy provides insurance coverage for drivers without insuring a car. Just remember that even some of the best car insurance companies aren’t willing to insure drivers who need SR-22s, so make sure you choose a non-owner company that will file the form.

SR-22 New Jersey insurance costs

The initial fee of having an SR-22 in New Jersey is the filing fee. Typically, most drivers pay a filing fee that is under $50. There may also be fees associated with your citation itself and with reinstating your license. After that, the true cost of an SR-22 revolves around the driving history that necessitated it.

For example, the average cost of car insurance in New Jersey is $1,757 per year. If you have a DUI, though, the average cost for coverage jumps to $3,264 per year. You are likely facing a steep rate increase after needing an SR-22, since these forms are usually required after major traffic violations. You may still be able to get cheap New Jersey car insurance, but it probably won’t be as low as it would be if you had a clean driving record.

Frequently asked questions

How long do I need an SR-22 in New Jersey?

Most drivers only need an SR-22 filing for three years. However, if you receive more traffic violations, it is possible that a judge may either extend that period of time or reset the clock and make you start the three-year period over again.

How do I get SR-22 insurance in New Jersey?

You’ll need to contact your insurance company and ask them to send a copy to the MVC. If you do not currently have insurance, your first step is to find a company that is willing to send the SR-22 form to the state on your behalf. Remember, you will likely need to pay a filing fee with your insurer.

How much does SR-22 insurance cost in New Jersey?

Remember that an SR-22 is not a type of insurance; it is only a form that your insurance company submits to the MVC to prove that you are properly insured. SR-22s themselves only cost around $50 or less for the filing fee. The true cost of an SR-22 on your insurance policy is based on the violation that prompted the need for the form. The more serious your violation, the higher your insurance premium is likely to be.

What happens if I cancel my policy while I have an SR-22?

Your insurance carrier will notify the state, and your license is likely to be suspended or revoked. To reinstate it, you’ll need to start a new insurance policy and file the SR-22 form again.

Can I switch providers if I have an SR-22?

Yes, but make sure you do not have any lapses in coverage. You have to maintain continuous, active car insurance as a condition of the SR-22 filing. You’ll also want to make sure that your new carrier is willing to file the form for you.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
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