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Former State Prosecutor and Criminal Trial Attorney

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New Jersey DUI Offenders Face Tougher Penalties with SR-22 Insurance

There are many repercussions DUI offenders all across the country and in New Jersey have to deal with. Potential jail time, steep fines, ignition interlock devices, and loss of a driver’s license are among many. However, after paying these penalties under the law, DUI offenders who wish to get their license back are also required to purchase what’s known as SR-22 insurance.

Understanding SR-22 Certificates

All drivers who have lost their drivers’ license and driving privileges are required to obtain SR-22 coverage when they seek to reinstate their drivers’ license. This is because they are considered at risk drivers. These include those with multiple traffic infractions or accidents or drivers with DUI convictions.

There are a few steps drivers who are eligible for drivers’ license reinstatement must take when obtaining SR-22 coverage.

First, they must obtain a copy of their drivers’ license from the DMV indicating their eligibility for drivers’ license reinstatement. Next, they contact an auto insurance carrier to obtain the requisite policy. (Some auto insurance carriers, however, don’t provide such coverage so drivers may need to shop around.) Once they find an auto carrier and pay the necessary premium, the insurance company then provides the SR-22 insurance and issues what’s known as an SR-22 certificate. This certificate must be presented to the DMV, or Division of Motor Vehicles, as proof that particular liability coverage has been procured as required under the law. Many auto carriers will issue the SR-22 certificate directly to the DMV.

This all must be done before drivers can get their drivers’ license reinstated.

New Jersey citizens, however, must complete what’s known as a 6 point ID verification before getting their drivers’ license back. For clarification on the requirements for the 6 point verification procedure, drivers can visit the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website.

Maintaining Coverage

Once the DMV has the automobile insurance proof that’s needed, it will reissue the license Typically, drivers need to maintain SR-22 insurance for 3 years after their license suspension. This is important. If drivers fail to maintain coverage during the set time, they could-once again-lose their driving privileges.

A failure to maintain could happen in a number of different instances: Failing to pay the premiums on the particular SR-22 policy or failing to procure alternative coverage if the current auto carrier cancels the SR-22 policy are both ways in which can trigger a new license suspension.

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