New Jersey Car Insurance Guide for Young Drivers

Young driver with car insurance putting on their seatbelt

As a teenager approaches driving age, it’s important to be educated about insurance requirements. If you’re a parent, make sure you know all the facts regarding training, licensing and insurance requirements. Here’s everything you need to know about car insurance for young drivers in NJ.

Is Car Insurance Required with a Learner’s Permit?

New, unlicensed drivers with a learner’s permit are covered under the car insurance policy of the registered vehicle owner. Once they obtain their probationary driver’s license, they must be covered as a rated driver. They can be on either their own or their parents’ policy. Typically, you won’t be required to officially add your teen as a driver to your policy until they get their probationary license.

The Difference Between Driver’s Ed and Driver Training

Driver’s education (Driver’s Ed) includes both classroom and online courses taught by schools and companies. Most programs cover topics like traffic laws, spacing while driving and understanding traffic signs.

Driver’s Training is in-car training sessions with a licensed instructor. These lessons are not taught in a classroom. The driver will train on real road conditions. Young drivers take the wheel while the instructor sits in the passenger seat and supervises.

While not always required, these classes and training sessions will help teens pass the knowledge and road test by preparing them for what will be examined.

What’s the Graduated Driver Licensing Program (GDL)?

The graduated driver licensing (GDL) program is a three-stage process for obtaining a driver’s license. The first is the learner’s permit stage, where a driver is required to practice driving for at least six months with an adult driver. They then are eligible for a probationary license, which allows them to practice unsupervised with some restrictions for a year. After that, they can obtain a basic license.

Learner’s Permit RequirementsProbationary License RequirementsBasic License Requirements
Be at least 17 years oldBe at least 17 years oldBe at least 18 years old
Pass the knowledge and vision testsPass the road testPay the licensing fee
Consent of a parent or guardianComplete at least six months of supervised drivingComplete at least one year of unsupervised driving

Special Learner’s Permit

A special learner’s permit allows teens to practice driving as soon as they turn 16.

Special Learner’s Permit Requirements
Be at least 16 years old
Enroll in a driver training course by a licensed school
Complete at least six hours of driver training
Pass the knowledge and vision tests
Consent of a parent or guardian

When Should I Add My Teen to My Insurance Policy?

Once your teen driver obtains their learner’s permit, notify your insurance carrier to let them know you have a teen driver with a learner’s permit. Once they get their probationary license, you should add them as a driver to your policy.

Why is Car Insurance So Expensive for Young Drivers?

You need to be prepared for a bump in what you’re currently paying for car insurance when you add your teen driver to your policy. The rise in price you pay for coverage is directly related to the increased risk of having your teen on your policy.

When Should Young Drivers Stay on a Parent’s Policy?

Young drivers should stay on a parent’s policy until they own their own car or move to a different permanent address.

When Should Drivers Get Their Own Policy?

Drivers should be on their own policy if they are the owner of the car they drive. It’s the responsibility of the car’s owner to insure it.

Once your teen has a probationary driver’s license, you should add them to your policy or get a separate one for them. Often, it is more cost effective to add the teen to your existing insurance.

Adding your teen to your policy or having them purchase their own is a personal decision. We’re happy to help you with your unique insurance needs and get you great coverage at a great price.

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