If you live in New Jersey, you should be careful before letting someone else drive your car. You follow all the rules yourself by having a license, maintaining insurance, and driving sober. However, can you say the same for anyone else behind the wheel? Before letting someone else drive and having to hire an attorney, read these tips by New Jersey attorney Leon Matchin.

Car Insurance Premiums

In New Jersey, the responsibility of paying for any personal injuries sustained in an automobile accident falls on the car insurance company. As a result, if you let someone drive your car and they get into an accident any and all damage will become your policy’s responsibility.  An accident with your car, regardless of whether you were driving or not, will affect your policy and premiums. To maintain a safe driving status, you’ll want to ensure you are the person driving at all times. Also, family members who will drive your car should have a valid license and need to be added as a driver on your policy.

Ask If Their License Is Current and If They Are Sober

If someone is caught driving your car and they don’t have a license – especially if their license was suspended – you could actually lose your own license. Convictions will also lead to fees you’ll pay for 1-3 years to the Motor Vehicle Commission. In addition, willingly allowing an unlicensed driver or a drunk driver behind the wheel is unsafe and could lead to jail time for the driver and loss of license for the owner of the vehicle. Because of the risks, to be safe, ask if you can drive them wherever they need to go.

Be Aware of Age-Related Restrictions

New Jersey has different regulations for drivers under the age of 21. State residents can apply for a permit at age 16, drive with restrictions at age 17, and get a full license at 18. However, anyone under the age of 21 with a license from another state who becomes a New Jersey resident must reapply for a New Jersey license. Any out-of-state license found on a driver who is now a New Jersey resident will be treated as if their license has expired. Keep up to date on all state rules and regulations to be sure you aren’t unintentionally breaking laws.

Before letting someone else get behind the wheel of your car in New Jersey, be sure that they are following all the laws governed by the state. And if you have and you find yourself facing traffic or criminal charges from not knowing a driver was uninsured or unlicensed or drunk, give New Jersey attorney Leon Matchin a call. He specializes in such cases. He can be reached at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected].