In the state of New Jersey, traffic violations can result in points on a driver's record. A driver can receive up to 12 points before the suspension of their license occurs. However, the state allows them to remove points from their record if they meet its requirements. Points on a license can also increase the driver’s insurance rates.
New Jersey’s Point System and Surcharges
A driver who has a traffic violation typically receives points and surcharges on their driving record. How many they receive depends on the type of violation they commit.
A driver who gets at least six points in a three-year time period will receive a $150 surcharge from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and $25 for each point over six. Drivers who get more than 12 points will see the suspension of their driving privileges. Additional violations may including annual surcharges over three years:
- Unlicensed driver or driver with expired license: $100 ($300 total).
- Driving with a suspended license: $250 ($750 total).
- Failing to insure a moped: $100 ($300 total).
- Operating a vehicle without insurance: $250 ($750 total).
- First and second DWI: $1,000 ($3,000 total).
- Third DWI occurring within three years of last offense: $1,500 ($4,500 total).
- Refusal to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test: $1,000 ($3,000 total).
The MVC will begin collecting on these surcharges if a driver does not pay them by their due date. The agency can file a Certificate of Debt with the state Superior Court, which allows it to collect unpaid surcharges in addition to collection fees and interest. This debt may also prevent a property’s transfer or lead to wage garnishment.
Types of Violations and Equivalent Points
A two-point violation is the least serious and includes, but is not limited to, these infractions:
- Failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian.
- Ignoring traffic signals.
- Driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
- Driving at low speeds and blocking traffic.
- Driving one to 14 mph over the designated speed limit.
- Failing to stop for a traffic light.
- Going through a stop or yield sign.
- Moving violations committed out of state.
More serious violations are three points or more on a driver's record and include, but are not limited, to:
- Disobeying left or right turn laws: 3 points.
- Making an illegal U-turn: 3 points.
- Passing in a no-passing zone: 4 points.
- Speeding over the limit by 15 to 29 mph: 4 points.
- Speeding over the limit by 30 mph or more: 5 points.
- Illegal street racing: 5 points.
- Reckless driving: 5 points.
- Attempting to pass or passing a stopped school bus: 5 points.
- Accident that results in personal injury: 8 points.
Deducting Points From NJ Driving Record
New Jersey allows drivers to have points deducted from their driving record. The MVC keeps a permanent record of all driver’s points, even after the point reduction occurs. The driver's car insurance company may not factor these deductions into their rate.
Drivers can deduct points:
- Deduct three points if it has been one year without violations or suspensions. The year starts on their violation or most recent restoration date.
- Deduct two points if a driver completes an approved defensive driving program. This method can be used to deduct points once every five years.
- Deduct three points if the driver completes a driver improvement program. This method may be used to deduct points once every two years.
- Deduct three points if the driver completes a probationary driver program. This method may be used once as ordered by the MVC.
Ordering a Copy of a NJ Driving Record
Drivers can order a document known as a Driver History Abstract, which includes a history of accidents, moving violations, license suspensions and points from the past five years for a $15 fee.
They can request this information online, but need to create a user ID and input their New Jersey driver license or ID number in the system. They’ll complete a Driver History Abstract Application Request (Form DO-21) and pay the fee with a credit or debit card.
If the driver mails the request, they need to fill out the application and send a copy of their driver’s license or ID with a check or money order made payable to the NJMVC to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Abstract Unit, 225 East State Street, PO Box 142, Trenton, New Jersey 08666.
Requesting a New Jersey Driving Record In Person
Drivers can also visit any NJMVC to get a copy of their record. They’ll have to show their New Jersey driver license or ID, and pay the $15 fee by credit or debit card, cash, check or money order made payable to NJMVC. They can request a Driver History Abstract Application Request at the NJMVC or bring in a completed application after downloading and filling it out somewhere else.
Ordering Copies of Supporting Documents
Drivers can order supporting documents from the NJMVC, such as an Order of Suspension, a Schedule of Suspension, a Summons, a Restoration Notice or an accident report. When filling out the Driver History Abstract Application Request, they select the document type in Section B of the form and give the reason for their request.
To order supporting documents, drivers must send the completed application with a check or money order for each document and a copy of their driver’s license or ID card to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Abstract Unit, 225 East State Street, P.O. Box 142, Trenton, New Jersey 08666.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.