License and Registration Suspensions in New Jersey

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To drive legally in New Jersey, you must have car insurance. If you're caught driving without coverage, you could face serious penalties, including fines and the suspension of your license or registration. If your license or registration is suspended, here are the steps you'll need to follow to get it reinstated.

License or registration suspended for driving without insurance

Drivers in New Jersey must purchase either a basic or standard auto insurance policy, as defined by the state, to drive legally.

If an officer requests proof of insurance and you're unable to provide it, you will receive a fine and have 24 hours to prove that you are covered. If you fail to provide proof of insurance within that time frame, they will presume you do not have insurance. Any person caught driving without insurance coverage will see their license suspended for a mandatory minimum of one year, in addition to other penalties.

Even if you’re not pulled over, if the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) determines that your registered vehicle is not covered by liability insurance, they will notify you that your registration is scheduled to be suspended unless you provide proof of insurance by a certain date. If you don’t provide proof or pay the restoration fees, then your driver’s license will be suspended as well.

Penalties for a first-time violation while driving without insurance in New Jersey

  • Your license will be suspended for one year.

  • You will receive a fine of $300 to $1,000.

  • You'll need to pay an annual surcharge of $250 for the next three years.
  • Depending on the severity of the incident, you could also face mandatory community service, which would be determined by a court.

If you end up having a second or subsequent offense of driving without insurance, you will receive higher fines and could face more severe legal ramifications, such as jail time.

How to reinstate your license or registration in New Jersey

If your driver’s license has been suspended for a violation, you must first complete your suspension period and pay any associated fines. Otherwise, to reinstate a license, you must pay a $100 reinstatement fee, which you can submit in one of three ways.

Payment method
Details
OnlineSubmit payment
At your local motor vehicle agencyFind an MVA near you
By mailing a check or money orderInclude the bottom portion of your suspension notice and make it payable to NJMVC. Mail it to:
  • New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
  • P.O. Box 165
  • Trenton, NJ 08666-0165
If you do not have the bottom portion of your suspension notice, you should still make out a check or money order to NJMVC and send it to the same address:
  • New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commision
  • P.O. Box 165
  • Trenton, NJ 08666-0165

Include your driver's license number with your payment, as well as proof of payment for any additional tickets or fines associated with your suspension. After the NJMVC processes your payment, you'll receive a notice of restoration in the mail. If your license expired or was surrendered during your suspension, you'll need to follow the same process you would to renew or obtain a new license.

To restore your registration, you’ll also need to pay a $100 restoration fee, as indicated above. You’ll then need to submit a photocopy of your current NJ insurance identification card for the vehicle or the declaration page of your current insurance policy, describing the vehicle and coverage, to the NJMVC. You can do that three ways (in addition to going in person to a regional NJMVC office):

Method
Details

Via email

[email protected]
By phone1-609-292-7500, extension 5028
By mailSend it to:
  • New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
  • P.O. Box 132
  • Trenton, NJ 08666

You could struggle to get car insurance from a major provider after your suspension period is over. Instead, you may have to turn to a nonstandard auto insurance company or New Jersey's Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (PAIP) to purchase coverage. We recommend starting your search with the following insurers that cover higher-risk drivers in New Jersey.

What happens after your license restoration?

After your suspension period is over and your license or registration has been reinstated, you may be subject to a one-year probationary period. If, during this year, you commit another violation, you will face the following suspension terms:

First violation
Suspension
Within six months90 days
Within seven to nine months60 days
Within 10 to 12 months45 days
Second Violation
suspension
Within six months180 days
Within seven to nine months120 days
Within 10 to 12 months90 days

If you receive a third violation within three years, your license could be suspended for up to 3 years.

Other causes of license suspension

In addition to driving without auto insurance, your license may be suspended if you earn too many eligibility points on your license. Points can be earned for committing violations such as reckless or drunk driving, excessive speeding or fleeing the scene of an accident.

Point penalties

Points are applied to your license due to traffic violations you have committed. If you earn six or more points within three years, you will receive a surcharge from the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System (NJSVS). Your surcharge will be $150 for the first six points, plus $25 for each additional point, and you may have to pay this surcharge for up to three years.

If you earn 12 or more points, your license will be suspended. Details about the suspension will be explained in a notice of scheduled suspension, which you'll receive by mail. In addition to fines and potential suspension, any points you earn may increase your auto insurance rates.

How to remove points from your driving record

Accomplishment
Points deducted
Conditions
Drive for one year with no violations or suspensions3The year begins on the date of your most recent violation or restoration.
Complete a defensive driving program2Can only be used to deduct points once every five years.
Complete a driver improvement program (DIP)3Can only be used to deduct points once every two years in response to action proposed by the MVC.
Complete a probationary driver program (PDP)3Can only be used once, if ordered by the MVC.

To reinstate your license after it was suspended due to an excess of points, you'll need to follow the same steps you would if you were caught driving without insurance: Pay all of the associated fines, complete the suspension period and submit your restoration fee to NJMVC.

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