Every traffic violation in New Jersey corresponds with a specific number of “points,” which are applied to your driver’s license. These points are recorded with the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. Motor vehicle violation points can have long-term consequences, such as extra fees and even revocation of your license. In this article, our experienced Ocean County traffic defense lawyers explain the significance of motor vehicle points in New Jersey. We also provide a list of common traffic tickets and the points you may receive on your license if you’re found guilty. If you have specific questions about a traffic case in NJ, contact us anytime at (848) 238-2100 or send us an email for a free consultation with an attorney.
Why Do Points on my License Matter?
If you accumulate more than six points on your driver’s license within three years, the State of New Jersey will assess a surcharge. That means that you can have one moving violation per year and still avoid a surcharge. A surcharge is a fine that is assessed annually. Surcharges are taxed in addition to any other fines or penalties that you might have to pay in relation to the traffic offense.
In New Jersey, the surcharge is $150 for the first six points and then $25 for each additional point over six. This payment requirement will continue each year until your points decrease. It is important to note, some motor vehicle violations will come with their own separate surcharge, such as driving with a suspended license or driving with no insurance. DWI charges entail significant surcharges as well.
Once you accumulate 12 points, your license will be suspended. Your notice of suspension will arrive in the mail.
Points can also increase the amount that you must pay to insure your vehicle. Your specific insurance carrier will have more information on how your points will affect your premiums. Spikes in insurance payments can be devastating financially, especially because they occur on a monthly basis and you must have car insurance to drive in New Jersey.
Traffic Violations Point Schedule in NJ
Below is a quick overview of some of the most common ways in which drivers are assessed points for traffic violations in New Jersey. You will note that as the severity of the motor vehicle offense increases, the point value increases as well.
|Failure to yield||2 points|
|Ignoring traffic signals or signs||2 points|
|Speeding – 1 to 14 miles per hour above the posted limit||2 points|
|Speeding – 15 to 29 miles per hour above the posted limit||4 points|
|Speeding – 30 miles or more above the posted limit||5 points|
|Failure to keep right at an intersection||2 points|
|Improper passing||4 points|
|Careless driving||2 points|
|Reckless driving||5 points|
|Use of a hand-held cell phone while driving||3 points|
|Failure to give proper signal||2 points|
|Improper passing of a school bus||2 points|
|Leaving the scene of an accident (no injuries)||2 points|
|Leaving the scene of an accident that involves an injury||8 points|
You can find the full listing of point values by visiting the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Website.
How Can I Get Rid of Motor Vehicle Points?
Points will “fall off” your record over time. If you go a full year without any traffic violations or license suspensions, then three points will be deducted from your motor vehicle abstract. You can also go through the following programs to decrease the total points on your driver’s license in New Jersey:
- Defensive driving program (can be used once every five years to take off two points)
- Driver improvement program (can be used once every two years to take off three points in response to Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) proposed action)
- Probationary Driver program (used to take off three points when the MVC requires that you attend)
Get Help from an Experienced Lacey Twp. NJ Traffic Ticket Attorney
If you have been given a ticket for a motor vehicle offense in the Ocean County, New Jersey area, it is best to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer about contesting the charge. Citations that lead to points are only imposed if you are actually convicted of the traffic violation. You don’t need to simply pay the fine and bear the collateral consequences. The traffic attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help you deal with traffic tickets in Toms River, Point Pleasant, Lavallette, Manchester, Lacey Township, Seaside Heights, Brick, and other Jersey Shore communities. Contact us today at (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation.