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  • By: Kevin Leckerman, Esq.
  • Published: April 1, 2011
A man and woman in a car conversing with a police officer - Leckerman Law, LLC

New Jersey is one of the states that will not place penalties, in the form of points, on your driver’s license record for every motor vehicle offense. If you’ve been convicted for DWI (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) or Refusal (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a), then no points will be placed on your license. However, points may be assessed for other moving violations however.

The New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) assesses points. Be aware that as your license accumulates points, surcharges will also accrue and will have to be paid. These surcharges can ultimately total thousands of dollars. For example, drivers who accumulate six points on their driving records within a three-year period will have to pay a surcharge. And a 12-point accumulation will ultimately lead to your driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Another unfortunate result of having points on your license is that your insurance rates will most likely increase. The more points on your driver’s record, the higher your insurance premium.

The New Jersey statutes have assigned a point value to almost every moving violation. Most moving violations listed on their point schedule are two or three-point infractions. However, exceeding the speed limit between 15 and 29 miles per hour (MPH) is a four-point infraction, and increases to a five-point infraction if the driver exceeded the speed limit by 30 MPH. The largest point assessment on New Jersey’s point schedule is for leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in personal injury. So, if you’re convicted in New Jersey for leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury, then your license will show this eight-point violation.

And don’t think that because you’ve had a moving violation in New York or Pennsylvania that New Jersey won’t find out about it! New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York are members of the Interstate Driver License Compact. This means that driving violations committed in one of the 46 states that is part of the Compact are reported to a driver’s home state. New Jersey will add two points to your license for each offense committed in one of those member states, and this becomes part of your driving record. The only states that are not members of the Compact are Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

New Jersey auto insurance carriers have their own type of point system, known as insurance eligibility points or insurance points. The number of insurance eligibility points assessed against you will affect the cost of your auto insurance premiums. The MVC will inform New Jersey auto insurers of a motor vehicle conviction. Depending on the motor vehicle offense, the insurers will assess insurance eligibility points. Nine is an important number to remember, because having as many as nine points will disqualify you from being able to purchase auto insurance on the open market. People who have nine or more insurance eligibility points will have to go to a special marketplace to purchase insurance, most likely at very high rates. Therefore, just one New Jersey DWI or Refusal conviction will place you in jeopardy of being dropped by your regular insurance carrier.

What New Jersey giveth, they also take away. This means points don’t have to remain on your record forever. If you drive for 12 consecutive months without a moving violation, three points will be deducted from your driver’s license. If you take a defensive driving program, New Jersey will deduct two points from your driver’s record once every five years. And if you take a driver improvement program (which is a three-hour class sponsored by the MVC), New Jersey will take three points off your driver’s record once every two years.

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