NJ DMV Point Driving Offenses

     New Jersey has hundreds of offenses which someone with a motor vehicle can be charged with.  This page is concerned only with those traffic violations which carry the possibility of motor vehicle point assessments by the DMV.  These are mainly moving offenses which endanger others.

Generally, when someone gets a traffic ticket, they are most concerned with the affect on their insurance costs.  Points can have several affects on a driver, including:

  • They can significantly increase your insurance premium costs;  
  • Costing you your driver’s license if you accumulate too many points;  
  • Costing you surcharges from the DMV;
  • They also often have the effect of making police pull you over more often.  

*There can have far more consequences for CDL, commercial drivers.

What are Motor Vehicle Points?

These are a long term tally of what New Jersey considers, serious moving violations.  It is NJ’s attempt to stop people from driving too badly.  Because of the long term nature of DMV points, simply paying your traffic ticket fines, does not mean you are free from the charge.  

Depending on how many points a driver has on their record, the DMV and the insurance companies, will assess different penalties for the driver. If you accumulate too many points, you may have your license suspended.  This doesn’t have to happen only in Court.  You can also be forced to pay yearly surcharges (explained below) to the DMV in order to keep your license in good standing.  The insurance companies have access to all of these records and will, themselves, increase your insurance premiums.

Needless to say, it is important to defend yourself from NJ motor vehicle points, having an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer insure the best possible outcome.

How can a Lawyer Help?

There are many things an experienced NJ traffic ticket defense attorney can do to help.  Our first goal is to completely defeat the charges and find any defenses.  These might include the fact that a police officer wasn’t qualified to operate a radar gun, or a breathalyzer (alcotest).  Every case is unique, and hundreds of possible defenses may arise.  

Other times it is best to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor.  An experienced defense attorney stands a far better chance of coming away with a beneficial arrangement than a regular citizen.  The benefits of this may include, no or diminished points, reduced fines, and even saving a defendant’s license when it would otherwise be suspended.

For a free consultation, please see our contact page, or call a NJ Traffic Defense Attorney today at 201-943-2445.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have a CDL (Commercial Drivers License), how do NJ traffic tickets affect me?

This depends upon what ticket / summons you were cited.  As a CDL driver, it is important to note that even certain driving offenses committed while driving your personal vehicle, can affect your commercial driver’s license; this is especially so with Drug and DUI / DWI charges.  

For a fuller listing of penalties related to certain NJ traffic offenses for CDL drivers, see here.

In addition, other traffic offenses may be judged more harshly for CDL drivers, and additional penalties may apply.  Don’t lose your livelihood, if you are a CDL driver and have been given a traffic ticket in NJ, contact our Criminal Defense Attorney’s today.

What is the best way to avoid motor vehicle points in New Jersey?

The best way is contact a traffic ticket attorney to determine if you have any defenses.  If there are no good defenses, it may be best to plea bargain with the municipal court prosecutor.  At the very least, a good traffic lawyer can reduce your points, fines, amend the charges to a no point tickets, save your license, and keep you out of jail for more serious offenses.

My driver’s license was suspended for charges in NJ, what do I do?

A NJ Driver’s license may be suspended for a variety of charges and reasons.  The most common include:

While this is not an exhaustive list, the remedies are usually limited.  It’s important to defend yourself against all charges, and to appear in Court.  Even if you have already been convicted of certain driving offenses, including drunk driving, you have the right to appeal, or reopen the case in certain circumstances.  

If you have accrued too many points, it is possible to reopen certain cases, or to have your point count reduced, negating the reason for the suspension.  This arrangement must often be worked out with the DMV, and requires finesse.  An Experienced NJ Traffic Lawyer can be invaluable in these cases.

If you have failed to appear for Court appearances, your license will be suspended indefinitely, until you report to the Court.  

In most cases, you will eventually have to pay the DMV to have your driving privileges restored.  You may do this, here.  Once paid, you should generally wait to receive a restoration letter, and you should call the DMV to confirm that your license has been restored.

How does the New Jersey motor vehicle point system work?

DMV Motor Vehicle Points are different from Insurance Company Motor Vehicle Points.  Every insurance company has an individual system of points they use to calculate your rates.  For instance, a conviction for Drunk Driving in New Jersey, carries no DMV points, but can have nearly 10 points for insurance purposes.

For this reason it’s very important to defend against traffic summonses rather than pleading guilty and removing the points through the below programs.

For a variety of NJ traffic tickets, DMV Motor Vehicle Points will attach to your license.   For a list of all NJ Traffic Violations which summonses carry motor vehicle points, click here.  You will have to pay surcharges to the DMV if you acquire 6 or more points within a 3 year period.  If you acquire more than 12, you are also subject to an administrative suspension.  This happens even when a Judge doesn’t order it at Court.  For almost any point violation, your insurance company will likely raise your rates.  

For every year you have no points assessed against your license, you will have 3-points subtracted from your record.  

My driver’s license was suspended because I got too many points, now what?

If you accrue too many points in a short period of time, the NJ DMV will typically suspend your license for a period of time.  If you receive:

  • 12-15 points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for 30 days.
  • 16-18 points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for 60 days.
  • 19-21 points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for 90 days.
  • 22-24 points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for 120 days.
  • 25-27 points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for 150 days.
  • 28+ points in 2 years or less, you will typically be suspended for at LEAST 180 days.

There are slightly reduced penalties if you merely accumulate so many points, rather than having them in a short period of time, as above.  If at any time you accrue:

  • 12-18 points, you will typically be suspended for 30 days.
  • 19-22 points, you will typically be suspended for 60 days.
  • 23-26 points, you will typically be suspended for 90 days.
  • 27-30 points, you will typically be suspended for 120 days.
  • 31-35 points, you will typically be suspended for 150 days.
  • 36 points, you will typically be suspended for at LEAST 180 days.

These numbers are not definitive.  These are typical suspension periods.  You will often be afforded an opportunity to attend an administrative hearing where you can explain the circumstances.  In some cases our traffic attorney’s can negotiate a reduced suspension, however it is always best to fight the charges in Court when you first receive a summons.

How do NJ DMV surcharges work?

There are a few reasons you can be forced to pay New Jersey’s Division of Motor Vehicle’s a surcharge. The most common way is if you accrue 6 or more points within a 3 year period of your last points.  You will be charged $25 for each point, for three years.  This means that if you are convicted for 8-points of violations, you will pay $200 a year for 3-years.  There are specific other violations which have their own mandatory surcharges, these are:

If you do not pay these surcharges, your license will be suspended, or your eligibility to restore your license will be delayed.  These costs are in addition to those assessed in Court.  You can pay the surcharges online, by mail, by phone, or in person at your local DMV location.  Often, the surcharges and court costs alone will be more than hiring an experienced traffic defense attorney.

How do I find out how many points I have on my license?

Often, people forget their drivers history, and won’t recall this.  In these cases, we often ask our clients to obtain what's called a Driver’s Abstract.  A driver’s abstract is a form from the, New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicle’s, detailing the history of various driving infractions a person has received  and the disposition of those charges.  You can order a copy of your driver's abstract online.  It is advisable to order the Certified Abstract, rather than the typical 5-year abstract.  This will list a greater range of history, and be more readily usable in Court.

Is there any other way to reduce my points?

Aside from good lawyering in Court, after you have already received a NJ traffic summons, there are two other avenues you can use as provided by the law contained in N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9.

You may complete a Defensive Driving Program, once every 5 years, and have 2 points subtracted from your record.  These only work if you already have points on your license, you cannot get negative points.  You may, however, be eligible for certain insurance rate reductions after completing a course.  This will depend upon your insurance carrier.  Many of these programs can be completed online.  They can take anywhere from 1-5 hours to complete.  There are many state approved courses which will grant you the 2 point reduction.

You may also complete a Driver Improvement Program once every two years, which can subtract 3-points from your license.  

How much will my insurance go up?

The answer to this depends upon what insurance carrier you have, your driving, how many points you receive  how fast you were going.  It is not uncommon for insurance premiums to jump by thousands of dollars a year.  As such, it is important to defend yourself from even minor traffic violations.  

How much will the DMV surcharges be?

If you have accumulated more than 6 points in a 3-year period, the DMV will apply a surcharge.  The amount charged will be $25 per point, per year, for 3 years.  There are other offenses which carry their own separate surcharges, as discussed above.

If you have a DUI / DWI conviction for instance, there will be at least a $1000 surcharge per year for three years.  In addition to this, although there are no points assessed for a NJ drunk driving conviction, your insurance company would dramatically increase your rate.  

Which NJ Traffic Offenses carry DMV motor vehicle points?

Shortly following are NJ's traffic offenses which carry points.  These are listed in numeric order, N.J.S.A. stands for New Jersey Statutes Annotated, Section 39 are NJ’s traffic laws.

These apply only on the NJ Turnpike (I-95), the Garden State Parkway, and the          Atlantic City Expressway:

N.J.S.A. 27:23-29  - Moving Against Traffic - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 27:23-29  - Improper Passing - 4 Points

N.J.S.A. 27:23-29  - Moving Against Traffic - 2 Points

The Following motor vehicle violations apply to all roads, local, and highway:

N.J.S.A. 39:3-20  - Operating Construction Machine at Speed - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-14.3  - Driving Mo-Ped on Highway - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-14.3d  - Too many Passengers on Mo-Ped - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-35  - Failure to Yield to Pedestrian at Crosswalk - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-36  - Failure to Yield at Crosswalk - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-41  - Driving in Safety Zone - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-52  - Racing - 5 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-55  - Moving Against Traffic - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-57  - Failure to Observe Police Officer - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-66  - Failure to Stop before Crossing Sidewalk - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.1  - Failure to Yield to Pedestrians - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-66.2  - Avoiding Traffic Control Device - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-71  - Driving on the Sidewalk - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-80  - Failure to Obey Police Officer - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-81  - Failure to Observe Traffic Signals (Red Light) - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-82  - Failure to Keep Right - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-83  - Failure to Keep Right at Intersection - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-84  - Failure to Pass Opposing Traffic on Right - 5 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-85  - Improper Passing - 4 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-85.1  - Wrong Way Down One Way - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-86  - Improper Passing (when there is no passing allowed) - 4 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-87  - Failure to Yield to Passing Vehicle - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-88  - Ignoring Lanes of Traffic - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-89  - Tailgating - 5 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-90  - Failure to Yield at Intersection - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-91 and 92 - Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicles (Ambulances, Police, Fire Fighters) - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-96  - Reckless Driving - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-97  -Careless Driving - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.1  - Blocking Traffic - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2  - Unsafe Driving - 4 Points (If third offense within 5 years)

N.J.S.A. 39:4-98  - Speeding - (1-14 mph over limit) - 2 Points, (15-29 mph over limit - 4 Points, 30 Over the Limit - 5 Points and almost certain License Suspension

N.J.S.A. 39:4-105  - Failure to Observe Traffic Light - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-115  - Illegal Turn at Traffic Light - 3 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-119  - Failure to Stop at Flashing Red Light - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-122  - Failure to Stop for Police Whistle - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-123  - Improper Right / Left Turn - 3 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-124  - Improper Turn - 3 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-125  - Improper U-Turn - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-126  - Failure to Signal - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-127  - Improper reversing or turning - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-128.1  - Improper passing of School Bus - 5 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-128.4  - Improper passing of an ice cream truck - 4 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:4-129  - Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injuries - 8 Points.  Leaving with no Personal Injury - 2 Points.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-144  - Failure to Observe Traffic Signs (Stop and Yield Signs) - 2 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:5C-1  - Racing Another Vehicle - 5 Points

N.J.S.A. 39:5D-4  - Moving Against Traffic - 2 Points

Out of State Moving Violation - 2 Points

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