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Suspended license in New Jersey
You can get your license back, but you may have fines, surcharges or points on your record.
Updated . What changed?
Not all avenues in the Garden State are filled with flowers and roses, especially the road to license reinstatement. You’ll need to fulfill several requirements, such as completing a no-driving period and paying steep fines along with the reinstatement fee. Plus, you might be forced to get pricey high-risk car insurance during the suspension.
What's in this guide?
- How do I find out if my license is suspended in New Jersey?
- What happens if you get a suspended license in New Jersey?
- Can I drive with a suspended license in New Jersey?
- How to reinstate a suspended license in New Jersey
- How to get car insurance with a suspended license in New Jersey
- Compare car insurance after a suspended license in New Jersey
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions about suspended licenses in New Jersey
How do I find out if my license is suspended in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you can find out about your license suspension in several ways by mail or phone.
- By mail. Rest assured that officials are required to send notice to your address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before suspending your license.
- By phone. If you haven’t gotten a notice but would like to review your driving record, you can call the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) at 609-292-6500 or at the toll-free number 888-486-3339.
Reasons your license might be suspended
You may think you’d only get a license suspension for driving uninsured or after drinking. But New Jersey drivers can receive a suspension for other reasons too, including:
- 12+ points on driving record
- Abandoning a vehicle on public roads
- At fault in a fatal accident
- Driving without insurance
- DUI, whether drugs or alcohol
- Failing to appear in court
- Outstanding fines, surcharges or violations
- Physical or mental disabilities that inhibit driving
- Reckless driving
Can my license be suspended if I don’t renew it?
No. If your license has expired, you have up to three years to renew it. However, driving while your license is expired is illegal. If you miss the three-year window, you’ll have to apply for a new license.
In some cases, you may have a grace period before expiration. During the coronavirus, New Jersey extended expiring driver’s licenses and registrations by two months.
What happens if you get a suspended license in New Jersey?
If you get a suspension, you won’t be able to drive for the length of your suspension, according to New Jersey law. You’ll also need to take care of any fines or surcharges that apply to your suspension.
For example, a suspension from too many license points could mean a big surcharge. Typically, the charge is $150 for the first six points and $25 per point thereafter, which totals $300 for 12 points. The surcharge can apply for up to three years.
However, you can appeal your suspension if you’re not guilty or never received notice of the suspension beforehand. However, appealing if you didn’t receive a notice could require that you’ve kept your address updated with the DMV.
Also, you could avoid the suspension by reducing points on your license or paying your outstanding fines, but these decisions may be up to the judge or police officer.
Can I drive with a suspended license in New Jersey?
No, New Jersey law does not allow driving with a suspended license. If you get caught doing so, you’ll receive a $500 fine plus $250 surcharge for up to three years with an additional license suspension of six months.
Each offense after the first receives a steeper fine, surcharge, insurance points and jail time. That includes insurance points, a $750 fine, $250 surcharge and up to five days in jail for a second offense. The third time, you’ll receive points, a $1,000 fine, $250 surcharge and up to 10 days in jail.
How to reinstate a suspended license in New Jersey
After you’ve completed your suspension period, you can reinstate your license after paying any outstanding fines or surcharges as directed and then paying a reinstatement fee. You’ll need to tag any of these methods with your driver’s license number for quick processing.
Ways to pay the $100 reinstatement fee:
- Online. Go to the MVC fee payment page and follow the instructions there for payment.
- In person. Visit your local motor vehicle agency to take care of the fee quickly and simply.
- By mail. You’ll need to use the correct address based on whether or not you have the bottom portion of your suspension notice.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
PO Box 140
Trenton, NJ 08650-0140
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
PO Box 134
Trenton, NJ 08650-0134
When can I drive my car again?
First, you’ll need to complete your suspension period, which should be specified by your ticket or the judge at court. If you get a suspension for not paying surcharges, your suspension lasts only until you pay the surcharge and reinstatement fee and receive notice of your restored license.
After you’ve completed the suspension and reinstatement process, you’ll receive a Notice of Restoration in the mail, which allows you to drive with a valid driver’s license.
How to get car insurance with a suspended license in New Jersey
You may need car insurance with a suspended license to keep your car protected or to avoid a coverage lapse even while you’re not driving.
However, your current insurer may drop you after a suspension because of higher driving risk. In that case, you can get insurance in several ways:
- Standard insurance companies. Compare big-name or local insurers that offer policies to a variety of drivers.
- High-risk insurers. Look for local or regional companies who specialize in high-risk drivers. Also, you may need one that will file an SR-22 document if your suspension requires proof of insurance.
- State-run programs. Contact New Jersey Basic or Standard policy providers to receive quotes. A list is available on the state’s Department of Banking and Insurance website.
Compare car insurance after a suspended license in New Jersey
Getting your license suspended in New Jersey can mean hefty fines and surcharges along with your driving restriction, and fines vary based on the violation. However, during your suspension, you might compare insurers for the best high-risk driver coverage and rates.
Frequently asked questions about suspended licenses in New Jersey
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