New Jersey Traffic Violation Points
All states operate on a “point system,” meaning that for many moving violations, in addition to a fine, you’re also ascribed a certain number of points that go onto your permanent driver record. The thresholds and amounts vary slightly from state to state, but if you end up with too many points over a certain amount of time, there will be consequences—surcharges from the state, increased insurance rates, and even suspension of your driver’s license.
In New Jersey, the number of points per violation fluctuates between 2 (for things like “unlawful use of median strip”) and 8 (“leaving the scene of an accident when there was personal injury”). But regardless of the value, if you’re habitually driving poorly, they will add up quickly.
New Jersey Point Penalties
If you wind up with a point or two, you’re not necessarily in trouble—yet. It’s understandable that the average good driver could get a ticket once in a while. But if you acquire 6 or more points on your record within 3 years, you will be fined with an annual surcharge: $150, plus $25 for each point over the 6. You must pay this surcharge each year that you carry 6 or more points on your record.
Bear in mind that there are also several other existing surcharges for specific violations apart from the points surcharges. For instance, a DUI will get you a $1000 surcharge. Visit the State of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) website for a complete listing of surcharges.
How to Clean Up Your Record
If you’re looking at points that have accrued on your driver record, all hope is not lost. There are actually 4 ways you can get rid of the points.
1. Drive Safely: If you can remain violation- and suspension-free for one year, the MVC will knock 3 points off of your record. The year begins on the date of your most recent violation.
2. Complete a Defensive Driving Online Course: Your certificate of completion from a state-approved course knocks 2 points off of your record. This is only good once every 5 years.
3. Take a Driver Improvement Program: This is good for 3 points off your record, but you’re only eligible to take it once every 2 years.
4. Enroll in the New Jersey Probationary Driver Program: Like the Driver Improvement Program, this course knocks 3 points off your record.
So even if you’re looking at some points on your record, it’s pretty easy to clean it up a bit. The best thing you can do is learn the lessons that the defensive driving courses have to offer, and practice them when you drive. That will keep the streets safe and your record spotless.