When it comes to driving in New Jersey, you don't want to score points. Points on your driving record are demerits that can lead to surcharges, higher insurance premiums, and a driver's license suspension. These points are kept by two different sources: the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and your automobile insurance provider. Points from each source carry their own consequences for a driver and require different actions to reduce accumulated points.
What are Points?
Motor vehicle points are the points that are added to an individual's driving record following a moving violation. These points are doled out by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and are not directly tied to an individual's insurance premium. These points can only be added to an individual's driver's license for a moving violation. Parking and other violations do not carry point penalties.
How Much Do Points On My New Jersey License Cost?
When a driver acquires six motor vehicle points, he or she is assessed a surcharge, which is a fine that he or she must pay to the MVC each year for the next three years. For six points, a driver must pay a surcharge of $150. Each additional point on an individual's license costs him or her $25 each year for the next three years. If an individual reaches twelve or more points on his or her driver's license in two years or less, the MVC suspends his or her license.
How To Reduce Points In New Jersey?
There are a few ways to reduce one's motor vehicle points. For every year a driver has following his or her infraction with no further violations or suspensions, three points are reduced from his or her driver's license. A driver may also enter an educational program to reduce his or her points. The following options are available to New Jersey drivers:
- Driver Improvement Program. This is a classroom course that a driver can opt to take in place of a driver's license suspension for acquiring twelve to fourteen motor vehicle points. Once a driver has completed this program, he or she may have three points reduced from his or her license.
- Defensive Driving Program. Various NJMVC approved defensive driving programs. This type of program are held either in a classroom or live and offers valuable accident prevention tips to drivers. Upon completing an NJMVC-approved defensive driving program, a driver may have two points removed from his or her license. A driver may only complete this type of program once every five years.
Insurance points operate similarly to MVC points, but their consequences and methods for reduction are somewhat different. These are the points that an insurance provider assigns to its customers following motor vehicle accidents to determine the amount of money they must pay for coverage. Every insurance company has a slightly different system for assigning points and valuing different infractions. These points have no legal bearing and cannot cause a driver's license to be suspended.
A driver can reduce his or her insurance points the same way he or she can reduce MVC points: through a certified driver education program. Many companies reduce an individual's premium if he or she can show proof that he or she completed an educational driving course. To learn more about your insurance point reduction options, speak with your automobile insurance provider.
Do Drunk Driving Chargers In New Jersey Have Points?
Certain violations that do not carry MVC points can carry insurance points. A notable example of this is driving while intoxicated. Although a DWI or a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test does not carry motor vehicle points in New Jersey, these are both instances that flag an individual as a risky driver and may result in insurance points.
Who To Turn To?
Villani & DeLuca have proudly served New Jersey drivers since 1996. If you've been involved with any type of automobile accident or violation, contact one of the experienced attorneys on our team to learn more about your rights and legal options. Give us a call today at 732-965-3350 for your free legal consultation.