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  • Ticket Fines and Penalties in New Jersey

    New Jersey Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

    NJ traffic ticket fines are the same throughout the state but vary by violation. Your traffic ticket should have the fine printed on it; if it doesn’t, contact your court for details.

    If you can’t check your ticket because you’ve misplaced it, visit our section on replacing lost NJ tickets.

    Court Costs and Other Surcharges

    Like traffic ticket fines, NJ court costs are the same throughout the state (though judges can reduce them at their discretion), but other surcharges can depend on the violation.

    You can pay surcharges:

    • Online via the NJ Surcharge Internet Payment Center.
    • At an MVC Regional Service Center or an MVC Agency that offers walk-in services. Find your closest location.
    • Over the phone the NJ Surcharge Billing Office at (888) 651-9999.
    • By check or money order to the:
        • NJSVS
        • PO Box 4850
        • Trenton, NJ 08650

    DUI Surcharges

    1st, DUI surcharges are based on your BAC:

    • 0.08%-0.10%: $1,000 a year for 3 years; $250-$400 fine; $230 IDRC fee; $100 drunk driving fund fee; $100 AERF fee; $75 neighborhood fee.
    • 0.10% or higher: $1,000 a year for 3 years; $300-$500 fine; $230 IDRC fee; $100 drunk driving fund fee; $100 AERF fee; $75 neighborhood fee.

    Then, they’re based on the offense number:

    • 2nd Offense (within 10 years): $1,000 a year for 3 years; $500-$1,000 fine; $280 IDRC fee; $100 drunk driving fund fee; $100 AERF fee; $75 neighborhood fee.
    • 3rd Offense (within 10 years of 2nd offense): $1,500 a year for 3 years; $1,000 fine; $280 IDRC fee; $100 drunk driving fund fee; $100 AERF fee; $75 neighborhood fee.

    DUI charges also carry penalties like license suspension, jail time, community service, ignition interlock systems, and alcohol screening and evaluation programs.

    Learn more at our NJ DUI section.

    Point Surcharges

    If you accumulate 6 or more points during a 3 year period, the MVC will notify you about a required surcharge.

    Driver Improvement Programs

    Both the Driver Improvement Program (DIP) and the Probationary Driver Program (PDP) cost $75 each.

    • DIP: If you accumulate 12 or more points, the MVC or your judge might offer this program in lieu of license suspension.
    • PDP: The PDP is mandatory if you have a probationary license and are convicted of 2 or more moving violations, accumulating 4 or more points.

    NOTE: Don’t confuse these programs with the state’s Defensive Driving Program, which you can use to reduce driving record points or attend per your judge’s orders. Providers of these courses set their own fees.

    Driving Without a License/Suspended License

    You’ll pay $100 if you’re caught driving without a license; $250 if you have a suspended license.

    Pay Ticket
    (Plead Guilty)

    • Pay the fine.
    • Accumulate driving record points.
    • Risk license suspension (depending on points, violation).
    • Possibly experience higher auto insurance rates.
    • Enroll in driving course to offset points and possibly get an auto insurance discount.

    Learn more about
    Paying your Traffic Ticket »

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Contest the ticket during a hearing.
    • Hire a traffic ticket lawyer or represent yourself.
    • Face no penalties if found not guilty.
    • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

    Learn more about
    Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

    Auto Insurance Rate Increase

    Generally, traffic violations result in increased auto insurance rates; however, this will depend on your provider, your driving history, and your specific policy.

    Your provider might offer a discount for completing an approved defensive driving course, or you might find comparing insurance rates online is a better way for you to get more affordable rates.

    New Jersey Traffic Ticket Penalties

    Penalties are the same throughout the state, though they vary by incident. For example, the penalty for a particular traffic violation won’t be the same as the penalty for accumulating points. Read on.

    NJ Driver’s License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation

    New Jersey can suspend or revoke your license for a variety of reasons.

    License Suspension: If your license is suspended, it means you lose your driving privileges for a specific time period, based on the violation. Generally, the state will restore your license after that time period is up and you meet any imposed reinstatement requirements.

    License Revocation: License revocations are similar to suspensions, except usually they last longer.

    Chapter Seven of the New Jersey Driver Manual provides information about maintaining―and losing―your driving privileges. For now, note that some of the most common traffic- and driving-related reasons for license suspension and revocation include:

    • Certain traffic violations, including those related to DUI or resulting in fatality.
    • Failing to appear in court.
    • Failing to pay your traffic ticket fines, court costs, or surcharges.
    • Being deemed physically or mentally unfit to operate a motor vehicle.
    • Point accumulation (see below).

    NOTE: NJ will label you a “habitual offender” if you accumulate 3 license suspensions in 3 years.

    Point Accumulation

    Per the NJ Point System, your license will be suspended if you accumulate 12 or more points.

    As mentioned above, the MVC or court:

    • Sometimes allows drivers to enroll in the Driver Improvement Program (DIP) in lieu of license suspension.
    • Always requires drivers with probationary licenses to enroll in the Probationary Driver Programs (PDP) if they accumulate 4 or more points due to 2 or more traffic violations during the 2 year probationary period.

    Visit our Defensive Driving section to learn more about these programs and other courses for reducing points.

    Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21

    If you’re younger than 21 and caught driving with a BAC of 0.01% or higher, you face:

    • License suspension for 30-90 days.
    • Community service for 15-30 days.
    • Alcohol education and highway safety program participation.

    These penalties are in addition to a possible combination of the same fines and penalties drivers 21 years old and older face (see above).

    Penalties for New Jersey Commercial Drivers

    You must inform your employer within 30 days of traffic ticket conviction.

    The following CDL driver penalties are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    Major Offenses

    If you are convicted of any of the following violations, you’ll lose your CDL for 1 year:

    • Driving any vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher.
    • Refusing to submit to a sobriety test.
    • Leaving the scene of an accident.
    • Commission of a felony with the vehicle.
    • Driving a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or canceled CDL.
    • Negligent driving that results in a fatality.

    Serious Offenses

    Serious offenses include:

    • Reckless driving.
    • Improperly changing lanes.
    • Following too closely behind another vehicle.
    • Operating a CMV without holding a CDL.
    • Operating a CMV without having your CDL in your possession.
    • Operating a CMV without the proper CDL endorsement.
    • Violating a state law of texting while driving.

    You’ll lose your driving privileges for 60 days if you receive a 2nd conviction, and 120 days for a 3rd conviction.

    Both the FMCSA and the New Jersey Commercial Driver License Manual provide more detailed information.