license suspension

There are a few different ways you can have your driver’s license suspended in New Jersey, but there are just as many ways to get it reinstated. License suspension is most commonly a punishment for a driving accident charge or ticket. Driving without a license in New Jersey can lead to even harsher punishments and penalties. If your license is suspended, it’s important to follow the proper procedures to get it reinstated to avoid additional charges. Understanding why your license was suspended and working with an attorney can help you get your driving privileges back as soon as possible.

License Expiration

Failure to renew your driver’s license is actually a fairly common reason for license suspension. If you drive with an expired license and get pulled over, you can expect to face additional charges and possibly full license suspension until your renewal is proven. To get your license back after it expires, you’ll need to pay a restoration fee of $100 and send proof of restoration to the MVC. You’ll likely also have to provide proof of payment for any charges or tickets obtained while driving with your expired license.

Parking Violations

A build-up of unpaid parking tickets can lead to license suspension until the tickets are paid off. Parking violations are handled by New Jersey municipal courts, and all payments and questions must go through the court that issued your parking ticket. Although it may seem silly to lose a license over a parking violation, driving without your license in New Jersey for any reason can land you with some serious charges. If you feel your license suspension or parking ticket is not viable, you can work with an attorney to defend your case.

Uninsured Motorist

New Jersey law under N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1 requires liability insurance coverage for all registered vehicles in operation. If you operate a vehicle and don’t have the proper insurance, you can face license suspension and additional charges. In order to reinstate your driver’s license, you’ll need to get the required insurance and provide proof of coverage to the MVC. It may take a while to process your request, so make sure you have other arrangements for travel. 

License Suspension and the Points System

The aforementioned types of license suspensions depend on the situation. Typically, they are quickly and easily remedied. However, the New Jersey license point system and suspension are a little more complicated to navigate. You can get points on your license for a variety of traffic tickets, charges, and violations. When you face traffic violation charges, working with an attorney can help you build a strong defense and possibly reduce or eliminate the points on your license.

When you amass six or more points on your license within a three-year period, you’ll have to pay an additional surcharge on top of the other fees associated with your latest ticket. Once you have 12 or more points on your driving record, your license will be revoked until you take action to remove points from your license. 

There are four ways you can remove points from your license, but each has an associated time limit restriction. It may take a while for you to reduce enough points once you hit suspension. This means it’s a good idea to take these actions as soon as you first get points on your license. Actions that can reduce license points are:

  • Remaining violation- and suspension-free for one year – three-point reduction
  • Participating in a defensive driving program – two-point reduction once every five years
  • Participating in a driver improvement program – three-point reduction every two years
  • Participating in a probationary driver program – three-point reduction only when ordered by the MVC

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is often the most severe license suspension a driver can suffer. License suspension is almost always an associated penalty for a DUI conviction. However, there are ways to have your driving privileges restored. 

license suspension
Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash

Many courts will agree to reinstate a driver’s license for first-time DUI offenders with the installation of an ignition interlock device. An interlock device will require the driver to have a BAC lower than 0.05 before they can start the car. First-time offenders who were charged with a DUI and had a blood alcohol content level under 0.15 can have their license reinstated with the installation of an interlock device. The interlock device must remain installed for a minimum of six months. The judge can order it to remain for up to a year. 

Drivers with a higher BAC will be required to have the ignition interlock device installed both during their suspension period and for six months to a year after license restoration.

For second DUI offenses, an ignition interlock is mandatory during the suspension period. The installation must remain for one to three years after restoration.

A judge will not always agree to lift license suspension with just an interlock device installed. Drivers must pay all fees and surcharges. They may also attend DUI driving programs before the suspension ends. Working with a DUI attorney determines the best course of action for license restoration. 

Assistance for License Suspension in New Jersey 

Driving is considered a privilege in New Jersey law, and if you violate traffic rules, that privilege could be revoked. Driving without a license in New Jersey can land you with hefty charges, including possible jail time. Attorney Leon Matchin has devoted his practice to defending his clients and helping them get their driving privileges restored. If you are facing charges that involve license suspension, call Attorney Matchin today at (833) 732-7320. You can also email him at [email protected] to discuss your options.