Has your New Jersey Driver’s license gotten suspended or expired? If it’s your first, then you probably don’t know what to do next. Do not worry because, in the next few sections, you will learn how to restore and renew the NJ DMV License?
But first, let’s look at the reasons for NJ DMV license suspension.
Circumstances That Can Lead to NJ DMV License Suspension
Several things result in your DL suspension as follows:
1. Driving Related:
- Violating traffic laws. This suspension happens either through a general violation of state and local traffic laws. Maybe your car gets involved in criminal activity, or someone gets injured.
- Points accumulation. Accumulating up to 12 points due to a traffic violation results in a suspension of two years or more if you accumulate 15+ points.
- Driving under the Influence is another cause for suspension. If it is your first time, the suspension is seven months, but courts could extend it to a year. A second time earns you a two-year suspension. Lastly, a third or more times result in a ten-year mandatory suspension.
- Driving without carrying your insurance cover:
A court may suspend you for failing to travel with your cover. Another reason could be your insurance company calls the motor vehicle commission because they dropped yours from their coverage.2
2. Not paying insurance surcharge:
This offense is not insurance-related. This suspension comes after accumulating six or more points in three years. The points differ based on your offense, also, due to a penalty imposed by a court.
3. Not paying your child support
Three child support instances result in DL suspension by the courts and the Probation service, namely:
- Defaulting payment for child support for six or more months
- Failing to take part in a paternity test, or
- Not paying insurance coverage for six+ months
A court could relieve you of this suspension in case it may affect your child support order. For example, the court could spread your payment over 12 months.
4. Not appearing in court
Failing to show up in court to defend yourself against a charged traffic violation or any typical court summon results in a suspension by the municipal courts of New Jersey. You could get an allowance of up to 60 days to show up in court.
5. Failing to pay the penalty ordered by the court
Court-ordered penalties, in this case, include fine for a traffic violation and other court charges.
Other suspensions could be due to criminal and juvenile justice code or paying your parking tickets.
Each of these suspensions has a particular solution. In this next step, let’s find out a way to get back your NJ DMV License.
Restoring NJ DMV License
The restoration process of your DMV license is straightforward. There are two critical steps to take, namely:
- First, pay the fee for restoration.
The restoration fee is $100. There are three payment methods available for you. They are namely:
- Pay by yourself at a motor vehicle agency.
- Pay online via the NJ MVC site (We will go through the online process in the next section)
- Money order or check alongside the bottom section of suspension notice to the address:
- New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, P. O. Box 140, and Street Address Trenton, NJ 08650-0134(This is a faster option)
Alternative option: Without the bottom of your suspension notice, send a payable money order or a check to NJ MVC, alongside your driving license number on all payments to the address bolded in number 3 above.
- The next step is to give proof of any paid fines.
As the driver, you need to show your proof of payment, indicating you have paid any outstanding tickets or fines. Now, check these items on your list for the last few license restoration steps:
- Satisfied suspension reason
- Completed suspension period
- Paid any outstanding fines
- Received a notice of restoration to your email
If everything above is settled, what follows is to check whether the license is still valid. This depends hugely on your suspension period. If the DL is expired, then the next step is to do a standard license renewal.
We will go through the renewal process in a few minutes. Above, we promised to talk about the online payment process of the restoration fee. Here’s how to go about it:
- Foremost, go to NJ MVC online services.
- Secondly, scroll down to Pay Your Surcharge or Restoration Fee.
- Then, select Restoration Fee( You will land on the Fee Payment page).
- Now, authenticate yourself by entering the Zip Code, the Driver License Number, and the SSN Number.
- Finally, click Continue, and follow the rest of the payment process as instructed to end.
In case there are payments, you have to settle regarding points accumulated and involved alongside those added by the courts, then in step to above select Surcharges and make the payment.
Now let’s do the license renewal.
How to Renew the NJ MVC License?
This process involves acquiring a new driving license. Not everyone is allowed to renew online. You’re not eligible because:
- Your license got suspended,
- The license passport photo is more than four years old,
- The license expired beyond its approved extension duration.
But you are eligible, then, here’s how we can go about it.
- First, go to the NJ MVC Online Services website.
- Secondly, navigate the page to the Renew Standard License.
- Then, select one of the options (since we’re renewing online let’s choose Renew Standard License Online)
This selection lands you on the License Renewal page. Note that you must have several items, namely: an active social security number, driving license number, email address, a credit card, a printer, and the license renewal form that you got in your mail.
Note: You must have the right mailing address because that’s where you receive most of the renewal documents. If you have changed your mailing address, you need to update it by clicking “change your address” on the license renewal page.
- Finally, click Begin Online License Renewal. Enter your most recent mailing address, the Driving License or ID number, and the Social Security Number to log in and finalize the renewal process.
If you do not qualify to renew the license online or the online process is not available (especially in this Covid-19 times), you have to do it in person. So, how we go about this?
- First, go to a Motor Vehicle Agency in New Jersey (We will talk about the agencies’ locations in a few minutes).
- Secondly, have the required documentation, such as a proof of address and 6-Points ID.
- Then, complete your application form (usually acquired at the licensing office. Also, you could fill the form received by mail.
- Now, pay the renewal fee by cash, card, check, or money order. Usually, the amount is about $24.
- Moreover, have your picture and signature taken by the Motor Vehicle Commission.
- Finally, receive a new license. This should last you another four years.
You could also choose to renew your license by mail. Here’s what to do:
To renew DL by mail, you must be eligible for Skip the Trip (a program by New Jersey MVC, allowing you to renew a driving license without having to go to the agency. To be eligible, you need:
- A Temporary Visa Restriction (TVR)
- A Graduated Driver License(GDL)
- Have an ongoing suspension
- Have an ignition interlock device on your car
- Have a new photo taken in person
From here, what follows is:
- Foremost, filling the renewal form with a black or blue pen.
- Secondly, envelope a money order or check with the renewal form.
- Moreover, mail the form and license fee payment to the Motor Vehicle Commission.
- Finally, wait for ten days to receive your new driving license.
Note: If 20 days go by without the license reaching you, now you can call (609) 292-6500 and inform NJ MVC.
Now, you know how to go about restoring your driving license in New Jersey. You realize that a suspension period can be as hefty as ten years. There are a few tricks I researched and found that could help you reduce the traffic violation points accumulated to avoid suspension next time. Watch out for that in this next section.
How to Reduce NJ MVC Surcharge Points to Evade License Suspension
Above, we talked about how accumulating points from traffic violations results in license termination and other penalties. But, two options could help you avoid reaching the 6 points mark. They are namely;
- Taking the New Jersey defensive driving course available online for about $20 as of 30/7/2020. This deducts 2 points.
- A year of no violations deducts 3 points.
If these options do not work for you, then waiting for suspension period to end and paying fine is all you have. Above I had promised to take you through NJ MDV restoration locations, namely:
- West Deptford
In case you need to show up in person at the agencies, the best NJ DMV timings are Mondays to Fridays 8 AM to 4.30 PM, then Saturdays 8 AM to 3 PM. That’s all! All the best in your driving endeavor.