Finding out that your driver’s license has been suspended can be frustrating and annoying – but it is absolutely crucial that you find out this information as soon as possible if it has occurred. Driving while on a suspended license could have a number of unwanted consequences for you, your freedom, and your future driving privileges, and so you need to have this information in your hand as quickly as possible.
Fortunately for you, we have everything you need to know to do just that – as well as the information you need to get back on the road legally as soon as possible.
What Can Get Your License Suspended?
The first thing to understand is that there are a number of reasons that your license may get revoked – having an understanding of these will help you to reduce the chances of it actually happening. Some of the most common reasons for license revocation or suspension in NJ include:
Too Many Points
If you receive 12 or more points on your driving record, you are very likely to receive a suspension on your driver’s license. Points will be added to your license if you plead guilty to, or are convicted of, a “moving violation”. These are usually the result of careless driving, and each ticket can net you two points on your license. Some of the most common examples for being awarded points include:
- Moving against traffic on the Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, or Atlantic City Expressway.
- Improper passing in these locations
- Unlawful use of the median strip in these locations
- Operating a “constructor vehicle” at speeds exceeding 45mph
- Using a motorized bike on a restricted highway
- Having more than one passenger on a motorized bicycle
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, or passing another vehicle that is yielding to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. Failing to stop before a crossing sidewalk will also get you points.
- Racing on the highway
- Driving through a safety zone
- “Improper action or omission” carried on on curves and grades
- Failing to observe or obey a direction of an officer
- Failing to yield to vehicles or pedestrians while entering or exiting the highway
- Driving on private or public property in order to avoid a traffic signal or sign
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Failing to observe traffic signals or keep right
- Passing a vehicle improperly on a divided highway
- Improper passing
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
- Passing in a no-passing zone
- Failing to yield to an overtaking vehicle, or to emergency vehicles
- Failing to observe traffic lanes
- Not yielding at an intersection
- Not using the correct entrance to enter a limited access highway
- Reckless or careless driving
- Destroying recreational or agricultural property
- Driving slowly to block traffic
- Exceeding the maximum speed -this can be 1-14mph, 15-29mph, or 30mph over the limit.
- Not stopping at a traffic light, or turning improperly on a red light
- Failing to stop if the signal is flashing red, or for a police whistle
- Improper turning or backing
- Improper crossing of a bridge, railroad crossing, or railroad grade crossing
- No signaling
- Leaving the scene of an accident, with or without personal injuries
- A moving violation that occurs in another state
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to collect points on your license – try to avoid these as much as possible, as it is surprisingly easy to get to twelve points and have your license suspended.
Failing To Appear Or Pay Fines
You may also have your license suspended if you have court fines outstanding, or a court appearance pending, and you fail to pay or appear. This also applies to outstanding traffic fines or tickets.
Poor Driving Conduct
Driving under the influence, driving recklessly, or driving without insurance will all cause your license to be suspended.
Abandoning Your Vehicle
If an abandoned vehicle is traced back to you, you will lose your license.
- Being At Fault In A Fatal Accident
- Owing Child Support
In some cases, outstanding child support bills can result in the suspension of your driver’s license until your debts are settled.
How To Check If Your License Has Been Suspended
Before your license is officially suspended, you will receive a written notice in the post, from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, This will inform you of the decision to suspend your license, and advise you on the conditions and requirements you must follow.
In some cases, however, you may not receive this letter – this can occur if the Motor Vehicle Commission has the wrong address for you.
The easiest alternative to check your license is to call the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission directly, and request your driver history abstract.
This is a record of everything the MVC has on you and will update you on any suspensions that are in progress.
You will also be able to receive information on the length of the suspension, any outstanding charges to be paid, any programs or courses that must be completed, any outstanding child support, and any court details that you need to be aware of.
Your driver’s abstract can also be obtained in person or online, but you will need to pay $15 for a copy.
How Can I Lift The Suspension?
Once you have established that your license has been suspended, the chances are that you will want to get back on the road as soon as possible, and the ease with which this can be done depends on the circumstances of your suspension.
In some cases, you may simply have to pay a $100 restoration fee to the Motor vehicle Commission – this will result in your suspension being automatically lifted.
Some cases can be a little more complex, however, and it is a good idea to have legal representation on your side.
The first step is to find out who ordered the suspension – this will either be the court or the Motor Vehicle Commission, and you can determine which by looking at your driver history abstract.
A court may suspend your driving license as a result of criminal, juvenile justice code, or motor vehicle violations. You may also have your license suspended as the result of failing to pay child support, a court-ordered fine or a parking ticket, or for a failure to appear before the court.
Some court-ordered suspensions have specific time restrictions, usually six months, before the suspension will be lifted, while others allow you to pay a fine or appear in court. Contact the MVC to get more information on the courts you need to contact.
Once outstanding court matters are resolved, the MVC will be contacted, and suspensions will be lifted.
Motor Vehicle Commission Imposed Suspensions
In some cases, you may find that you are still unable to restore your license following the resolution of court matters, and this usually means that the MVC has imposed a suspension.
This is usually the result of you failing to pay surcharges, or MVC court fines, earning too many points on your license, failing to complete an MVC required course, driving without insurance, or repeating the offense – this is usually applied if you have had three suspensions in three years.
Contact the MVC – they will be able to advise you on the situation, and the things that you need to do to restore your license. This may include a defensive driving course, or completion of an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center program, as well as pay anything you owe.
Once all reasons for suspension have been addressed, you will be able to restore your license.
Before you can start driving, you will need to pay a license restoration fee of $100, as well as take a test if you have been off the road for over three years – the MVC will be able to advise you on whether this is necessary.
You will also need to pay $24 for the new license, and have six forms of ID. Refrain from driving until you actually have your new license, and written confirmation from the MVC that your license has been restored.
The process of having your driver’s license suspended can be stressful, and the restoration program can be complex and time-consuming. If you need additional information or support, do not hesitate to get in touch, and allow one of our experienced team to walk you through the process with minimal fuss and stress.