Dealing with a Suspended Driver License

As established drivers, we tend to take our privilege to be behind the wheel for granted, and don't protect it as closely as we likely should. But if our behaviors are such that we become a menace to ourselves or other motorists, those driving privileges will be taken away. Dealing with a New Jersey suspended license is no easy task - here are the things you can expect if you break the law one too many times.

Reasons for License Suspension

The state of New Jersey gives its drivers plenty of opportunity to avoid a suspended license. However, once you cross the line between safe and unsafe driving, they will be quick to suspend or revoke your driving privileges until you can prove that you are responsible enough to get back on the roads. Some of the reasons for a New Jersey suspended license are:

  • Receiving 12 points or more on your driving record
  • Failure to appear at a court date or pay fines/fees
  • Failure to pay mandatory surcharges from traffic violations
  • Breaking New Jersey DUI laws
  • Reckless driving

The suspension lengths vary based upon your violation, how often you've committed offenses, and whether your license has ever been suspended before. Similarly, each of these New Jersey traffic tickets will carry fines and fees that are particular to your conviction. Keep in mind, however, that New Jersey traffic fines are determined solely by your individual court and location of conviction - they will not necessarily be the same for everyone across the board.

Reinstating Your New Jersey License

In order to regain your driving privileges, you will need to go through what's called a "restoration" process. Here are the steps you'll need to follow to get your license back.

  1. Pay a restoration fee of $100, either online or in person at your local MVC office.
  2. Receive a "Notice of Restoration" in the mail with detailed steps on how to get a new driver's license. These are typically the same steps as a standard license renewal.

Once you have completed your mandatory suspension period and have taken the appropriate steps to restore your driver's license, you will regain full driving privileges. As part of your plea bargain, you will also likely need to take a New Jersey defensive driving or Point and Insurance Reduction course to prove that you have refreshed your safe driving skills.

Driving on a Suspended License

You should be aware that if you are caught driving before your license has been reinstated, you could tack on an extra 6 months to your suspension period, in addition to more fines and fees. The penalties for driving on a suspended license are as follows:

  • First offense - $500 fine, plus up to 6 months' additional suspension
  • Second offense - $750 fine, 5 days in jail, plus up to 6 months' additional suspension
  • Third offense - $1000 fine, 10 days in jail, plus up to 6 months' additional suspension

Obtaining a Restricted Driver's License

In some states, it's possible to qualify for a restricted driver's license during a suspension period. This license gives you the ability to drive to and from certain designated locations so that you can still perform essential daily tasks - such as going to work or school, attending court or doctor's appointments, etc. The ability to have a restricted license in New Jersey is dependent entirely upon your individual circumstances and your judge or court. They alone will decide whether you have the right to hit the road while earning back your full driving privileges.

Otherwise, you will need to rely on friends and family to get you where you need to go during this trying time. So next time, pay attention to the rules, and drive as responsibly as possible!

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