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What are New Jersey Traffic Tickets?

New Jersey traffic tickets are formal notices issued to individuals who violate the traffic laws of the state. These violations include reckless driving, DUIs, racing on a highway, improper passing, out-of-state violations, and other acts described under Title 39 of New Jersey statutes. Typically, these tickets are issued by law enforcement officials. Details such as the offender’s name, the date, time, and nature of offense(s), penalties, make of vehicle, citation number, and court date, are listed on the tickets. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) is responsible for maintaining driver records and assigning points based on the offenses motorists are convicted of. In New Jersey, traffic tickets are resolved in the Municipal Courts located within the areas where the offenses occurred.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching less complicated, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record of the person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or where the offense occurred.

Third-party sites are not affiliated with government sources nor sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on these websites may vary.

What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?

There is no difference between a traffic citation or a ticket. Both are terms used to describe being written up by law enforcement for a moving or non-moving (parking) violation. However, it is referred to as a “traffic citation” or uniform citation legally.

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

Anyone who gets a traffic ticket in New Jersey may choose either to contest or not contest the ticket. In no-contests, the motorist involved must pay a fine stipulated by law. As this action is regarded as an admittance of guilt in the state, the NJMVC may assign points to the driver’s records if it was a moving violation. New Jersey traffic tickets can be paid in-person to the applicable Municipal Courts or via online services provided by the courts. Instructions for payments are usually located at the back of the tickets. It is advisable to make this payment before the date indicated on the ticket. Under N. J. S. A. 39:4–203.1, the courts may provide installment plans for parties unable to pay the total ticket amount.

Alternatively, the accused party may choose to contest the ticket and challenge the charges in court. However, for certain serious and criminal violations, an offender will be mandated to make a court appearance. Parties found guilty of traffic offenses are subject to punishment under the law. This may involve point penalties, jail time, community service, vehicle impoundment, suspension/revocation of driver licenses, and high fines. Convictions of moving violations may also affect auto insurance rates.

Can You Pay New Jersey Traffic Tickets Online?

Yes, New Jersey traffic tickets can be paid online. The New Jersey Judiciary maintains a centralized system called the NJMCDirect to assist with online payments. This platform may also be used to search for ticket information.

How do I Pay a Ticket online in New Jersey?

Using the NJMCDirect, ticketed individuals may conveniently pay fines for traffic violations to any municipal court. Before payment can be made, parties are required to provide the following information on the ticket:

  • License number
  • Court ID/Name
  • Prefix
  • Ticket number

Offenders may use a credit or debit card to make payment from Monday to Sunday at the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday from 4:30 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.
  • Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m.
  • Saturday from 4:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.

Note that there is a 3% charge for each transaction done on this site.

What is the New Jersey Traffic Ticketing System?

The New Jersey traffic ticketing system is a point system used by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) to assign points and driving penalties to motorists convicted of moving violations. It is also known as the New Jersey Point Schedule. The highest point a motorist can get in the state is 8 points for leaving the scene of an accident (if the event involved a personal injury). The least is 2 points for traffic offenses including careless driving, unsafe lane changes, speeding (1–14 mph over limit), out-of-state moving violations, failure to observe the direction of an officer, and operating a motorized bicycle on a restricted highway. Also, motorists who get 6 points or higher within 3 years are subject to surcharges and if the points are 12 or higher, the NJMVC suspends the driver’s license.

Drivers can check the points on their records for the last 5 years by ordering their Driver History Abstracts from the NJMVC. It is possible to obtain information on moving violations, suspensions, and accidents too. Orders may be made online, by mail, or in-person at an MVC facility. Requesters are required to provide the following to obtain records:

  • User ID number (for online requests)
  • A completed application form: Driver History Abstract Request Form (Public); Driver History Abstract Request Form (Government/Nonprofit) (for mail/in-person requests)
  • New Jersey driver license/ID
  • A fee of $15 paid by credit/debit card for online requests, money order/check for mail requests, and cash/check/money order/credit or debit card for in-person requests. Fees paid in person or by mail are payable to the NJMVC

New users using the online service may obtain a User ID by requesting for one. Mail submissions must include the relevant form, a copy of driver license, and fee sent to the address below:

Mailing address

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

Abstract Unit

225 East State Street

PO Box 142

Trenton, NJ 08666–0142

In-person requests may be made with the same form. This form can also be filled at the agency and submitted at one of the counters.

The NJMVC also provides drivers with additional documents such as order of suspension, summons, accident report, restoration notice, mailing list, and schedule of suspension. Each document costs $15. The order can be made by ticking the appropriate box on the application form and mailing it, along with a New Jersey driver license/ ID and another check or money order payable to NJMVC, to the mailing address above.

How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

Although traffic offenders are notified when they violate state laws, individuals may still find out if they have traffic tickets in New Jersey through the Municipal Court Case Search (MCCS). Using the MCCS, a searcher may enter a name (first, middle, and last), driver’s license number, or ticket number to find out if a traffic ticket exists. There is no charge to use this service. Parties may also contact the resident municipal court directly to obtain this information.

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

The Municipal Court with jurisdiction over the infraction or violation may be contacted to find a lost or misplaced traffic ticket in New Jersey. It is necessary to have information on the ticket such as the citation number or motorist’s first and last name, to identify the ticket promptly. Members of the public may also use the same information, in addition to a driver’s license number, to find traffic tickets using the Municipal Court Case Search (MCCS).

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, traffic tickets remain on a driver’s record forever. However, it is possible to reduce the points on a record using the following methods:

  • Going for a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) (–3 points). This may earn the subject of record a reduction in points once every 5 years. This program is for experienced drivers
  • If the driver goes 1 year without any violation or suspension (–3 points)
  • Joining a Defensive Driving Program (–2 points). This may earn the subject of record a reduction in points once every 2 years.
  • Partaking in a Probationary Driver Program (PDP) (–3 points). This program is for new drivers

More information on these driver programs may be obtained from the MVC’s website.

Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in New Jersey?

Upon receiving a court summons in New Jersey, an individual is expected to appear in a municipal court at a scheduled date and time to answer for a violation committed. Failure to appear may result in the court issuing a notice to the individual in this regard. Parties who fail to follow the instructions prescribed in the notice, or have two or more tickets in an area, are likely to have warrants issued for their arrests. This may further result in jail time, license suspensions, and loss of other driving privileges. Whereas a ticket does not require the offenders to appear in court unless they are contesting the tickets or are required by law to make appearances because of the severity of the violations. The penalties for a ticket are not as harsh as those for summons and in cases of no-contests, the offender is only required to pay for the violation using in-person or online methods provided by the courts.

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