You must have heard of New Jersey Surcharge and if you are reading this, you have probably been slapped with this, leaving you wondering what it is and how it is calculated. This writeup of the NJ Surcharge is going to answer all your questions. Including how to Pay NJSurcharge Online and also how to avoid NJ Surcharge and ways to correctly calculate it. So, keep reading.
What is NJ Surcharge?
NJ Surcharge or New Jersey Surcharge System is a program under the New Jersey’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This New jersey traffic Surcharge System allows the motor vehicle department to charge additional fees about 2 to 3 times the fee charged for traffic violations like parking tickets, jumping a red signal, and over speeding. This surcharge is an extra charge that the department levies in addition to the original traffic ticket. The NJ Surcharge allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to bring in extra revenue for the state budget.
The original purpose of the NJ surcharge was to subsidize the state bonds for those drivers who were not in a position to afford insurance. Unfortunately, the original purpose is no longer there. Currently, all the funds collected from this surcharge program go into the general fund of the state, the expenditure of which remains at the discretion of the state.
However, this doesn’t really answer the question properly, does it?
So, here is what you need to know…
The NJ Surcharge is a fine that the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System assesses. The assessment takes place on a yearly basis.
Who is assessed for NJ Surcharge?
Of course, drivers are assessed provided:
- A driver has excessive points in his bag for violation of traffic rules and regulations.
- A driver has been convicted in court for driving in an intoxicated state.
- A driver has been caught driving even when his or her driving license has been suspended.
As mentioned earlier, surcharges are in addition to whatever monetary fine has been levied upon you by the court.
How to Pay NJ Surcharge Online?
The method for paying NJ Surcharge online is very simple and fast. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
- Visit the official New jersey Surcharge payment website at www.njsurcharge.com.
- On the Official webpage that you see, you need to key in the necessary information. You will have multiple choices to select from. You can enter either your license number (which you should have with you) or you can go by surcharge number, judgment number, etc.
- Once you enter the necessary details, you need to enter your date of birth in the corresponding field.
- Once you have all the information ready, click the Submit button and follow the onscreen instruction.
Once you submit the required information, you can see the surcharge amount you need to pay and the reason for which the surcharge has been applied to your driving record.
Once you verify the surcharge amount and understand why it has been applied, you can proceed to pay using your debit card or credit card. You need to, however, understand that you are allowed to use only a VISA card or a MasterCard for making online payments.
Now that you know what NJ Surcharge means and how to pay it online, it is time to answer a few general questions. So, gear up!
What are the different ways to Pay NJ Surcharge?
There are various channels available for paying NJ Surcharge Online. They include:
- You can use your credit card or debit card to pay via the online portal. You can also use an e-check.
- You can pay via a telephone call using your debit card or credit card. For this, you need to call the toll-free number (844) 424-6829.
- You can pay through the Western Union office located in New Jersey or anywhere in the country.
- You can send a money order or a check directly to the following address: NJSVS, P.O. Box 1502, Moorestown, NJ 08057-9704.
Are there specific timings for making NJ surcharge payments?
You can make payments for surcharge through the NJSVS portal using your credit card or debit card or a check payment anytime you want. It remains operational 24×7. However, if you need to talk to anyone from customer service to clarify anything regarding the surcharge, you need to call them at (844) 424-6829 between 8 AM and 5 PM from Monday to Friday. The customer service is not operational during the weekends.
How is NJ Surcharge calculated?
New Jersey State Surcharge is calculated whenever serious offenses or points are added to your driving record, the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System will review your driving records and charge extra fine. Remember, these are hefty fines. Here is a complete list of surcharge values you need to pay (provided, you come under review):
- For 6 or more points with 3 years from the last violation: The total surcharge you need to pay is $150 plus an additional $25 for each point you garner above 6 points.
- If you don’t have a license or if your license has expired, you need to pay a surcharge of $100 per year for a period of 3 years. So, you pay a total of $300.
- If your license has been suspended and you are caught driving even after that, you will have to pay a surcharge of $250 per year for a period of 3 years. You need to pay a total of $750.
- If you have a moped and you have not insured it, you will have to pay a surcharge of $100 per year for a period of 3 years. So, you pay a total of $300.
- If you are caught operating an uninsured vehicle, you will be charged $250 per year for 3 years, amounting to a total of $750.
- For your first and second DWI (driving while intoxicated), you will be charged $1000 per year for a period of 3 years. In total, you will have to pay $3000.
- For your third DWI (provided it occurs within 3 years of your previous DWI), you need to pay $1500 per year for 3 years. So, you pay $4500 in total.
- If you resist and refuse to take a blood alcohol concentration measurement test, you will be charged $1000 yearly for a period of 3 years, totaling to $3000.
What if you decide not to pay the New Jersey Surcharge?
Don’t do that! The consequences will be grave. Here is what will happen if you don’t pay the NJ Surcharge:
- Your license will be suspended. You will receive a suspension order and even after that if you continue to drive, there will be additional surcharges.
- If you do not pay the amount after receiving the Suspension Order, the Department of Motor Vehicles will reach out to the Superior Court and file what is called a ‘Certificate of Debt.’ This certificate is also known by the name ‘Judgment.’
- Once the department gets the Judgement, the state gets the authority to collect the amount owed even without your consent.
- This Judgment will prevent you from transferring or selling your personal property that the state can use to recover the dues.
- The state will have the right to opt for wage garnishment where your employer will be asked to withhold either a part of or the entire wage you receive and transfer the same to the state.
- What the state will recover is not just the due amount but also the recovery cost and even the interest applied on the due amount. This right is given to the state by the Judgment or the Certificate of Debt.
- Finally, all these will be reported to the credit bureaus and that will eventually impact your overall credit rating and hence, your credit trustworthiness.
What if you move out of New Jersey?
That isn’t going to help you either! You may decide to move out of New Jersey and settle somewhere else. The next logical thing you will want to do is to surrender your New Jersey driving license and get a driving license for the new state of residence.
However, failure to pay NJ Surcharge will mean that your license will be suspended and the same will be reported to the National Driver Registry.
Once the records are on the National Driver Registry, the same will be reviewed in your new state before granting you a driving license. The moment they see that your license was suspended in the state of New Jersey for not paying the surcharge, you will not receive the driving license.
What can you do after your NJ license has been suspended?
Your license will be suspended if you fail to pay the NJ Surcharge. The only thing you should do after that is not to drive your vehicle until you pay the due.
In order to reinstate your driving license, you will have to make the following two payments:
- The amount of surcharge levied.
- $100 in the MCV license restoration fee.
Why is the NJ Surcharge Charged even after three years?
NJSurcharge on points is very confusing. Even the NJSVS acknowledges that. Here is how the NJsurcharge on points works:
- Suppose you get 4 points in 2017. There will be no surcharge.
- You then get 2 points in 2018. This makes a total of 6 points. You will be charged a surcharge of $150.
- In 2019, the 4-point violation will only be two years old while the 2-point violation will only be 1 year old. This means that there is still a 6-point violation in 2019. You will be fined with $150 again.
- In 2020, the 4-point violation will have crossed the 3-year mark, leaving behind only the 2-point violation which will be 2 years old in 2020. So, the 4-point violation will not attract any surcharge. This will leave you with only 2 points, which will not be fined because you need a total of 6 points for evaluation.
- Unfortunately, if you end up getting another 4 points in 2020, you will have a collective 6 points again and you will once again be charged with $150 surcharged.
- In 2021, the 2-point violation will cross the 3-year mark, and hence, it will no longer be counted. This will leave you with a 4-point violation (that happened in 2020) in 2021. Since you will need 6 points for evaluation, you will no longer be surcharged.
- Use this logic to find out why you are being surcharged even after three years.
Why are you surcharged in New Jersey for DWI against a driving license of another state?
If you have a license of another state, New Jersey will honor the same and give you the privilege to drive in New Jersey using that license. However, if you get convicted of drunk driving or DWI, you will fall under the laws of the state. This means that you will have to honor the surcharge.
If you don’t pay the surcharge, New Jersey will revoke your privilege to drive in the state using the license of another state. Once that happens, the suspension will be reported to the National Driver Registry.
Back in your home state, when you go to renew your driving license, they will check for suspensions in the National Driver Registry and if they find that you did not honor the surcharge, your license will not be renewed in your state.
If you have an NJ license and you are convicted of DWI in another state, then what?
You have to pay in that state! If you don’t pay, it will be recorded and information will be sent back to New Jersey about the failure to pay. Back in New Jersey, all the records will be updated in your driver record and you will not be able to renew your license in your own state.
Why is your tax refund applied to your surcharge?
If you have been surcharged in NJ, you have to pay! You cannot skip that. The New Jersey Legislature has given authorization to the SOIL program. SOIL is the abbreviation for Set Off of Individual Liability. This means that if the state owes money to you (for example, tax refunds) and you owe money to NJSVS, the state will redirect that money to NJSVS to pay off your surcharge. Rules are rules!
Is there a provision for paying NJ surcharge in installments?
Yes, there is a provision for doing so. However, it is suggested and you are encouraged to pay the whole amount at one go. If for some reason you cannot, you need to pay installment amount mentioned clearly on the front of the billing notice that you received. You need to make the first installment amount within the due date. Once you do that, the remaining balance will be broken down into monthly installments. However, you will have also to bear the interest during the payment plan. If the payment plan mentioned in the billing notice is still not a good and affordable option for you, you can always call the NJSVS at (844) 424-6829 to discuss alternate payment plans.
Even if you are looking for alternate payment plans, you still need to pay the installment amount mentioned on the front of the billing notice you received.
If you are surcharged there is no relief except that you can pay in installments. You will have to pay the whole amount anyway (either in full or in installments) along with the interest. It is better that you follow the traffic rules of New Jersey and avoid any surcharge.
Surcharge in New Jersey State can be very high and can put unnecessary strain on your finances. Why do you want to get into trouble in the first place? Follow rules, stay safe!