A surcharge is a fine that is assessed by the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System (NJSVS) on an annual basis to drivers who have excessive points for traffic violations or have been convicted, in court, of specific offenses such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while suspended. Surcharges are in addition to any court fines and penalties. Laws requiring surcharge assessments, and penalties for non-payment, date back to 1983.
Download a surcharge brochure.
For more information on your surcharge, call (609) 292-7500, extension 5024.
If you ignore the notices requesting payment and do not pay your surcharges, your driver license will be suspended.
If you receive a Suspension Order, do not continue to drive. Operating a vehicle while suspended is a serious motor vehicle violation requiring additional fines and surcharges.
If, after receiving a Suspension Order, you do not make surcharge payments, a Certificate of Debt is filed with the Superior Court for the amount owed. Also known as a "judgment,” the certificate allows the State to collect unpaid surcharges without your consent. Judgments prevent the transfer or sale of personal property and may also lead to wage garnishment. Judgments include collection costs and an interest rate is applied to the unpaid balance. Surcharge debtors are also reported to the leading credit bureaus. The State maintains contracts with collection and law firms to collect unpaid surcharge debts.
If your driving privileges are suspended for not paying surcharges, you will receive a Suspension Order notice. This suspension remains active on your motor vehicle record until you make the required surcharge payment and pay the MVC license restoration fee of $100. Do not drive until you are notified that your license has been restored. Drivers charged with driving while suspended face more serious charges, including suspension terms, fines and additional surcharges. Contact the billing office at (844)-424-6829 to discuss payment options.
You are responsible for paying surcharges even if you move out of New Jersey and surrender your NJ driver license to obtain a license in your new state of residence. If your driving privileges are suspended by New Jersey, you are reported to the National Driver Registry. Other states review the registry before licensing or renewing a driver license. Other states will not issue a license to you if you are suspended for not paying surcharges in New Jersey.
Point surcharges can be confusing. Here is an example: A driver receives a four-point violation in year one. There is no surcharge. In year two, the driver receives a two-point violation. The total is six points and the driver is surcharged $150. In year three, the four -point violation is only two years old and the two-point violation is only one year old. There are still six total points on the record and another $150 surcharge is assessed. In year four, the four-point violation is over three years old and is no longer counted. The total surchargeable points is two and the driver is not assessed a surcharge. If the driver received four additional points in year four, they would again be surcharged $150.
The three-point credit for safe driving and the two-point reduction for attending a defensive driving class do not reduce a surcharge point total.
If you are requesting a standard driver abstract for employment or other purposes, the suspension and all other violations over the preceding five years are reported. Your driver record does not include surcharge billing and payment information.
The surcharge statute (State law) requires the assessment of surcharges on any driver convicted of DWI in New Jersey. If you do not pay the surcharge, your privilege to drive in New Jersey will be suspended. This suspension will be reported to the National Driver Registry. Prior to license renewal, your state will check the registry for suspensions. Unless you satisfy the New Jersey suspension by paying surcharges and restoring your New Jersey license privileges, most states will not renew your license.
The surcharge statute (State law) requires the assessment of surcharges if you hold a New Jersey driver license and are convicted in another state of a violation substantially similar to New Jersey's DWI statute. Violations committed in other states are reported to New Jersey and entered on your driver record.
You are encouraged to make payment in full. If you are unable to do so, you can request an installment payment plan. However, any judgments will remain outstanding until the debt is paid in full. To be enrolled in an installment payment plan, you must first remit the installment amount listed on the front of the billing notice by the indicated due date. The remaining surcharge balance will be billed in monthly installments. Interest on judgments will continue during the payment plan. If you cannot afford the plan amount as listed on your billing notice, call the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System, (844) 424-6829, to discuss other possible payment arrangements.
If a judgment is filed against you for failure to pay your surcharge, the New Jersey Legislature has authorized the use of the Set Off of Individual Liability (SOIL) program. This means that monies owed to you by the State, such as a New Jersey State income tax refund or property tax rebate will be redirected to help pay off your surcharge debt. If you have filed jointly and your spouse is responsible for surcharge debt, contact the MVC’s SOIL unit, (609) 292-7500, by following the prompts. You may be eligible to receive half of the income tax refund.
To satisfy judgment debt, full payments must be made in certified funds (U.S. postal money order, attorney trust account check or certified bank check). All uncertified payments (personal check, credit/debit card) will delay the filing of a
Warrant of Satisfaction
by two months.
Below you will find how to obtain a Warrant of Satisfaction:
The Superior Court of New Jersey
Attn: Clerks Office/Customer Service
P.O. Box 971
Trenton, NJ 08625-0971
Phone Number: (609) 421-6100.
You will receive an official notice from the New Jersey Surcharge Violation System detailing your surcharge. The notice will be sent to the address you provided to the Motor Vehicle Commission.
The notice provides information on the violation event(s) that are being surcharged and also warns that driving privileges may be suspended for failing to pay. If your license privileges have been suspended, the billing notice also provides a "restoration amount due." This is the minimum surcharge amount that must be paid in order to restore your license privileges. After paying at least the “restoration amount due” and the MVC's $100 license restoration fee, your license can be restored.
The bottom of each notice lists payment options including, online (debit/credit, e-check), pay-by-phone, Western Union and by mail. When making payment by mail, be sure to include the bottom tear-off portion of the notice so that your payment is applied to the correct surcharge account.
If you move, the law requires you to notify the MVC within seven days. Visit Change your address to update the address on your driving record. If you move out-of-state, you must report all changes of address to be certain that you satisfy the surcharge requirements.
First, the court processes the ticket. If you are convicted, your license information and the ticket (violation) is sent to the MVC. The system then enters the violation on your driver record. This is called the "posting date." The posting date is used to determine when a surcharge is assessed, not the date the ticket was issued or when the court processes a conviction.
The surcharge restoration amount and license restoration fee must be paid to satisfy your suspension. The surcharge restoration amount is 5% of the total surcharge balance due when you were suspended. For example, if the balance due at the time of suspension was $1,000, the restoration amount is $50 plus the $100 MVC license restoration fee ($150 total).
New Jersey does not have a special license for suspended drivers to drive to work. If you are unable to pay your surcharge and need to be placed on a payment plan, you can contact (844) 424-6829..
Surcharges imposed for violations are a result of court convictions. After conviction, only the court can determine if the violation was not valid. The court notifies the MVC if a surchargeable violation needs to be removed from a driver record. If the violation is removed, the surcharge is also removed and any payments made can be refunded. The Governor and the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission do not have the authority, under State laws, to remove court violations or delay payment of surcharges. For questions regarding the appeal of a court conviction, contact the court that convicted you.
If you have a surcharge assessment and have filed for bankruptcy, a copy of your bankruptcy petition needs to be forwarded to the Surcharge Administration Office, P.O. Box 136, Trenton, NJ, 08666 or faxed to (609) 633-8273. After the MVC receives the petition, a hold will be placed on your surcharge account and any surcharge suspensions will be satisfied. If an MVC restoration fee is due, you will be responsible for that payment.
Once your bankruptcy case is discharged, the Surcharge Administration has the ability to write-off the entire balance on all pre-petition event violations. However, you will be responsible for violations you incurred after filing for bankruptcy. Please note that only surcharge assessments are dischargeable. Judgments are non-dischargeable. To have the judgments satisfied, you will need to pay them in full, or petition the Superior Court, a year after your discharge, to have the judgments vacated.
If your bankruptcy case is dismissed, you will be responsible and billed for the entire balance of your surcharge account. If you re-file or your case is re-opened, you will need to mail or fax the Surcharge Administration. Please contact the Bankruptcy Unit at (609) 292-7500, extension #5025 for further information.
A temporary billing hold can be placed on your surcharge account. You will need to mail or fax a copy of your overseas deployment documentation and driver license number to the Surcharge Administration Office, P.O. Box 136, Trenton, NJ, 08666, fax (609) 633-8273. Your billing hold will be automatically released when your deployment ends. You must notify the Surcharge Administration Office at (609) 292-7500 if your deployment ends early or if you have any questions.
A hold may be placed on your account if your doctor certifies that your medical condition permanently prevents you from driving. You will also need to surrender your driver license but may replace the license with a Non-Driver ID. Contact the Surcharge Administration Office at (609)-984-1866 for more information.
Billing continues during the period of incarceration. It is important to contact the MVC at (609) 292-7500 prior to parole/release in order to identify outstanding violations and to determine how to restore license privileges. After making payments equal to the restoration amount due, a payment plan, considering your income level, can be requested.
Contact the Customer Service Center toll free at (844) 424-6829. Representatives are available between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday to assist you.
You may also use this number to automatically access individual account and payment information, obtain surcharge program information, and make credit card and check payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tenemos representantes que hablan español disponibles de 8 de la mañana hasta las 5 de la tarde de lunes a viernes (844) 424-6829.