New Jersey

Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)
P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ 08666-0160
(888) 486-3339 | www.state.nj.us/mvc

New Jersey State Police
P.O. Box 7068
West Trenton, NJ 08628
(609) 882-2000 | www.njsp.org

Department of Transportation
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
(609) 530-3536 | www.state.nj.us/transportation

Title Application

Application for a certificate of ownership should be made to the director of the MVC within 10 days of purchase of a motor vehicle.

An application for certificate of ownership should be accompanied by evidence of purchase, either a certificate of origin (displaying the sales tax-satisfied stamp, paid on actual price, though some vehicles are exempt), certificate of ownership, or bill of sale.

If a person has a certificate of ownership for a mobile or manufactured home that is located in a mobile home park that is being relocated to land that the owner of the home has an interest in or title to, that person shall file a notice of relocation with the director of the MVC at least 10 days prior to relocation. If the director deems the notice to be complete, the certificate of ownership will be cancelled on the date of relocation.


Title Transfer of Ownership

Upon the sale of a vehicle, the seller shall execute and deliver an assignment of the certificate of ownership to the purchaser.


Titles for Mobile Homes

A mobile home must be titled within 10 days of purchase or a penalty fee will apply.

The titling process for a mobile home is similar to titling a vehicle; however, mobile homes are exempt from registration and inspection.

Under certain conditions, used mobile homes are also exempt from sales tax.

Registration Application

Every vehicle driven primarily in New Jersey, whether owned by a resident or non-resident, is required to be registered.

Applications for vehicle registration must be made to the MVC designated agent in the county of residence.

Applications for vehicle registration must contain the name, street address of the residence or business of the owner, mailing address, age of the owner, description of the vehicle that includes the manufacturer and vehicle identification or manufacturer’s number, name of the vehicle’s insurer, and if the vehicle is leased, the name and street address of the lessor.

Registration may be denied without presentation of a certificate of ownership.

There is no period of grace for late registration.


Registration for Non-Residents

Non-residents must obtain New Jersey Driver’s license and registration within 60 days after residence established, unless expiration of out-of-state license comes first, and provided compliance has been made with the license laws of the state of previous residence.

The owner of a vehicle registered in a foreign country has 20 days to register the vehicle in New Jersey.


Registration Type

Registrations shall expire every 12 months. New dealer purchased vehicles shall be issued a 4-year registration and thereafter will expire every 12 months.

Renewal of motorcycle registrations will take place on a date set by the director of the MVC, but in no case shall that expiration date be earlier than April 30 nor later than October 31.

Renewal application forms for passenger automobiles will be sent to the last address of owners on record with the MVC.

Application for renewal of a passenger automobile or motorcycle registration may be directly made to any agent of the MVC.

Temporary registration may be issued for a 20-day period to any person purchasing an automobile in New Jersey while en route to another state. Renewal is not permitted.


Emissions Inspection

Most motor vehicles registered in New Jersey are required to have emissions inspections. Visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for more information.

Vehicles to have emissions inspections on a biennial basis include: 1) gasoline and bi-fueled vehicles plated as passenger, not-for-profit, governmental, commuter van, farmer or farm truck, 5 years and older, excluding buses; and 2) diesel-powered, passenger motor vehicles plated as passenger, not-for-profit, governmental, commuter van, farmer or farm truck model year 1997 and newer with a GVWR 8,500 lbs. or less, 5 years and older, excluding buses.

New cars and trucks, and used non-commercial vehicles, are inspected 5 years from the date of purchase and every 2 years after the initial inspection.

OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.

An approval certificate will be issued once a vehicle successfully passes all required emissions tests.


Safety Inspection

No statewide periodic vehicle safety inspection requirement.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $60.00

Registration Fee: $35.50-$84.00

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $60.00 without lien

Registration Fee: $65.00

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $6.00-$11.00

Registration Fee: $5.00

Driver’s License Fee: $11.00

Title Fee: $60.00

Special Plates: $15.00–$50.00 for new; $0.00–$10.00 for renewal.

Plate Disbursement

Issuance of license plates may be denied without presentation of a certificate of ownership.

Two plates are issued.

The color scheme for license plates is black on goldfinch & pale yellow.

Special license plates and windshield placards for disabled drivers are available at no fee by application to the MVC.

Transfer of Plates

License plates may be transferred to another vehicle owned by the same person.

Driver's License Examination

New Jersey residents are required to have a valid New Jersey driver license to operate a motor vehicle. First-time drivers must complete the Graduated Driver License program to obtain a basic license, requiring applicants to pass various tests.

State law requires every licensed driver to pass a vision screening successfully (20/50 visual acuity required) at least once every 10 years as a condition of driver’s license renewal, but this provision is not currently enforced.

When a written examination is given as part of a high school driver education program, a certified driver education instructor, or special education teacher may be allowed to read the examination to any student who has been diagnosed with a deficiency in reading, perception, or other learning disability.


Graduated Driver's Licensing

New Jersey has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At age 16, upon successful completion of driver education, an individual is eligible for a special learner’s permit.

  • Permit holders may not drive unsupervised.
  • Individuals must hold the permit for at least 6 months and pass a road test to be eligible for an intermediate/probationary license.

At age 17, drivers may apply for an intermediate license.

  • A driver holding an intermediate/probationary license must display state-provided removable, transferable, highly visible, reflective decals indicating that the driver of the vehicle may be the holder of an intermediate license.
  • Intermediate license holders may not drive unsupervised between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and may not have more than 1 passenger unless supervised by a driver at least 21 years old (parents, guardians, and dependents are      exempted).
  • Drivers must hold the intermediate license for at least 6 months.

Permit and intermediate license holders and their passengers must always wear safety belts.

At age 18, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license.

In New Jersey, the graduated licensing law applies to adults. For persons 21 and older, individuals must also hold a learner’s permit for at least 3 months before reaching the intermediate phase, but the night and passenger restrictions are waived.


Driver's License Issuance/Application

Applications for a Driver’s license must be made to the MVC designated agent in the county of residence.

Applications for a driver’s license require passage of an eye examination and written and road tests.

A person must apply within 60 days of establishing residence, or before your current license expires, to transfer a non-commercial license from another state. Drivers under age 18 cannot transfer a license but must complete New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) program requirements.

A person must apply within 30 days of establishing residence to transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.

Expiration date of non-citizen’s driver’s license and identification cards is linked to the expiration date of the person’s visa.

License does not include social security number.

All applicants for driver licenses must present proof of age, identity, and address using primary and secondary documents outlined under the “Six Point ID Verification System.” For more information, contact the MVC.


Driver’s License Renewal

Application for renewal of a passenger automobile or motorcycle Driver’s license may be directly made to any agent of the MVC.

A licensed driver has 1 week to notify the MVC of change of residence.

A driver’s license is issued for a 4-year period.

Active military personnel and their immediate family members may apply for license renewal up to 6 months before deployment, and their licenses will remain valid 90 days after return from duty.


Types of Driver's Licenses

A Basic Automobile License (Class D) may be issued to a person 18 years of age and older for all types of motor vehicles registered by the MVC, except motorcycles.

A Commercial Driver’s License (Class A, B, C) is for large trucks, buses, and vehicles hauling hazardous materials.

A Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is necessary for the operation of tractor trailers or any truck or trailer with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 lbs., and allows the driver to operate all vehicles in the Class B, C, and D categories.

A Class B CDL is necessary for the operation of any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more or a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more towing a trailer with a GVWR of less than 10,000 lbs., or a bus with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and allows the driver to operate all vehicles in the Class C and D categories.

A Class C CDL is necessary for any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. used and placarded to transport hazardous material, or any bus, including school buses, designed to carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and with a GVWR of less than 26,001 lbs. and all school vehicles designed for 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, or any bus or other vehicle designed to transport 8 to 15 passengers, including the driver, which is used for hire.

There are 6 commercial license endorsements available: (T) double and triple trailer, which is for operators of vehicles pulling 2 or 3 trailers and requires a Class A license; (P) passenger, which is for operators of all buses or similar vehicles used to transport passengers; (S) School Bus, needed for all school bus drivers; (N) tank vehicle, for operators of vehicles that transport liquids or gas in bulk; (H) hazardous materials, for operators of vehicles transporting hazardous materials; and (L) air brakes, needed for any vehicle equipped with air breaks, special road test is federally required.

A bus driver license shall be issued to a person 18 years of age and older that has passed a satisfactory examination of driving ability and familiarity with the mechanism of the bus and has presented evidence, satisfactory to the director of the MVC of at least 3 years of driving experience, good character, and physical fitness.

A Motorcycle License (Class E) or Endorsement (M) is for most vehicles with less than 4 wheels, including motor bikes and scooters. The endorsement is for individuals already holding a basic New Jersey automobile license; otherwise, an individual must obtain a separate license.  Applicants under age 18 are required to take the Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course.

A Motorized Bicycle License (Class F) is for unlicensed drivers, 15 years and older, and is not needed if the operator has a Class A, B, C, D, or E license.

An Agricultural License (Class G) is for farming purposes only and may be granted to persons between 16 and 17 years of age and can be exchanged for a Class D license at age 17.

Distracted Driving

No person shall use a hand-held phone or engage in text messaging while driving. Special learner’s permit, examination permit, and probationary license holders are subject to a complete ban on cell phone use.

School bus drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone and driving, except in emergencies.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Citizen band radio channel 9 is monitored for emergency calls.


Headsets

No prohibition on wearing of headsets while driving.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

New Jersey requires the use of ignition interlocks for repeat and high BAC (.15 BAC or greater) impaired driving offenders, though they may be required for other first time offenders at judicial discretion.


Move Over Law

Motor vehicles approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle and traveling in the same direction must move over to a non-adjacent lane if possible, or slow down.


Seat Belts

The driver and all passengers age 8 and older or over 80 lbs. shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system in all seating positions.

Violation of the seat belt is a standard offense, except for passengers over 18 seated in the backseat, for whom the law is secondary.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted, except for employees on duty.


Child Passenger Safety

Children under age 8 and weighing less than 80 lbs. must be in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in the rear seat, if possible.

Effective September 1, children under 2 and weighing less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. Children under 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds must be in either a rear- or rear-seat forward-facing child passenger restraint system. Children under 8 and under 57 inches must be in a forward facing child passenger restraint system or rear-seat booster seat.

Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.


Railroad Crossing

A person driving a vehicle approaching a railroad grade crossing must stop between 50 feet and 15 feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until he can do so safely whenever: (1) a clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train; (2) a crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train; (3) a railroad train approaching within approximately 1,500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from such distance and such railroad train, by reason of its speed or nearness to such crossing, is an immediate hazard; or (4) an approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing.

Any school bus carrying any child or children must stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of every railroad crossing to listen and look in both directions for any approaching train or signals indicating the approach of a train.


School Buses

Lap belt type seat belts or other child restraint systems must be available at each seating position on the bus, and worn properly adjusted and fastened by each passenger.

The driver of a vehicle approaching or overtaking a school bus that has stopped to receive or discharge any child on an undivided road, must stop not less than 25 feet from the bus and remain stopped until such child has entered the bus or exited and reached the side of the road and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus.

If the driver of a vehicle is on a divided road approaching from the front a bus that has stopped to receive or discharge a child, the driver must slow his vehicle to not more than 10 mph until the vehicle has passed the bus and any child that may have disembarked from the bus.

Bumper Height

Bumpers shall be mounted at a height that meets manufacturer’s specifications.


Headlight Use

Headlights are required to be on when wipers are in use, visibility is less than 500 feet, or in conditions of insufficient light/adverse weather.


Hazard Light Use

The use of hazard lights is permitted while driving.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are permitted November 15 to April 1.


Glass/Window Tinting

The owner or lessee of a vehicle that is driven by or used to transport a person with a medical condition involving ophthalmic or dermatologic photosensitivity may apply to the director of the MVC for permission to have the windshield and windows of that vehicle covered or treated with a product or material that increases its light reflectance or reduces its light transmittance.

Sunscreening materials that are installed or applied to the windshield of a motor vehicle shall be of a clear film and such material installed or applied to the front side windows of a motor vehicle shall be either a clear or tinted film.

Any motor vehicle may have the rear window and/or the rear side windows tinted or covered in a manner so as to partially obscure the driver’s vision, provided that the vehicle is equipped with an exterior mirror on each side of the vehicle. Any high-mounted rear stoplight shall not be obstructed in any manner.

Mirror-type material is not permitted on any window of a motor vehicle.


Telematics

It is unlawful to operate a vehicle that has a television set placed so that the screen is visible to the driver while operating the vehicle.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, sticker, or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield, wings, deflectors, side shields, corner lights adjoining the windshield, or front side windows other than a certificate or other article required to be so displayed by statute or regulations.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A.

Motorcycle Equipment

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least 1 and not more than 2 headlamps, 1 tail lamp, 1 stop lamp, at least 1 reflector on the rear, adequate license plate illumination, and a white light displaying to the front on any side car or other extension attached to the side.

Every motorcycle must have at least 1 brake adequate to control the movement of and to stop the motorcycle.

No person shall operate a motorcycle which has handle bar grips higher than the shoulder height of the operator when seated.

A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached to the motorcycle; passengers shall ride on the permanent and regular seat if designed for 2 persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the rear or side of the driver.

An operator of a motorcycle must not carry any other person unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than 1 person and has adequate footrests for each passenger.

A motorcycle operator and passenger must wear goggles or a face shield, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a wind screen meeting specifications established by the director, and a securely fitted helmet that is equipped with either a neck or chin strap.


Motorcycle Licenses

A person who successfully completes a road test for a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement when operating a motorcycle or motorized scooter with an engine displacement of less than 231 cubic centimeters shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement restricting the person’s operation of such vehicles to any motorcycle with an engine displacement of 500 cubic centimeters or less. A person who successfully completes a road test for a motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement when operating a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 231 or more cubic centimeters, or successfully completes an approved motorcycle safety education course, shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement without any restriction as to engine displacement.

The director of the MVC may waive the road test portion of the examinations required for a motorcycle license or endorsement if the applicant has successfully completed a motorcycle safety education course.

All applicants for a motorcycle license who have never previously held such license shall be on probation for a period of 2 years following the issuance of their initial license.

A motorized bicycle license may be issued to any person 15 years of age or older upon proof of identity, date of birth, and passage of a driving examination.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Every motor vehicle with a combustion motor must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke and no person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on a motor vehicle.

Motorcycles shall be equipped with muffler systems designed especially for motorcycles.


Mopeds & Other

Registration and title are required.

Special motorized bicycle license is issued to 15- and 16-year olds.

Operator required to have liability insurance covering bodily injury, $15,000; death, $30,000; property damage, $5,000.

Protective helmet required.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 62 feet, 65 feet with a camping trailer, fifth wheel trailer, or park trailer; trailer length: 53 feet, 45 feet for motor homes, 28 feet as part of a combination; width: 8 feet 6 inches (only on certain roads, excluding safety equipment up to 6 inches); height: 13 feet 6 inches.


Trailer Brakes

Every trailer and semitrailer must have brakes that can be automatically applied upon break-away from the towing vehicle, and means shall be provided to stop and hold the vehicle for an adequate period of time.

In any combination of motor vehicles, means shall be provided for applying the trailer or semitrailer brakes in approximate synchronism with the brakes on the towing vehicles and creating the required braking effort on the wheels of the rear-most vehicle at the fastest rate, or means shall be provided for applying the braking effort first on the rearmost vehicle equipped with brakes. 

Brakes are required on all wheels for all trailers or semitrailers with a gross weight over 3,000 pounds; provided. The gross weight of any such trailer without brakes shall not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle.


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Trailers shall be connected to the towing vehicle by at least 1 chain or cable, in addition to the hitch bar, of sufficient strength to hold the trailer on a hill if the hitching bar becomes disconnected, or be provided with an adequate device to prevent its rolling backward.


Trailer Lighting

Every trailer or semitrailer must be equipped on the rear with 2 tail lamps, 2 stop lamps, 2 turn signals, and 2 reflectors, 1 of each at each side.


Trailer Mirrors

No person shall drive a vehicle that is so constructed, loaded, or covered that the driver does not have a clear view of the traffic following and at its sides, unless the vehicle is equipped with a device that will show the road to the rear and side.


Trailer Speed Limits

As posted. No additional restrictions for car with trailer.


Trailer Towing

Maximum of 1 boat or general utility trailer may be towed behind passenger or pleasure vehicle.


Trailer Other Provisions

Riding in towed trailers is permitted.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be immediately reported in cases of death, injury, or when property damage exceeds $500.00.


Bail Bonds

A bail bond issued by an automobile club or association may not exceed $500.


Liability Laws

All vehicles registered in New Jersey must be covered by an automobile liability insurance policy that insures against loss resulting from liability for bodily injury, death, and property damage where coverage amounts shall be at least: (1) $15,000 for injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident; (2) $30,000 on account of injury to or death of more than 1 person in any 1 accident; and (3) $5,000 from property damage in any 1 accident.

A person with an automobile registered in New Jersey may choose a basic automobile insurance policy, as an alternative to the mandatory coverage, that provides the following coverage: (1) personal injury protection coverage that includes the payment of medical expense benefits for reasonable and necessary treatment of bodily injury in an amount not to exceed $15,000 per person per accident, except that, medical expense benefits shall be paid in an amount not to exceed $250,000 for all medically necessary treatment of permanent or significant brain injury, spinal cord injury or disfigurement, or for medically necessary treatment of other permanent or significant injuries rendered at a trauma center or acute care hospital; (2) $5,000 for property damage in any 1 accident, and (3) the option of $10,000 for injury to or death of 1 or more persons in any 1 accident.

Every standard automobile liability insurance policy issued or renewed shall contain personal injury protection benefits for the payment of benefits without regard to negligence, liability, or fault to the insured and members of his family residing in his house who sustain bodily injury as a result of an accident, or as a pedestrian, caused by an automobile or an object propelled by or from an automobile, to other persons sustaining injury while occupying the automobile with permission of the insured, and to pedestrians sustaining bodily injury caused by the insured’s vehicle or by an object propelled by or from that vehicle.

State has non-resident service of process law; does not have guest suit law.

State has no-fault insurance law.


Weigh Stations

New Jersey requires all vehicles that weigh 10,001 lbs or more to weigh.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are required for all riders under age 17.

There is no law for the safe passage of bicycles by motor vehicles.


Other

New Jersey is party to the Non-Resident Violator Compact.