Once New Jersey driving privileges are suspended, they never return automatically. Two or more things must happen before the driving privileges will be restored. One of these is that the driver must pay a New Jersey driver's license restoration fee. That fee is presently $100.00. It is payable to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (“MVC”, formerly the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles “DMV”).
The restoration fee can be paid at any time. The driver need not await completion of other restoration requirements before paying the restoration fee. There is no especial advantage to paying it early, so long as you remember to pay it!
What needs to happen beyond paying the restoration fee would depend on the reason that the New Jersey driver's license was suspended in the first place. For example, if the driver's license was suspended for a specified period of time, then the driver must wait out completion of the suspension period. If the license was suspended on account of failure to maintain insurance coverage on a registered car, the driver will likely need to provide proof that insurance coverage has been obtained. If the New Jersey license was suspended for unsatisfied court obligations, satisfaction of those obligations will be required.
As indicated above, sometimes more than one additional action is needed. For example, the New Jersey driver's license might have been suspended because of a drunk driving conviction. In that situation, besides payment of the restoration fee and other fees, and satisfaction of the suspension period, additional requirements might include completion of an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program, or installation of an ignition interlock device.
The New Jersey MVC (or DMV) can also require attendance at and successful completion of a remedial driver education program before restoration of a suspended driver's license. When the duration of the suspension is not mandated by law, the remedial driver education program may even shorten (or sometimes even eliminate completely) the period of suspension.
After complying with all stated requirements, the MVC may still deny restoration of the New Jersey driver's license. The MVC may base this denial upon any reasonable grounds. These grounds could include physical fitness to drive; or driving record of the applicant; or failure of the applicant to provide proof that all statutory requirements were satisfied. When the MVC (or DMV) does deny restoration on one or more of these grounds, it must provide notice, and an opportunity for a hearing. In general, this notice and opportunity for hearing follow the same procedures as when the New Jersey MVC issues a Notice of Scheduled Suspension.
Restoration of New Jersey driving privileges often proceeds uneventfully. On other occasions, restoration can be incredibly complicated. One complicating situation might be where the suspension arose on account of court matters that are ancient. Another might arise from disputed issues of fact. On “plain vanilla” restorations, skilled legal assistance is seldom needed. For more complicated situations, legal assistance can greatly facilitate restoration.
Even after satisfying all conditions of restoration, it could be a mistake to assume that New Jersey driving privileges have been reinstated. Misunderstandings can exist concerning what the exact restoration conditions were. Or New Jersey MVC may have not completed its restoration processing. Thus you should always have a written notice of restoration before driving again. If necessary, you should have someone drive you to an MVC facility to obtain the restoration notice in person.
Motorists sometimes are unaware of why their New Jersey driving privileges are suspended. New Jersey Driver's License Lawyers™ can take the following steps for their clients to restore driving privileges:
- Determine all requirements from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. These requirements can include fines, surcharges, resolution of open tickets, satisfaction of Intoxicated Driver Resouces Center (IDRC) requirements, installation of ignition interlock device, submission of medical documentation, and satisfaction of out-of-state obligations;
- Contact courts where open tickets or unsatisfied payments are reported;
- Arrange for all open matters to be resolved. Sometimes all that is needed for resolution is payments. Other times, unresolved charges may exist;
- Appear with you in court to clear up unresolved charges. If you no longer live in New Jersey, we can sometimes arrange for you to not have to appear in person;
- Arrange with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for payment of your restoration fee, and return of your driving privileges.
The lawyers in the Law Offices of Allan Marain have vast skill and experience. They are available to assist New Jersey drivers and driver applicants. They are able to help persons with New Jersey MVC (or DMV) problems. Call them.
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