What are New Jersey Public Traffic Records?
New Jersey public traffic records are referred to as Driver History Abstracts. The state's courts and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) generate and maintain the information contained in these records. They feature moving violations, accidents, points, suspension, and convictions for a period of five years. In New Jersey, there are three categories of records; online non-certified driving records, certified five-year driving records, and certified complete driving records, which may be restricted to selected eligible persons and institutions.
Are Traffic Records Public in New Jersey?
Yes. While New Jersey driver history abstracts are not public like other government-generated records. Driver history abstracts may be accessed by insurance companies, attornies, employers, law enforcement agencies, and courts or legal institutions.
Record owners can also access their non-certified driving record online anytime, while insurance companies and employers can only access a certified 5-year driving record. In contrast, only the courts can access an individual's certified complete driving record.
What Do New Jersey Traffic Records Contain?
New Jersey driver history abstracts contain records of traffic violations, accidents, fines, and details of license suspension (where applicable). Also, it includes detailed information about the type of traffic offense, the date the offense occurred, and the points on the record holder's license.
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in New Jersey?
Most traffic violations in New Jersey are civil offenses. Civil traffic offenses in New Jersey attract fines but do not appear on an individual's record. Meanwhile, misdemeanors and felonies typically show up on driving records. Additionally, some of the violations that constitute criminal traffic offenses that show on an individual's record are reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol drugs (DUI), hit-and-run, vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license, and manslaughter.
Types of Traffic Citations in New Jersey
Three categories of traffic citations exist in New Jersey. They include:
- Parking tickets: When issued a parking ticket, an offender is unlikely to have points added to their record. However, they may be required to pay fines without appearing in court. Examples include parking in prohibited zones like a fire zone, parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant, alternate side parking, and parking in a handicapped location.
- Infraction tickets: These are tickets issued for minor traffic violations. Examples of traffic infractions include disregarding traffic signs or signals, failure to stop a vehicle before crossing the sidewalk, wrong way on a one-way street, etc. These violations carry a specified fine and come with points on one's driving record.
- Misdemeanor tickets: Although traffic violations are not considered crimes in New Jersey, misdemeanor traffic violations are more severe than other traffic violations. Misdemeanor tickets are issued for the offenses in this category. The offenses in this category include moving violations like reckless driving, drunk driving, and fleeing or leaving the scene of an accident.
New Jersey Traffic Citation Lookup
Interested persons may look up traffic citations in New Jersey with ease. Requestors may visit the courthouse of the Superior Court in the county where the offense occurred and check with the clerk.
Alternatively, the requesting party may visit the court's website and use the available tools to lookup traffic citations in the state. Similarly, individuals can check with the local office of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for traffic citations in the state.
How to Lookup My New Jersey Traffic Record
There are 3 ways to lookup traffic records in New Jersey.
Requestors may access their records online. However, those interested in online certified or non-certified records will have to register with the Motor Vehicle Commission. To register with the commission and obtain New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission user ID, the requesting party must provide the following:
- The applicant's zip code
- Social security number
- Driver's license number
Then, the requester can log on to the MyMVC website to submit the request. Individuals can request any record on the website by providing an ID number, driver's license, and the last four digits of the requester's social security number. However, the requester will have to pay the statutory 15 dollars processing fee and the convenience fee for online transactions.
Secondly, requestors may access the record through mail. To submit a request via mail, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will require the requester to fill the request form of the Driver History Abstract and send it via mail to them with a copy of their driver's license and a money order or cheque for $15 to;
NJ Motor Vehicle Commission,
225 East State Street,
P.O. Box 142,
Trenton, NJ 08666-0142.
Lastly, interested persons may request the record in-person. The requesting party may visit the nearest location of New Jersey DMV and submit a physical request. The individual will need to fill out the Driver History Abstract request form, present a driver's license copy, and pay $15 dollar processing fee.
New Jersey Traffic Violations
A New Jersey traffic violation is any act committed by a driver that breaks the state's traffic laws. These violations can range from minor infractions, like speeding or failing to yield, to more serious offenses, like DUI or hit and run.
Persons cited for a traffic violation in New Jersey will generally have to appear in court to answer to the charges. If found guilty, the penalty will be imposed according to the state's traffic laws. For example, speeding penalties in New Jersey start at $50 for going 1-14 mph over the limit and increase incrementally from there; the maximum fine for speeding is $200. However, if caught driving under the influence, offenders face much more serious penalties, including a fine of up to $400, up to 30 days in jail, and a license suspension of up to 1 year.
Motorists who accumulate too many points on their license from traffic violations may be subject to a license suspension. In New Jersey, drivers who accumulate 12 or more points within two years will have their licenses suspended for at least three months. Additionally, drivers convicted of 2 or more moving violations within one year may also be subject to a license suspension.
New Jersey License Plate Lookup
A New Jersey license plate lookup can be conducted online or in-person at a motor vehicle agency. When performing a lookup, requestors will need to provide the license plate number and state of registration. The lookup results will show the registered owner's name, address, and vehicle information. If the vehicle is registered in another state, they may also be able to obtain information about the owner through that state's motor vehicle agency.
License plates are also necessary for law enforcement purposes. By tracking the movements of a vehicle, law enforcement can build a case against the driver or owner. In addition, license plates can be used to identify stolen vehicles and recover them.
To look up a license plate in New Jersey, visit the New Jersey motor vehicle agency. However, the requesting party may also be able to obtain information about the owner through that state's motor vehicle agency. To look up a license plate for law enforcement purposes, contact the New Jersey State Police. They will be able to provide information about the registered owner and the vehicle's movements.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in New Jersey
Courts in New Jersey keep records such as traffic case records. Anyone interested in any traffic court record may contact the Traffic Division of the Superior Court in the particular county where one commits the traffic offense or hears the traffic case. Requestors can also access the phone numbers and locations of courts such as the Supreme Court, Superior Court, Tax Court, Local Court, County Court, or Municipal Court on the New Jersey Court website.
Furthermore, interested persons can access traffic case records thus;
Online: Interested persons may check the JEDS electronic request portal on the New Jersey Court website to access contact information and State courts records. Through this portal, persons can access electronic court records via tablets, smartphones, or computers. However, these services usually require the payment of a specified fee.
Visiting the courthouse: A requester can also visit the court to request a traffic case record by writing the court's clerk and filling out the records request form. Still, the court will require the requester to pay a specified amount to the Treasurer-State of New Jersey.
Request through mail: If an individual does not have access to the internet and the courthouse, the individual can still request through the mail. The person has to fill out the request form and send it to the Superior court clerks office
How Long Do Traffic Offenses Remain on Public Records in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission maintains a permanent record of all the individual driver's points for several years. Every citation an individual receives or every violation an individual is convicted of or pleads guilty to will stay permanently on their abstract in New Jersey as traffic violations cannot be expunged or removed in the state. However, record holders may attempt to points accumulated on their record.
The best to reduce traffic points is to go without suspension or be free from violations for one year. This will reduce 3 points from the offenders record.
Alternatively, offenders may reduce driving points by attending a New Jersey defensive driving course.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in New Jersey
Traffic records are available to the public, including public websites that data brokerage firms operate. Interested persons may opt to remove these records to protect their personal information
While the best way to proceed with removing traffic records from public records is to petition the court to seal or expunge the record, there is no expungement for traffic violations in New Jersey. Consequently, record-holders may opt to:
- Change their phone number and address: In most of these records, individuals can get a post office box address and substitute it for their house address. The County's Court clerk can help with the records to substitute the post office box address for the physical street address or the house address. Also, the record-holder can create a phone number exclusively for all documentation.
- Request removal from data brokerage websites: The requestor must message these organizations to remove the information.
Do Motoring Offenses Affects Criminal Records in New Jersey
Traffic offenses or violations in New Jersey are not considered crimes based on the New Jersey Criminal Code definition. Traffic offenses in New Jersey have been classified under the Motor Vehicle Code and not the criminal code. As a result, the violation of offenses and the point equivalent will be on an individual's driving record and not on the criminal record.
Although traffic offenses are not criminal offenses in New Jersey yet, their impact on an individual is significant. The fact that these records also remain perpetually on an individual driving record calls for caution.