TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Chair Linda R. Greenstein that would grant drivers additional time to resolve pending parking violations or satisfy parking fines or penalties prior to having their license or registration suspended was approved today by the Senate.
“Losing one’s driver’s license can have significant impact on an individual’s ability to work, and could result in job loss and a significant loss of income,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “By allowing more time to resolve these issues, we can prevent the negative impact on individuals and families that could result from the loss of a license.”
Under current law, the Motor Vehicle Commission may suspend a person’s driver’s license or registration upon being notified by a municipal court that a person has failed to pay outstanding parking fines or penalties or respond to the court’s failure to appear notice.
The bill, S-2792, would require the MVC to delay the effective date of a suspension until 30 days after the date that MVC receives a notice of suspension from the municipal court.
The bill would also require the MVC, upon receipt of notice of suspension from the municipal court, to provide written notice advising the owner, lessee, or operator that the suspension would take effect 30 days after the date of the MVC’s notice. In the written notice, MVC would be required to provide the reason for the suspension, identify the municipal court that issued the suspension, and inform the person that the suspension may be avoided by contacting the municipal court that issued the notice of suspension within the 30 day period to resolve the pending parking violation.
The bill would also provide that a person’s driver’s license is not to be suspended if he or she submits the receipt of payment to the MVC or the MVC receives the electronic notice stating that the person’s obligations have been satisfied prior to the effective date of the suspension. The bill would require the person to seek restoration of the license or registration through procedures adopted by the MVC if the MVC receives the receipt or electronic notice after the effective date of the suspension.
“Job loss resulting from the suspension of a driver’s license could cripple an individual and prevent them from having the means to pay any outstanding parking tickets,” said Senator Greenstein. “That does not serve anyone any good. This bill will also offer alternatives to payment that will allow drivers to settle their debts to avoid any further harm.”
Under the bill, a court would be allowed to accept alternatives to the payment of certain portions of parking fines and penalties based on a person’s ability to pay, including allowing the payment of the fine in installments, conversion of the fine to community service, or revoking portions of the fine or penalty.
The bill cleared the Senate by a vote of 37-0. It next heads to the Governor for consideration.