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 signed into law today.
“Having a driver’s license plays a big role in an individual’s ability to work, and in some cases, losing a license means losing a job,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “By allowing more time to resolve parking violations or fines, we can prevent the loss of income for individuals and families.”
Currently, 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 new law, S-2792, will 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.
This law will 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 will 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 law will 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 law requires 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.
“Nobody wins when individuals who owe money for parking penalties lose their income following the loss of their license,” added Senator Greenstein. “This is why it is important to offer alternatives to payment and give drivers an opportunity to settle their debts versus incapacitating them. This law affords them that chance.”
Under the law, a court will 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 law takes effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment and applies to parking violations that occur after that date.