Trenton — In an effort to crack down on bad actors, today the Senate Transportation Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz that would create greater security and oversight over licensed motor vehicle dealers who provide temporary license plates. The bill would also increase legal penalties for offenders, and empower the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to impose greater fines on dealers who peddle in fraudulent temporary tags, or in certain cases ban repeat offenders from the used car industry.
“Unfortunately, New Jersey has become a leading state for selling temporary license plates. This is a public safety issue as buyers are actively looking to avoid accountability,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “New Jersey cannot turn away from this growing problem. Tougher regulations and fines are needed to weed out bad actors. This is a first step towards ending this practice, protecting the public and empowering the MVC to take action.”
As an added deterrence, S-4084, would increase the penalties for dealerships knowingly selling fraudulent license plates from $100 to $2,500 for first offenses. The bill would also require a dealer to upload several documents to illustrate a valid sale has taken place prior to issuing a temporary license plate, including a copy of the executed bill of sale, a copy of the proof of insurance for the vehicle sold, as well as a copy of the front and back of the purchaser’s driver’s license.
Additionally, temporary license plates would be printed on reflective paper with enhanced security features. The bill would establish a crime of the fourth degree for a person who knowingly produces, sells, offers or exposes for sale a temporary license plate or temporary registration certificate obtained by providing false information to the MVC.
The bill was approved by a vote of 4-0.