Requires MVC to Accept Monthly Installments and Extend Payment Period
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would require the Motor Vehicle Commission to enter into a monthly installment plan for the payment of motor vehicle surcharges upon the written request of a driver with outstanding surcharges was today approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
Under the bill, S-838, it would be mandatory for the MVC to authorize the payment of surcharges on a monthly basis upon the written request of a driver. In addition, this bill would extend the time period for monthly installment payments with the driver authorized to pay assessments on an installment basis for a period not to exceed four years for assessments under $2,300, or not exceeding six years for assessments of $2,300 or more.
“It can be difficult for some drivers to pay their MVC fines due to income restrictions or debt loads and some end up losing their driving privileges as a result of non-payment,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer. “Because driving can be so critically vital to securing and/or keeping employment, this bill aims to help drivers better afford payments to prevent loss of driving privileges, loss of employment and a whole host of difficulty that would spin off the initial hardship.”
Currently, the MVC has the discretion to authorize payment of surcharges on an installment basis for a period not to exceed one year for assessments under $2,300, or not exceeding two years for assessments of $2,300 or more. The MVC may, for good cause, authorize installment payments for a period not exceeding three years irrespective of the surcharge assessment.
This bill was drafted in response to a 2006 Motor Vehicle Affordability and Fairness Task Force report recommendation to make payment of outstanding MVC insurance surcharges and restoration fees easier and more affordable for low income drivers.
In the 2016-17 legislative session, this bill was supported by the New Jersey State Bar Association and was released from the Law and Public Safety Committee (4-0) on February 8, 2016. With today’s 4-0 vote, it advances to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for further consideration.