Getting a ticket while driving is never pleasant. But in New Jersey, some infractions are a lot more painful than others.

If you are convicted of a moving violation in the Garden State, depending on what you did, points are added to your driving record that can cause your auto insurance premiums to go up, frequently by hundreds of dollars a year. If you accumulate enough points, your driving privileges will be suspended.

Auto insurance companies may increase rates differently, depending on the type of offense you are guilty of.

Possible license suspension

According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, a driver is allowed to get up to 12 points on their driving record, but if someone gets more than 12 points, the MVC will issue a notice of license suspension.

MVC rules state a driver can have up to 3 points removed from their driving record if they do not have a ticket for 12 consecutive months.

Another way to have 2 points removed is for a driver to complete a defensive driver program that can be done online.

A driver improvement course can result in 3 points being taken off your record.

Confused young man in the car stopped by policeman
KatarzynaBialasiewicz ThinkStock

There is wiggle room

If you wind up getting a ticket most municipal prosecutors in New Jersey will, in most cases, discuss downgrading an offense so the driver winds up getting fewer points, but on the flip side, the associated fine may be higher.

You can also plead not guilty and argue your case before a municipal judge, but be prepared to offer some specific proof if you expect to win. If it’s your word that you were not speeding against the word of the police officer who testifies you were speeding, you will lose.

And of course, depending on what the infraction is you are stopped for, a police officer frequently has discretion when it comes to the ticket that is given.

A ticket for reckless driving results in 5 points added to your driving record, while a ticket for careless driving only carries a 2-point penalty.

Sometimes, if a driver doesn’t have any points on their record, depending on the type and severity of the offense, an officer may give a driver only a warning, either informally, or take down their information, record it into the system and issue a formal warning.

Woman in car signing speeding ticket for policeman
moodboard ThinkStock

How many points for what kinds of infractions?

On all different types of roads and highways in New Jersey, here’s a complete breakdown of what you will get.

Ticket number                          Type of offense                                             Points

39:3-20 — Driving constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph — 3

39:4-14.3 — Driving motorized bicycle on restricted highway —  2

39:4-12.3d   —  More than 1 person on a motorized bicycle — 2

39:4-35 — Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk: passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in a crosswalk — 2

39:4-41 — Driving through safety zone — 2

39:4-52 — Racing on the highway — 5

39:4-55 — Improper action or omission on grades/curves  — 2

39:4-57 — Failure to observe direction of the officer  — 2

39:4-66 — Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk — 2

39:4-66.1 — Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while
entering or leaving a highway  — 2

39:4-66.2 —  Driving on public/private property to avoid a
traffic sign or signal — 2

39:4-71 — Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk  — 2

39:4-80  — Failure to obey direction of officer — 2

39:4-81 — Failure to observe traffic signals  — 2

39:4-82 — Failure to keep right  — 2

39:4-82.1 —  Improper operating vehicle on divided highway/divider    — 2

39:4-83 — Failure to keep right at intersection — 2

39:4-84 —  Failure to keep right of vehicle going in opposite direction — 5

39:4-85 — Improper passing on right or off roadway —  4

39:4-85.1 — Wrong way on a one-way street  — 2

39:4-86 — Improper passing in a no passing zone  — 4

39:4-87 —  Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle — 2

39:4-88 — Failure to observe traffic lanes — 2

39:4-89 — Tailgating   — 5

39:4-90 — Failure to yield at an intersection — 2

39:4-90.1 — Failure to use proper entrance to limited access highway  — 2

39.4-91-92 — Failure to yield to emergency vehicles — 2

39:4-96 — Reckless driving  — 5

39:4-97 — Careless driving  — 2

39:4-97a — Destruction of agricultural or recreational property  — 2

39:4-97.1  — Slow speed blocking traffic — 2

39:4-97.2 —  Unsafe driving (pts.only for 3rd/subsequent offence in 5 years  —  4

39:4-97.3 — Use of handheld cell phone/ electronic communication device; 3rd offense

occurring within 10 years of 2nd offense — 3

39:4-98 — Exceeding max speed 1-14 mph over the limit — 2
Exceeding max speed 15-29 mph over the limit — 4
Exceeding max speed 30 mph or more over the limit  — 5

39:4-105 — Failure to stop for traffic light — 2

39:4-115 — Improper turn at traffic light — 3

39:4-119 — Failure to stop at flashing red signal  — 2

39:4-122 — Failure to stop for a police whistle  —  2

39:4-123 — Improper right or left turn — 3

39:4 -124 — Improper turn from approved turning course — 3

39:4-125   — Improper u-turn — 3

39:4-126  — Failure to give a proper signal   — 2

39:4-127  — Improper backing or turning in street  — 2

39:4-127.1 —  Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing — 2

39:4-127.2 —  Improper crossing of a bridge  — 2

39:4-128 —    Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing-certain vehicles  —  2

39:4-128.1 —  Improper crossing of a school bus — 5

39:4-128.4 —  Improper crossing of frozen dessert truck — 4

39:4-129 —  Leaving the scene of an accident-no personal injury — 2
With a personal injury  — 8

39:4-144 —  Failure to observe a stop or yield sign — 2

39:5C-1 —  Racing on a highway —  5

39:5D-4 —  Moving violation committed out-of-state   — 2

On the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway

27:23-29 —  Moving against traffic —  2

27:23-29 —  Improper passing — 4

27:23-29 —  Unlawful use of a median strip — 2

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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