Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500,

www.njlaws.com

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Motor Vehicle Violations Surcharge System


17:29A-35 Motor Vehicle Violations Surcharge System.


6. a. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.151.)

b.There is created a Motor Vehicle Violations Surcharge System which shall apply to all drivers and shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:

(1) (a) Surcharges shall be levied, beginning on or after January 1, 1984, by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (hereinafter the commission) established by section 4 of P.L.2003, c.13 (C.39:2A-4) on any driver who, in the preceding 36-month period, has accumulated six or more motor vehicle points, as provided in Title 39 of the Revised Statutes; except that the allowance for a reduction of points in Title 39 of the Revised Statutes shall not apply for the purpose of determining surcharges under this paragraph. The accumulation of points shall be calculated as of the date the point violation is posted to the driver history record and shall be levied pursuant to rules promulgated by the commission. Surcharges assessed pursuant to this paragraph shall be $150.00 for six points, and $25.00 for each additional point. No offense shall be selected for billing which occurred prior to February 10, 1983. No offense shall be considered for billing in more than three annual assessments.

(b) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.1.)

(2) (a) Surcharges shall be levied pursuant to subsection f. of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) for each offense of unsafe driving under subsection a. of that section.

(b) Surcharges shall be levied for convictions (i) under R.S.39:4-50 for violations occurring on or after February 10, 1983, and (ii) under section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), or for offenses committed in other jurisdictions of a substantially similar nature to those under R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), for violations occurring on or after January 26, 1984. Except as hereinafter provided, surcharges under this subparagraph (b) shall be levied annually for a three-year period, and shall be $1,000.00 per year for each of the first two convictions, for a total surcharge of $3,000 for each conviction, and $1,500.00 per year for the third conviction occurring within a three-year period, for a total surcharge of $4,500 for the third conviction. If a driver is convicted under both R.S.39:4-50 and section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a) for offenses arising out of the same incident, the driver shall be assessed only one surcharge for the two offenses.

If, upon written notification from the commission or its designee, mailed to the last address of record with the commission, a driver fails to pay a surcharge levied under this section and collectible by the commission, the driving privilege of the driver shall be suspended forthwith until at least five percent of each outstanding surcharge assessment that has resulted in suspension is paid to the commission; except that the commission may authorize payment of the surcharge on an installment basis over a period of 12 months for assessments under $2,300 or 24 months for assessments of $2,300 or more. The commission, for good cause, may authorize payment of any surcharge on an installment basis over a period not to exceed 36 months. If a driver fails to pay the surcharge or any installments on the surcharge, the total surcharge shall become due immediately, except as otherwise prescribed by rule of the commission.

The commission may authorize any person to pay the surcharge levied under this section and collectible by the commission by use of a credit card, debit card or other electronic payment device, and the administrator is authorized to require the person to pay all costs incurred by the commission in connection with the acceptance of the credit card, debit card or other electronic payment device. If a surcharge or related administrative fee is paid by credit or debit cards or any other electronic payment device and the amount is subsequently reversed by the credit card company or bank, the driving privilege of the surcharged driver shall be suspended and the driver shall be subject to the fee imposed for dishonored checks pursuant to section 31 of P.L.1994, c.60 (C.39:5-36.1).

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the commission is authorized to utilize the provisions of the SOIL (Set off of Individual Liability) program established pursuant to P.L.1981, c.239 (C.54A:9-8.1 et seq.) to collect any surcharge levied under this section and collectible by the commission that is unpaid on or after the effective date of this act. As an additional remedy, the commission may issue a certificate to the Clerk of the Superior Court stating that the person identified in the certificate is indebted under this surcharge law in such amount as shall be stated in the certificate. The certificate shall reference the statute under which the indebtedness arises. Thereupon the clerk to whom such certificate shall have been issued shall immediately enter upon the record of docketed judgments the name of such person as debtor; the State as creditor; the address of such person, if shown in the certificate; the amount of the debt so certified; a reference to the statute under which the surcharge is assessed, and the date of making such entries. The docketing of the entries shall have the same force and effect as a civil judgment docketed in the Superior Court, and the commission shall have all the remedies and may take all of the proceedings for the collection thereof which may be had or taken upon the recovery of a judgment in an action, but without prejudice to any right of appeal. Upon entry by the clerk of the certificate in the record of docketed judgments in accordance with this provision, interest in the amount specified by the court rules for post-judgment interest shall accrue from the date of the docketing of the certificate, however payment of the interest may be waived by the commission or its designee. In the event that the surcharge remains unpaid following the issuance of the certificate of debt and the commission takes any further collection action including referral of the matter to the Attorney General or his designee, the fee imposed, in lieu of the actual cost of collection, may be 20 percent of surcharges of $1,000 or more. The administrator or his designee may establish a sliding scale, not to exceed a maximum amount of $200, for surcharge principal amounts of less than $1,000 at the time the certificate of debt is forwarded to the Superior Court for filing. The commission shall provide written notification to a driver of the proposed filing of the certificate of debt at least 10 days prior to the proposed filing; such notice shall be mailed to the drivers last address of record with the commission. Upon the filing of a certificate of debt with the Clerk of the Superior Court, the surcharged driver shall not be eligible for the restoration of his driving privilege until at least five percent of each outstanding surcharge assessment that has resulted in the suspension, including interest and costs, if any, is paid to the commission. If a certificate of debt is satisfied following a credit card payment, debit card payment or payment by other electronic payment device and that payment is reversed, a new certificate of debt shall be filed against the surcharged driver unless the original is reinstated.

If the administrator or his designee approves a special payment plan, of such duration as the administrator or his designee deems appropriate, for repayment of the certificate of debt, and the driver is complying with the approved plan, the plan may be continued for any new surcharge not part of the certificate of debt.

All moneys collectible by the commission under subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. shall be billed and collected by the commission except as provided in P.L.1997, c.280 (C.2B:19-10 et al.) for the collection of unpaid surcharges. Commencing on September 1, 1996, or such earlier time as the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall certify to the State Treasurer that amounts on deposit in the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Guaranty Fund are sufficient to satisfy the current and anticipated financial obligations of the New Jersey Automobile Full Insurance Underwriting Association, all surcharges collected by the commission under subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. shall be remitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles Surcharge Fund:

(i) for transfer to the Market Transition Facility Revenue Fund, as provided in section 12 of P.L.1994, c.57 (C.34:1B-21.12), for the purposes of section 4 of P.L.1994, c.57 (C.34:1B-21.4) until such a time as all the Market Transition Facility bonds, notes and obligations and all Motor Vehicle Commission bonds, notes and obligations issued pursuant to that section 4 of P.L.1994, c.57 (C.34:1B-21.4) and the costs thereof are discharged and no longer outstanding; and

(ii) from and after the date of certification by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance that the moneys collectible under subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. are no longer needed to fund the association or at such time as all Market Transition Facility bonds, notes and obligations and all Motor Vehicle Commission bonds, notes and obligations issued pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1994, c.57 (C.34:1B-21.4) and the costs thereof are discharged and no longer outstanding, for transfer to the Motor Vehicle Surcharges Revenue Fund established pursuant to section 6 of the Motor Vehicle Surcharges Securitization Act of 2004, P.L.2004, c.70 (C.34:1B-21.28) to be applied as set forth in section 6 that act. From and after such time as all bonds issued under section 4 of the Motor Vehicle Surcharges Securitization Act of 2004, P.L.2004, c.70 (C.34:1B-21.26) and the costs thereof are discharged and no longer outstanding, all surcharges collected by the commission under subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. shall, subject to appropriation, be remitted to the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association created pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1974, c.17 (C.17:30A-6) to be used for payment of any loans made by that association to the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Guaranty Fund pursuant to paragraph (10) of subsection a. of section 8 of P.L.1974, c.17 (C.17:30A-8); provided that all such payments shall be subject to and dependent upon appropriation by the State Legislature.

All surcharges collected by the courts pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. shall be forwarded not less frequently than monthly to the Division of Revenue. The Division of Revenue shall transfer: all such surcharges received prior to July 1, 2006, to the General Fund, and commencing July 1, 2006, all such surcharges to the Unsafe Driving Surcharge Revenue Fund established pursuant to section 5 of the Motor Vehicle Surcharges Securitization Act of 2004, P.L.2004, c.70 (C.34:1B-21.27) to be applied as set forth in section 5 of that act. From and after such time as all bonds (including refunding bonds), notes and other obligations issued under section 4 of the Motor Vehicle Surcharges Securitization Act of 2004, P.L.2004, c.70 (C.34:1B-21.26), and the costs thereof are discharged and no longer outstanding, all such surcharges collected by the courts pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of this subsection b. and forwarded to the Division of Revenue shall be transferred to the General Fund.

Upon request, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall provide a monthly report to the Division of Revenue containing information on the number of convictions for the offense of unsafe driving pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) that were entered during such month, the amount of the surcharges that were assessed by the courts pursuant to subsection f. of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) for such month, and the amount of the surcharges collected by the courts pursuant to subsection f. of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) during such month.

(3) In addition to any other authority provided in P.L.1983, c.65 (C.17:29A-33 et al.), the commissioner, after consultation with the commission, is specifically authorized (a) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.64), (b) to impose, in accordance with subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1) of this subsection b., surcharges for motor vehicle violations or convictions for which motor vehicle points are not assessed under Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, or (c) to reduce the number of points for which surcharges may be assessed below the level provided in subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1) of this subsection b., except that the dollar amount of all surcharges levied under the Motor Vehicle Violations Surcharge System shall be uniform on a Statewide basis for each filer, without regard to classification or territory. Surcharges adopted by the commissioner on or after January 1, 1984 for motor vehicle violations or convictions for which motor vehicle points are not assessable under Title 39 of the Revised Statutes shall not be retroactively applied but shall take effect on the date of the New Jersey Register in which notice of adoption appears or the effective date set forth in that notice, whichever is later.

c. No motor vehicle violation surcharges shall be levied on an automobile insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 1984, except in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Violations Surcharge System, and all surcharges levied thereunder shall be assessed, collected and distributed in accordance with subsection b. of this section.

d. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1990, c.8.)

e. The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance and the commission as may be appropriate, shall adopt any rules and regulations necessary or appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this section.

L.1983, c.65, s.6; amended 1984, c.1, s.2; 1985, c.520, ss.1,2; 1986, c.211, s.8; 1988, c.156, s.9; 1990, c.8, s.35; 1994, c.57, s.20; 1994, c.64, s.1; 1997, c.151, s.30; 1997, c.280, s.5; 2003, c.13, s.31; 2004, c.70, s.10; 2007, c.282.


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