The New Jersey Merit Rating Program, created by N.J.S.A. 17:29A-35 requires Motor Vehicle Services to collect insurance surcharges from motorists whose driving records include certain motor vehicle offenses. The surcharges are in addition to any court-imposed fines and penalties, or any premium or surcharge fees assessed by insurance companies.
Surchargeable events include alcohol and drug related offenses, regulatory offenses such as driving without a license, driving without valid insurance or driving while suspended, and accumulating six or more points in a period of three years or less. These surcharges are assessed each year for three years. (Please note that point credits are not considered when assessing surcharges). All surchargeable offenses are billed as they appear on your motor vehicle record. Motor Vehicle Services does not have the authority to reduce your surcharge payments or change any court-reported violations.
Revenue generated is used to repay $705 million in bonds sold to eliminate the debt of the Market Transition Facility (MTF). The MTF provided auto insurance to those unable to obtain coverage in the voluntary market. Part of the revenue is also designed for alcohol rehabilitation for drunk drivers.
You are responsible for paying the surcharge even if you move out of NJ. The surcharge is imposed regardless of your current license, registration and/or insurance status.
DRUNK DRIVING – A drunk driving charge costs a driver a significant amount of money in surcharges. The surcharge for a drunk driving violation is $1,000 a year for three years. A surcharge of $1,500 a year will be charged for a third or subsequent violations.
POINT VIOLATIONS – If a driver accumulates six or more points in a period of three calendar years or less, then the driver must pay an insurance surcharge of $100 for the first six points, and $25 for each additional point. The point surcharge will remain in effect as long as the driver has six points on his driving records.
If you accumulate six or more points in a period of three years or less you must pay an insurance surcharge of $100 for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. The point surcharge will remain in effect as long as you have six or more points on your record resulting from violations posted in the immediate past three years. The accumulation is calculated from the posting date to your driving record, not when the violations occurred.
Once again, these surcharges are in addition to any surcharge that your insurance company might levy upon you. Any point reductions issued for one year of violation or suspension-free driving, or for completion of a driver improvement school or defensive driving course are not considered in reviewing the three year record for surcharge purposes.
If your operating privileges are suspended as a result of failure to pay insurance surcharges and you are convicted of operating while suspended, the court is mandated to impose an additional $3,000 fine. Pay the surcharge in full before your court appearance to avoid this extra fine.
Surcharge bills are printed on State of New Jersey-Automobile Insurance Surcharge and Collections (NJ-AISC) letterhead. These notices are different from premiums due to your insurance carrier. A driver must pay NJ-AISC by the due date printed on the bill. If a driver fails to pay the surcharge in full, or begin an installment payment plan (IPP) by that date, then their NJ driving privilege will be suspended until the minimum requirement is paid to NJ-AISC and a separate $100 restoration fee is posted to your NJ motor vehicle record. Never operate a motor vehicle until you have received confirmation that your NJ driving privilege is in good standing.
The failure to pay will result in the filing of a certificate of debt (judgment) in the NJ Superior Court to collect the unpaid principal, plus added collection costs and interest.
If the judgment remains unpaid, MVC is authorized to use provision of the Set-Off of Individual Liability program (SOIL) by setting-off potential refunds and rebates processed by the NJ Division of Taxation.
Payment can be made by:
If there is a mistake in your billing, or if you have any questions, you can write to:
NJ-AISC Surcharge Billing Office
P.O. Box 4775
Trenton, NJ 08650-4775