DWI MVS Surcharges

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.

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