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How can I get a New Jersey conditional license?

Question: Under what circumstance can a driver get a conditional license in New Jersey?

Answer: According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) New Jersey does not currently provide conditional or work licenses under any circumstances.

In recent years, New Jersey did create a Motor Vehicles Affordability and Fairness Task Force. The charge of the Task Force was to study the impact of the current point system and non-driving related suspension of driving privileges, in particular, the Merit Rating Plan Surcharges, on the driving public and make recommendations for the reform of the surcharge suspension program to increase motorist safety. In addition, the task force examined court actions on surcharge assessments and license suspensions related to nonpayment of fines or tickets as well as motor vehicle moving violations.

As part of their research the Task Force found that conditional or restricted-use driver's licenses are available in 39 states and the District of Colombia. These licenses allow some or all suspended/revoked drivers to receive limited driving privileges during the time they are suspended.

Program eligibility varies widely from state to state. Some states offer restricted-use licenses to drivers suspended for compliance reasons, but most states limit the use of restricted-use licenses to drivers with time delimited suspensions, such as those imposed for a first time DUI offense, for point accumulation and for other traffic violations after a specified minimum period of suspension is served. Most often, the waiting period ranges from 30 to 90 days, although a few states require all conditional license applicants to serve half of their suspension/revocation period prior to being considered eligible for the license.

In most states, conditional or restricted-use licenses are not available to drivers suspended/revoked for multiple DUI offenses, negligent vehicular homicide, or habitual offenders. Furthermore, in most states, drivers suspended for compliance reasons are not eligible.

In the Task Force findings, it said the state may want to consider creating a restricted-use program for drivers suspended for financial reasons. This is because members of the Task Force recognized that for some drivers, restoration of full driving privileges may be limited by financial means.

Under such a program, drivers unable to pay court-ordered installment plans, child support orders, and MVC insurance surcharges should be given the opportunity to obtain a limited purpose, restricted-use license for employment, job-training / education and self/dependent medical purposes.

Such a proposal is not intended for drivers whose licenses were suspended for dangerous driving. The restricted use license proposed here would improve the employment prospects for these drivers and thereby increase the likelihood that they will be able to meet their financial obligations in the future and improve the state's ability to collect outstanding fines and fees.

Since this recommendation was given by the Task Force to the state, it may be that in the future New Jersey will create a conditional or restricted-use license which motorists whose driver's license is suspended can apply to receive.

Until that time, if you do not have a valid license but need to get around you can try public transportation, or see about insuring your vehicle for someone else to drive.

Some car insurance carriers will allow the owner to exclude himself from the policy as a driver and in his place put the primary person that will be driving the car in his place.  This primary driver will be rated on.  Then this person could drive you around in your vehicle until you obtain a valid license once again and can place yourself back on the policy.

State car insurance rates will vary for this type of policy, as will the insurers that will allow it.  Thus, it's important to comparison shop with a variety of car insurance companies to find the one that will best provide for your special needs.


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