New Jersey Public Driving Records
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) is the state agency responsible for driving records. It works like a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in other states. The agency calls these reports abstracts and offers them to individuals and companies who need the information. However, they do require that all requestors comply with strict Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.
The state has a versatile system allowing requestors to get copies online, through the mail, and at approved agencies. They offer certified records for the entire time a person has held a driver's license or a 5-year report. Both copies cost the same amount.
These driver abstracts contain personally identifiable information (PII) such as the driver's full name, address, social security number, driver's license number, date of birth, medical information (CDL), and physical description. They also contain accidents, moving violations, traffic violations, license status, points, license suspensions, revocations, endorsements, and restrictions.
How to Request a State Driving History Report
The state allows requestors a few ways to get copies of driving history abstracts. First, they have set up an online system so people can easily get a copy of their own report with the following information:
- A User ID#
- New Jersey driver's license/ID
- Credit or Debit Card for $15 fee
Requestors can also get copies through the mail by downloading the application for driver history abstract (form DO-21) and returning it with a copy of their NJ driver's license and payment by check or money order. The information must be submitted to:
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
225 East State Street
PO Box 142
Trenton, NJ 08666-0142
Those needing reports can also get them by visiting an authorized agency in person. They must bring payment, a valid ID, and the completed application. When visiting in person, they can pay by cash, check, money order, credit card, or debit card.
Insurance companies often use these reports to set insurance rates or decide whether or not to insure drivers. They may also be used for background checks for employment.
NJ Driving Record Cost
The New Jersey MVC offers two different types of reports. One is a complete record, and one is a 5-year record. Requestors can get a copy of either a certified or non-certified record for $15 each. For other types of reports, a surcharge may apply.
Driving Laws in the State
New Jersey takes driving laws very seriously and is quick to point out that driving is a privilege, not a right. Some examples of their driving laws directly from their driver's manual state:
- A motorist who operates a motor vehicle in the State of New Jersey must carry a valid driver's license, a valid probationary license, or a validated New Jersey permit. The motorist must also carry valid insurance and vehicle registration cards.
- A motorist with a validated New Jersey driver permit must be accompanied by an appropriately licensed driver.
- A motorist who is a legal resident of New Jersey must be licensed in this state.
- A motorist who changes addresses must report this change to the MVC within one week of moving. This includes individuals who are moving out of New Jersey.
- A motorist who legally changes his/her name (marriage, divorce, order of court) must report the change to the MVC within two weeks.
- A motorist with a valid out-of-state license who moves to New Jersey must apply for a New Jersey license within 60 days (commercial driver license-CDL within 30 days) or before the current license expires, whichever is sooner. The out-of-state license must be surrendered prior to receiving a New Jersey license.
- A motorist who is a foreign national with a valid license from another country may drive with that license for up to a year; the motorist may also be eligible for a New Jersey driver license.
- Operators of commercial vehicles, such as large trucks, buses, and vehicles that transport hazardous materials, must satisfy more stringent testing standards than the drivers of automobiles or motorcycles. These operators must still possess a valid, basic New Jersey driver license prior to applying for a CDL.
- Individuals who have never had a driver license must complete the MVC's Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program, which introduces driving privileges in phases with a period of supervised driving before getting a basic driver license.
- All applicants applying for a New Jersey driver license who are under 18 years of age must present a completed consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
- All applicants applying for a Standard New Jersey driver license must provide a verifiable Social Security number, 1 (one) proof of residential address, 6 (six) points of identification, and other documentation that verifies that their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. Documents must be in English or be accompanied by an approved translation.
- All applicants applying for a REAL ID New Jersey driver license must provide 2 (two) proofs of residential address, 1 (one) proof of full Social Security number, 6 (six) points of identification; and other documentation that verifies that their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. Documents must be in English or be accompanied by an approved translation.
- Drivers under the age of 21 who possess an examination permit or probationary license shall not operate a motor vehicle without displaying two visible reflective GDL decals, which are provided by the Motor Vehicle Commission on the license plates of the vehicle.
Drivers need to be 18 years old to apply for an unrestricted basic license. Teens, age 16-18 may apply for a permit or probationary license to begin driving.
The state does use a driver points system to keep track of all moving violations and criminal offenses. Some point violations include:
- Moving against traffic - 2
- Improper passing - 4
- Unlawful use of median strip - 2
- Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph - 3
- Operating motorized bicycle on a restricted highway - 2
- More than one person on a motorized bicycle - 2
- Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk - 2
- Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk; passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk - 2
- Driving through safety zone - 2
- Racing on highway - 5
- Improper action or omission on grades and curves - 2
- Failure to observe direction of officer - 2
- Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk - 2
- Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway - 2
- Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal - 2
- Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk - 2
- Failure to obey direction of officer - 2
- Failure to observe traffic signals* (Red Light Camera- 0 pts.) - 2
- Failure to keep right - 2
- Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider - 2
- Failure to keep right at intersection - 2
- Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction - 5
- Improper passing on right or off roadway - 4
- Wrong way on a one-way street - 2
- Improper passing in no-passing zone - 4
- Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle - 2
- Failure to observe traffic lanes - 2
- Tailgating - 5
- Failure to yield at intersection - 2
- Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highways - 2
- Failure to yield to emergency vehicles - 2
- Reckless driving - 5
- Careless driving - 2
- Destruction of agricultural or recreational property - 2
- Slow speed blocking traffic - 2
- Driving in an unsafe manner (points only for third or subsequent offense within five years of most recent 39:4-97.2 conviction) - 4
- Use of a handheld cellphone or electronic communication device while driving - 3 Points are assessed against 3rd offense occurring within 10 years of a second offense and all subsequent offenses thereafter
- Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit - 2
- Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit - 4
- Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit - 5
- Failure to stop for traffic light - 2
- Improper turn at traffic light - 3
- Failure to stop at flashing red signal - 2
- Failure to stop for police whistle - 2
- Improper right or left turn - 3
- Improper turn from approved turning course - 3
- Improper u-turn - 3
- Failure to give proper signal - 2
- Improper backing or turning in street - 2
- Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing - 2
- Improper crossing of bridge - 2
- Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles - 2
- Improper passing of school bus - 5
- Improper passing of frozen dessert truck - 4
- Leaving the scene of an accident – no personal injury - 2
- Personal injury - 8
- Failure to observe stop or yield signs - 2
- Racing on highway - 5
- Moving violation committed out-of-state - 2
Different Types of Driving Reports in the State
The state offers two types of driving history abstracts. The first is a complete report, and the second is a 5-year history. Both may be obtained for the same price in certified or non-certified format.
Complete Driving Record (certified copy or non-certified)
The complete driving history abstract report will contain everything from when the person first obtained their driver's license. Personal information will be on it, such as name, address, date of birth, accident history, citations, criminal driving offenses such as DUIs, license status, and points. Requestors can get this report in certified or non-certified versions.
5-Year Driving History Abstract (certified or non-certified)
The 5-year driving history abstract will contain all the same information as the report above, but it will only go back five years. This report may be obtained in certified or non-certified versions.
Criminal Driving Offenses
Criminals driving offenses in the state are serious crimes that usually result in big fines, jail time, a driver's license suspension or revocation, and sometimes court-ordered punishments like defensive driving program attendance. Some examples of criminal driving offenses in New Jersey are:
- Reckless driving
- Racing on the highway
- Improper passing of a school bus
- Excessive speeding
- Evading an officer
- Hit and run
- Vehicular manslaughter
Civil Driving Offenses
Civil driving offenses are far less serious than criminal and usually end up with a warning or a ticket. Some examples of civil driving offenses in the state are:
- Improper turn
- Failure to yield
- Parking in a no-parking zone
- Not stopping for a red light or stop sign
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Improper U-turn
- Going the wrong way down a one-way street
State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics
The state has developed a highway safety plan that extends well into the future with the goal of zero deaths by car crashes. Some statistics from that plan are:
- Traffic fatalities in the United States (US) peaked in 1972 at 54,589 deaths and have since fallen at a rate of about 1 percent annually to 33,561 fatalities in 2012
- The reduction is the result of a combination of efforts that have made roadways and vehicles safer and law enforcement and emergency response more effective. However, traffic crashes are still one of the leading causes of death in the US, with over 90 people losing their lives on the nation's roadways every day
- Since 2000, New Jersey's traffic fatalities have followed a similar trend, declining about 2 percent per year
The most common reasons for fatal crashes in NJ are:
- Drowsy and Distracted Driving Aggressive Driving (Including Speeding)
- Impaired Driving
- Mature Drivers
- Teen Drivers
- Unbelted Vehicle Occupants Unlicensed Drivers
Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
Who Can Get a Copy of Your Driving Record?
Anyone with a valid reason and your consent can get a copy of your driver history abstract. Anyone attempting to get a copy of your record must have a signed consent form from you first.
Can I Use the Online Systems to Make a Driver History Request?
Yes. The state has a driver history abstract system that individuals can use to quickly and easily get a copy of their own driving report.
What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?
You will need your name, address, driver's license number, and social security number to get a copy.
Does the State Use a Points System?
Yes. The state has a strict points policy, and every infraction or offense earns the driver points. If you earn too many in a short amount of time, you will lose your license.
Helpful State Driving Record Links
Below are some helpful state driving record links.
Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.