Bill Now Goes to Governor’s Desk
After payment responsibilities of currently issued bonds attached to surcharges are met, Assembly Democrats Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly have proposed through legislation to eliminate the Motor Vehicle Surcharge System relieving a cumbersome financial burden of residents who are subject to certain motor vehicle fines and fees.
The Assembly gave final legislative approval on Monday, 74-0. It will now go to the Governor for further consideration.
“The points-based surcharge system can be overwhelming for many families who have already paid their fine and any fee for a motor vehicle violation,” said Reynolds-Jackson (D-Hunterdon, Mercer). “This disproportionately affects African-Americans in the state, who end up paying more in surcharges for the violation than the fine itself. An inability to make payments can hurt their chances to retain and keep car insurance as well as impact their household budget for years after the violation was committed. It becomes an unfair burden on all low-income residents.”
The bill (A-4921) will end the points-based MVC surcharge program as well as the surcharges attached to unsafe driving violations. No new bonds would be issued against these surcharge revenues. The legislation would not affect the current status of surcharge fines or their existing payment to the bonds.
“Additional surcharges make paying motor vehicle fines financially insurmountable and place an unnecessary burden on New Jersey residents long after the violation occurred,” said Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Many families are struggling across the state to make ends meet and these additional charges are making it difficult for them to get back on track financially.”
“Motor vehicle surcharges are often the reason many lose their driver licenses or car insurance,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “After the fine is paid, these fees become another obstacle for residents to overcome.”