(Trenton) – An Assembly panel approved on Thursday legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) to make it more convenient for drivers to pay of motor vehicle surcharges.
The bill (A-222) would mandate payment plans for motor vehicle surcharges and extend the time a resident have to pay fines.
“Any driver who prefers to pay their fines in installments would not be able to under current law,” said Gusciora. “It should be taken into consideration the ability of a resident to pay their fines. It is more important for the fine to be paid not how long it takes to do so.”
“An unpaid fine can result in suspension or loss of driving privileges,” Wimberly said. “When many rely on driving to get to and from work and to care for their families, allowing a payment plan to reconcile motor vehicle surcharges would benefit individuals who are working hard to make ends meet.”
The bill requires the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to enter into a monthly installment plan for the payment of motor vehicle surcharges upon the written request of a driver with outstanding surcharges. Currently, the MVC has the discretion to authorize payment of surcharges on an installment basis for a period not to exceed one year for assessments under $2,300, or not exceeding two years for assessments of $2,300 or more. The MVC may, for good cause, authorize installment payments for a period not exceeding three years irrespective of the surcharge assessment.
Under the bill, upon the written request of a driver, the commission is required to authorize the payment of surcharges on a monthly basis. The bill prohibits the commission from denying any request to enter into a monthly installment plan. In addition, this bill extends the time period for monthly installment payments. The bill also provides that a driver is authorized to pay assessments on an installment basis for a period not to exceed four years for assessments under $2,300, or not exceeding six years for assessments of $2,300 or more.
The measure was released by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.