NEW JERSEY 101.5

If you've built up massive surcharges with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), chances are you've lost your driver's license. However, help could be on the way.

NJ Driver's License (NJ MVC)

The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee has approved a bill that would require the MVC to enter into a monthly installment plan for the payment of surcharges upon the written request of a driver with outstanding surcharges.

"Often times the Motor Vehicle Commission will not restore someone's license until they've paid off their surcharges," explained Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). "It's not hard to rack up surcharges and often times it becomes a vicious cycle."

You can't drive if you haven't paid off your surcharges and it's tough to get to work to earn the money to pay up if you can't drive legally. Under Gusciora's measure, once a payment plan agreement is reached the person would have their license restored.

"My bill just merely allows them to enter into a payment plan, something the MVC has been reluctant to institute on their own," said Gusciora. "It's not unlike credit cards in many stores that give zero-interest. This just mandates the MVC to do the same thing."

The MVC already allows payment plans in certain cases, but Gusciora's legislation prohibits the commission from denying any request to enter into a monthly installment plan.

Currently, the MVC has the discretion to authorize payment plans 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.

Under this bill, 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.