Not too long ago, we were down to two.

New Jersey and Oregon.

These were the only two states where it was illegal to pump your gas. Self-service pumps? Nope. It was full-service all the way.

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In 2023, Oregon officials passed two bills allowing self-service pumps at gas stations.

Most Oregonians were happy; over 60% of residents supported ending the ban.

Then there was one.

New Jersey is now the only state where you can't pump your gas.


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Why can't you pump your own gas in New Jersey?

It goes back to the 1940s when the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act and Regulations banned drivers from pumping their gas in New Jersey.

The reasoning comes down to one thing. Safety. The rules state:

Because of the fire hazards directly associated with dispensing fuel, it is in the public interest that gasoline station operators have the control needed over that activity to ensure compliance with appropriate safety procedures, including turning off vehicle engines and refraining from smoking while fuel is dispensed.

So, in other words, they were afraid we were going to set ourselves on fire.

via GIPHY

What does it say about us that we're not trusted to unlit?

Over time, lawmakers have tried to introduce legislation to catch us up with the rest of the country.

Take 2015, for example. Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon introduced a bill to lift the ban, saying in a press release:

I am offended by people who argue that New Jerseyans are mentally incapable of pumping their gas without setting themselves on fire.

Former Governor Chris Christie has often said that Jersey loves hanging in the car and not pumping their gas. He thinks that will never change.

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Gallery Credit: Matt Ryan

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