N.J. Drivers Might Avoid Penalties

New Jersey drivers, you can start to breathe easy. If you have a poor driving record you might get a break from paying all those fees under the Senate's driver amnesty program. 

A Senate committee unanimously approved the bill on Monday.

The amnesty legislation is aimed at drivers who were pulled over for driving without insurance, who didn’t have a valid driver's license or had six or more surcharge points for moving violations, said spokesperson for the state Division of Motor Vehicles, Mike Horan.

“People will never repay that money,” said Sen. Shirley Turner, the bill’s sponsor. “They are caught up in the system and will never extricate themselves unless we give them an opportunity, “ said Turner.

Under the legislation, drivers will pay $150 in surcharges for the first six points and $25 for every additional point.

The amnesty program doesn't apply to drivers convicted of driving under the influence.

Drivers owe the state $583 million in uncollected surcharges, according to Horan. Officials estimate the amnesty program will collect about $17 million for the state.

Drivers who don’t participate will be penalized five percent against what they owe, according to the program. 

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