How to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey

Well, that’s not a perfectly accurate title, but that’s what everyone wants to do. Read on.

If this information saves you $500, I would appreciate a $5 donation. Don’t send me anything until AFTER you have been to the courthouse and saved money! Here is a Paypal donation link:

I got a “15MPH over the limit”, 4 point speeding ticket in Hackettstown New Jersey in October 2004. The cost of the ticket was about $100. But that’s the cheap part. The insurance rate hike is far more expensive! I called AIG (my new insurance company after they bought my policy from GE, who bought it from Colonial Penn, who bought it from…) and they couldn’t tell me how much my insurance was going go up with this ticket. Grrrr. But I recall that GE told me how much my rates would go up… about $150 per point for 3 years. And I would stop earning my “Merit Discount”. 5 years of me not getting any points earns me an 8% merit discount on my liability ($340/yr) & collision ($400/yr) insurance.

So the total cost of my 4 point ticket is:

$100 = speeding ticket
$300 = $60/year for 5 years, lost merit discount
$1,800 = $150/point * 4 points * 3 years


So here’s how to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey. I can only tell you about my experience which was in Hackettstown, NJ.

With this strategy, the total cost of my ticket was reduced by more than 80%!

  1. Get a ticket :-(
  2. Go to your court date. Bring a checkbook and dress well. If you show up 30 minutes before the court opens, you’ll put your name near the beginning of the sign-in sheet and you’ll get out of court in an hour… Else, you could be there for 1-3 hours.
  3. On the way in, sign the “I want to talk to the prosecutor” sheet. It will be next to the sign-in sheet.
  4. Possibly wait a few hours. Read the book you brought and/or people-watch. It’s more interesting than watching people at the DMV!
  5. When you’re name is called to speak with the prosecutor, tell him that you’d like to pay a surcharge to the court instead of getting points on your license. (If the judge calls you before the prosecutor, tell him that you’re waiting to speak to the prosecutor) I was offered two choices:
    • First option: plead guilty, pay the ticket, $30 in court costs and get my ticket reduced to 2 points.
    • Second option: plead guilty, pay the ticket, $30 in court costs, a $250 surcharge and get my ticket reduced to 0 points. (Yes, just by showing up at the courthouse, I saved at least $900 in insurance fees!)
  6. Go before the judge. As long as he doesn’t think you are a menace to society and really deserve the points, he’ll approve of the deal. (at the courthouse, I saw a guy who had been driving for 9 months and was on his second ticket get denied.)
  7. Sign the check at the cashier’s desk.

I wrote a $380 check that night, avoiding $1,820 in costs over the next 3 years, an 83% savings!

You should also check out another of my blog pages. I saved another $300 by taking an online driving safety course.

How this works:

Recently (no, I don’t know how recently) a law was enacted in NJ allowing courts to charge a (mostly fundraising) surcharge instead of giving points. It puts the money in the states hands instead of the insurance company’s hands.

And now a rant on this subject:

Since this loophole exists, of course I am going to take advantage of it and tell my friends. But the theory behind this surcharge bothers me because it throws off the insurance actuarial tables. It’s probably true that people with many speeding tickets tend to get in more accidents and thereby cost more money to the insurance-paying group. So it is justified that they be charged more. And it’s possible that a person that has to pay $2,000 in order to continue driving will think twice about doing riskier behaviors… thereby keeping everyone safer.

This issue is much like the Canadian prescription drug issue that we’re going through in the U.S. right now. All this talk of legalizing Canadian drugs is just bull-dinky. The reason drugs are cheaper in Canada is because the Canadian government told the drug companies, “if you want to do business here, you -must- lower your prices.” We could do exactly the same thing in the U.S. The counter argument is that the more regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, the less innovation in new drugs there will likely be. And if you’re wondering where I see the connection, it’s that both the NJ surcharge system and the buying drugs from Canada short-circuits the free-market system.

Comments Closed:

I have closed comments on this post. If you have something to say about your situation, read ALL of the comments below first. Read them all the way to the end and you’ll know what to do. DO NOT EMAIL ME questions.


  1. M Koch says:

    Thanks for the explanation.
    I discussed the issue with several attorneys who all explained the concept above but alluded to the fact that they would be required to negotiate the surchage.

    M. Koch

  2. Lee says:

    You’re very welcome! That’ll be $400. My office will bill you. ;-)

    How did it go with you?

  3. Bob says:

    How does this process work if you get a speeding ticket in Maine but live in NJ?

  4. Lee says:

    I don’t know. Find out and then blog about it.

  5. Shailendra Prajapati says:


    I got 2 tickets in a day.

    1. For speeding over 21 mph (85 mph at 65 mph).
    2. Not following lanes traffic.

    What will be the max points for both the offense and how can I bring them to zero.

    Help me out for this.

    Thanks in advance

  6. Lee says:

    I don’t know. Find out and then blog about it. Though I suspect the judge and/or prosecutor will look poorly on you getting two tickets in one day.

  7. Mike says:

    I just got a ticket around the Delaware Water Gap on I 80 for 72 mph in a 50. Though I don’t think I was going that fast I admit I was well over 50 mph….though three cars passed me as if I were still just before getting pulled over…but that doesn’t matter. When I was pulled over I noticed the “Welcome to NJ” sign about 50 yards in front of me. It was a NJ Trooper who pulled me over. I can only guess that the water gap area zig zags in & out of PA & NJ? Anyway, I’m from Syracuse……is it a requirement to show up in order to get it reduced or can I mail in a request to pay the surcharge instead of receiving points? Thanks.

  8. Lee says:

    The NJ/PA line is the Delaware river. As you’re going east on 80, you pass through the “no pay” toll, then go over a low bridge, crossing into NJ. From then on, you’re in Jersey. (Google map the area)

    You will almost definitely have to show up to get it reduced. They want to take a look at your record and decide if you’re a menace to society (see #6 in my original post) or not.

    Though you can tell them you’re from out-of-state and they’ll reschedule your court date. In Hackettstown, they hold traffic court only one date a month so your dates are limited. Though I couldn’t tell you for where you got your ticket. There is likely a phone number on the ticket. Give it a go and tell me/us how it goes!

  9. Steve says:

    Lee, although the insurance increases are accurate, the ability for anyone to reduce 4 points to zero is highly limited. As a Municipal Court Attorney, my experience is that the prosecutor’s tend to reduce the points from 4 to 2 if you appear without counsel. If you appear with counsel who can show a weakness in the State’s proofs, the prosecutor is more receptive in reducing 5 or 4 points to 0. In addition, I have great success in avoiding the use of the 39:4-97.2 unsafe driving plea therefore avoiding the $250.00 surcharge. Always remember if you have a tooth ache see a dentist. Although it seems in your case the toothache went away by itself, this is not the norm. So, If you or anyone else wants a free consultation regarding a traffic violation feel free to call my Law office at any time. The Stabile Law Firm, LLC. 1-877-VIOLATION

  10. Lee says:

    All I know is that when I walked in to the Procecutors (really tiny) office in the Hackettstown courthouse, the first thing out of his mouth was, “would you like to plead guilty, pay the ticket, $30 in court costs and get your ticket reduced to 2 points? Or would you like to pay a $250 surcharge and get the ticket reduced to 0 points?”

    Granted, they had taken a look at my driving record and saw that it was clean for the last 6+ years. If it weren’t so clean, we would have needed a consult with the judge.

  11. Tom says:


    this is helpful info

    I got a ticket doing 76 in a 50 mph zone on route 1 south in North Brunswick, just after merging in from the turnpike

    I have traveled that road at last twice a month for the last three years and never been pulled over but somehow they found me going 76 (which I find hard to believe – I can see 60-65 maybe)

    anyway, I was planning to show up on my court date as you did (I have done this in NY state in the past on my own with no problems – the last time was seven years ago) but my wife is actually due to give birth that very day.

    So I am considering (a) asking the court for a postponement or (b) hiring an attorney to represent me without going to the court which one attorney says is no problem and another told me is out of the question because the judge there is grumpy about out of staters not showing up (I live in CT).

    Any suggestions comments out there?


  12. Lee says:

    Since postponements have to be done like 1-3 weeks in advance or something, I’d definitely say that you should call the department and tell them about the baby being due. Be prepared to fax them some kind of document saying the kid is due.

    Tell me how things work out. And I wish your new family happiness!

  13. Ed says:

    I just got a ticket in old bridge. I was driving 68 on 40mph zone. So if I show up to court on court date, will these options Lee was talking about be given to me as well? I definitely can’t afford to see my insurance sky rocket. I was recently at a Sayreville court for something else and saw people were giving these similar options by the judge. I’m just wondering if all courts in the middlesex area are the same. I believe 25-29 is 4 points. I’m really hoping they would just drop it.
    These guys wonder why I don’t donate to the PBA. They get enough from the ticket!

  14. Jason says:

    My father recieved a speeding ticket and an improper passing ticket, both of which are 4 point violations, in two different towns, but within the same month. I know your allowed to plead your tickets at court to get them reduced to 2 points, and then pay off the other two points to get to 0 points. A little less than two years ago he recieved his first speeding ticket and went to court to get it reduced to 0 points. My question is whether or not he’ll be able to take this action with the two other tickets he recently recieved or if there is a limit to reducing your points. Thanks for your help.

  15. Lee says:

    Ed, I have no idea. Tell me how it works out for you.

    Jason, I have no idea. Tell me how it works out for him.

  16. Mark says:

    Is is true that if the officer who issued the speeding ticket does not show up to court that the charges are sropped (i.e., no points)? If so, shouldn’t one wait to see if the officer is present before making a deal with the prosecutor?

  17. Lee says:

    Yes, but no. If the officer doesn’t show up, he won’t be there to offer witness. But court dates are usually scheduled on “traffic court” night. He’ll be there to prosecute all his tickets for the month.

  18. Sam says:


    I had the same experience on route 1 on the North Brunswick. I got a ticket while travelling at 71mph in a 50 miles zone. I am going on a vacation on my court date.

    Were you able to postpone your court date? Please help me out with this Tom. Thanks

  19. Brian says:

    I recieved a ticket in hackensack recently. On the ticket, the officer put that my liscense plate was NJ when it really is NY. Does this help me in contesting the ticket?
    thank you

  20. Ivan says:

    This stuff works Indeed.
    I got 54 mph in 25 mph zone in the Glen Rock Bergen County.
    The layer wanted $300-500 to represent me in court.
    So this blog saved me that much plus additional savings described above. I got moving violation charge $100 instead of speeding ticket,
    $250 surgarge and $30 court fee for no points plea.

    Thank you.

  21. Lee says:

    Brian, probably not. Several years ago I got out of paying points on a speeding ticket in Massachusetts because the officer wrote my address down wrong. They mailed the speeding ticket to the wrong address several times over the course of a year. I eventually found out that there was a warrant out for my arrest (how exciting!) when I finally got one of the misdirected letters. I saw a judge and he said pretty much, “Yup, they wrote the address wrong. $50 and time served.”

    I don’t think your situation is similar… but I could be wrong.


    Ivan, Hurray! I’m very glad to hear it! This interweb thing is sometimes good for something after all, isn’t it?

  22. Dennis says:

    I got a ticket for not having my license. (There are not points involved)
    What if the officer does not show up for the court date. Do I still have to pay the ticket?
    Any tips on how to handle that? Thanks!

  23. michelle says:

    so I showed up at court for my 5 point ticket. Spoke to the prosecutor…the deal she could give me was reduced to 4 pts & cort fees….My uncle who is a captain had spoke to the officer about trying to ask for a no pt summonce…but of cource the officer didnt speak to the prosecuter or show up at court….so the prosecuter said to plead not guilty come to court again & during that time try to get int ouch with the cop again….so anyway i got courth this week…havent spoke to officer…..supposidly if i go to court a 3rd time the judge might throw it outta court since nothing was heard from the officer…also…the cop got me on pacing not radar & i have no previous pts on my license…so this works in my favor…..i just hope i wont haveto pay to get a lwyer if it dont get thrown out?

  24. Sean says:

    Hey everyone, I was just passing through and you guys seem to know what you’re talking about.

    I’ve got court in a week, and I received a speeding ticket. The officer wrote out that I was doing 61 in a 45 mph zone. Which is a 39:4-99, which means 4 points on my liscense for doing over 15-29 mph.

    However the officer wrote in the ticket code as 39:4-98, which is defined as over 1-14 mph and only worth 2 points on my liscense. I’d just like to know which is the valid one.


  25. John says:

    Hey everyone,

    I was pulled over on the Garden State Parkway about a month ago for doing over 100 in a 65. So I got a 5 pointer for that one. Since the cop was feeling so generous he also gave me another ticket for reckless driving, saying that I was moving in and out of traffic at speeds of 100+. Who knew I had Nascar driving skills?! Look out Tony Steward – here I come! Anyway, in one stop I got 10 points — 2 five point tickets! Needless to say I hired a lawyer and my court date is in January. Since I have a clean record and the cop was pacing me my lawyer said I should walk away with 0 points, but have to pay some hefty fines! Merry Christmas NJ Troopers!


  26. Byron says:

    I was givin a ticket this morning for going 67 in a 45. However, my ticket has Statute Number 39:4-98 (Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit, 2 points, $105) written on it and not Statute Number 39:4-99 (Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit, 4 points, $200). Also, I am only 17 years old and have had my license for only a few months. Do you think I have any chance of not getting any points on my license?

  27. michelle says:

    To Byron:

    Get a gonna pay like$300-$500 he may get them reduced…..but when I went to court, people that had 4 points & no lawyer, they got the pts knocked down to Zero (didnt care anyones story) and they paid a fine for about $300. So its up to you if you wanna take the chance going w/o a lawyer. If I was you, go to court, check out the deal they offer, if you see you are still getting points, then get the lawyer. So when you go before the judge just plead not guilty & they will reschedule your court date. Hope this helps…

    PS..every court & judge is diff so fee prices vary

  28. Lee says:

    Michelle, could you be more specific about your experience? It seems that while you recommend getting a lawyer, you write that, in your experience, people that don’t have a lawyer do alright.

    Michelle, please tell us your specific experience.

  29. michelle says:

    In my case I have 5 points….my uncle is a captain so he called the trooper that gave me the ticket….he told my uncle he would go to court & talk to the prosecuter about giving me a no pt summounce…well the cop never showed…so the prosecuters advice to me (since she was only able to reduce it to 4 pts) was to plead not guilty, get a new court date & try to speak to the officer. Since I have a 5 pt ticket I either need to have the officer do something or I need to get a lawyer to get my pts lower than what she offered me. Now…when I was at court…people that had 4 pts or less, the prosecuter stood up & gave them a choice to plead guilty pay a fine & get no pts. But she said since I had 5 pts, that same deal did not apply to me. I hope this helps…..

  30. Anne says:

    Thanks for the sharing the info.

    Is speeding the only kind of ticket you might benefit from going
    to court? I got an unlawful lane change ticket today…39:4-88…

  31. michelle says:

    So I had court yesterday. The trooper was out sick so he missed the court date. They rescheduled me again. The judge told me if hes not their next time hes throwing it out of court. Basically…if he does go & can only get it down to 2 pts, I was thinking of taking one of those online classes for $100 to get those last 2 pts taken off. Anyone knows how that works? Once you pass how long before the insurnace company takes the points off your license?

  32. michelle says:

    Thanks for the info Lee, I actually have no pts on my licnese. But I figure bust now & it will save me money in the long run. Plus $200 beats having to pay more than double for a lawyer. And the Lawyer can’t garentee he can get it down to zero.

  33. Lee says:

    Take a look into the classes and tell us what you find out. I’d recommend the online driving class instead. It’s cheap, easy and will save you money. If your insurance company gives discounts for driving classes in general, they’ll likely only give you a discount for the online OR in-person class.

  34. Lee says:

    It’s a good thing you asked. You can take an online driving safety course that will save you money.

    I had heard about the real-world driving school option but never followed up on it. If I remember correctly (I may be wrong, check!), the class took a whole weekend… 16 hours and cost $200. It wasn’t worth the time and money for me. I don’t recall but maybe if you have some more points on your license, it is worthwhile.

  35. john says:

    I got a speeding ticket on the garden state a week ago
    I was cited at 80 in a 65mph area.
    I live in mass and have a mass licence.
    should i pay, or contest?
    does anyone know if this will put points on my mass driving record and nail me on my insurance

  36. Carlos says:

    Being that I will be out of town the day prior to my court date, how should I approach the rescheduling of my court apperance in Princeton, NJ?

    Also, officer that cited me wrote the wrong address on the citation, does this have any bearing in court?

    Thanks for any help you can extend…

  37. Lee says:

    >should i pay, or contest?
    You read my post, yes? Your choice. Can you make a NJ court date?

    >does anyone know if this will put points on my mass driving record and
    >nail me on my insurance
    Nailed :-(

    Carlos, I think you should go to court since you said you’d be away on the day prior to the court date. If you’ll be away on the court date, you might want to call the court and ask to have it rescheduled.

    >Also, officer that cited me wrote the wrong address on the citation
    Well, you’ve got the citation in your hand so you can’t plead that you didn’t know about it. My case years ago in MA was different (mentioned above) since their procedure was to mail the citation to me. If you tempt fate (or if you don’t), write back and tell us how it went.

  38. Jorge says:

    Hey everyone, I was just passing through and you guys seem to know what you’re talking about.

    I’ve got court in 3 weeks, and I received a speeding ticket. The officer wrote out that I was doing 82 in a 55 mph zone. Which is a 39:4-99, which means 4 points on my liscense for doing over 15-29 mph.

    However the officer wrote in the ticket code as 39:4-98, which is defined as over 1-14 mph and only worth 2 points on my license. I’d just like to know which is the valid one.

    Can this error on his part get me out of the ticket completely?

    can anyone help me please??


  39. Nikki says:

    so last night i was driving home from montclair state university for winter break. my friend’s mom was already at the meeting spot, and we were only make 30-40 mins away from my house. i was going maybe 80 or 85, and i saw a cop sitting on a hill….i braked and he sat for a few seconds, then started his car up. at this point, i moved into the left lane as not to hit the car in front of me, and the cop started to closely follow me. after two or three minutes, he flashed his lights and pulled me over, giving me two tickets when he had originally said that he would simply give me a warning. merry christmas, buddy! but my point is that i still had my provisional, but i was eligable for a real license. i have been driving for about two years now and have a clean record. i am practically a model teenager and never get mixed up in illegal things, but i still got a ticket for speeding AND one for failure to keep right. the funny thing is that when by the time i was pulled over i was doing about 67 according to my speedometer, and he wrote the ticket for going 94 in a 65. i cant afford this-i’m a poor college student for gods sake! not to mention that this is ridiculous…i kept saying how sorry i was and he said i was lying about going 80 or 85…he kept calling me a liar…my friend was also in the car, and it was around 830 at night…any advice??? please help me, i cant afford this crap!

  40. Alex says:

    Wow, just my luck to run across this site. Googling how to beat a speeding ticket in new jersey……anyway :p

    I just got my first speeding ticket today (17 years old).

    i went 75 in a 55. (i was paced, not clocked)

    it’s in west windsor / mercer county. uh…….honestly, i have nothing to say other than that he wrote the court appearance to be 1/24/2006 at 1:00 pm. of course, i heard they will make me another one, so i guess that doesnt help me if he fixes it.

    what can i do to get this reduced etc.?

  41. Lee says:

    Jorge, Nikki and Alex. Read my post and the comments following it. When you have done whatever you have done with the court, comment here and we’ll know that much more about what happens.

  42. lwpat says:

    Good post Lee. Taking the 250.00 option is always a winner when you consider that New Jersey has the second highest insurance rates in the country. DC is number one. Also there is the surcharge, 100.00 per year for every year you have six points on your record and 25.00 extra for every point over 6. To Nikki, you should be able to get one of the tickets thrown out if you contest them. I know you say you cannot afford an attorney but with two tickets that is probably your best option. To Jorge, he did not make a mistake. You received a “roadside reduction.” He has your speed in his notes and you are unlikely to get another reducttion from the ADA.

  43. Jorge says:

    thanks lwpat but the officer wrote out 82 in a 55 which is 27 over the limit but the code he put down is the one for doing UP TO 15mph over…being that the 2 dont coincide….do you think i have a chance of getting it dismissed??

  44. lwpat says:

    Getting it dismissed will be extremely difficult unless you have a very good defense. The officer can dismiss this ticket and then simply issue a new one. It is not unusual for them to put down your actual speed but to charge you with a lesser offense. Have you checked with the clerk of court to see how it is listed?

  45. Jennifer says:

    I was pulled over this morning for doing 43 in a 25. The officer said it is a 4 point ticket, but I can go to the court date if I want to plead not guilty or try to get the points knocked down to 2. With this thing that everyone is mentioning, paying $250 to have it knocked down to zero points, is that the total you have to pay and then that;s it? or is it the cost of the ticket, plus court costs plus the $250? I just want to be prepared in case I am able to be lucky enough to do this.

  46. Nikki says:

    thanks for the help i really appreciate it…i just got back from visiting family and plan to call a lawyer first thing tuesday. happy new year!

  47. Lee says:

    Jennifer, read #5 in my original post.

    Lwpat, thanks for the useful info :-)

  48. Tommy K says:

    Will a 2 point ticket affect my insurance rates? Or is 3 or more points what gets reported to insurance? Thanks

  49. Michelle says:

    also…for people asking questions on insurance..heres what i learned…for every dmv point it equals 3 insurance points. Then it $100-$150 per point extra in ins cost depending on your provider.

    Also my gf that got a 4 pt speeding ticket like 6 months ago..she went to court it got reduced to 2 pts…I asked if her rates went up…she told me nothing yet….so I guess it takes a while for ins comp to find out

  50. Michelle says:

    ok heres my update…..

    Went to court yesterday. My 3rd appearance for a 5 point speeding ticket. Now like I said last time at my second appearance, the judge told me if the cop didnt show up he would throw it out of court.

    So basically what happened was…..the prosecuter called up the officer on the phone & got in touch with him. He confirmed that he spoke with my uncle who is a cop. So basically the cop & prosecuter agreed on a no point summons. I had to just pay $433 in fees. But it beats 15 insurance point at $150 per point!!

    So just an FYI, the prsecuter mentioned you can only do a no point summons twice per person per state, so since im Moving to Florida this weekend, I have a clean slate if i needed to do a no point summons again….

    Great outcome-I was lucky! Ive def slowed up the speeding I rather be late for work then get a speeding ticket!

  51. B says:

    My first offense… I also was stopped for going 43 in a 25 back in December in the New Brunswick area. During my stop, the officer told me that he was giving me a verbal warning, and then handed me a court summons which I found confusing. Anyways, I went to court today, but ended up being rescheduled since I did not call in to notify that court that I was going to “Plea Not Guilty.” I am really hoping I can pull off a surcharge rather than getting points on my insurance for that I am a college kid who needs to buy books in about 2 weeks haha. Good Luck to everyone…

  52. Nikki says:

    so heres my sad little update. i hired a local lawyer, who is oh so kindly charging me $750 for this whole mess. i hope it is worth it :/
    so basically he told me exactly what i read on here- i even had to ask him about the no point in lew of fee option! however, he did say nj gsp has an average speed of about 110 mph, so theyre cracking down on anyone going over 90…however there was something wrong with my car at the time AND it was a local cop that paced me before pulling me over…as for the other ticket, he said its as good as gone. ill let you know how it goes…

  53. deepster says:

    I got ticketed today right while enterting Camden county from Philly. I have a MA license and will be moving to NJ later this year.

    My questions:
    1) I was on the left most lane I saw the cop braked immediately. The cop was three lanes across parallel to the road. Immediately after braking slowed down and moved across to the right most lane. All through this time I passed no car.
    2) Office pulls over and says I was doing 66 in 45. I did not look at the speedometer but was definitely not going faster than the traffic in the left most lane. However he says he will give me a ticket for 54 in 45 zone.
    3) In MA there is a law that the cop has to tail you speeding for 1/8 of a mile or the case could be week in appeal – anything similar in NJ? what is the prescribed process a cop is required to follow to issue a ticket? What could be grounds for challenge.

    My questions:
    1) Should I Plead no guilty or consider lee’s plea method?
    2) If plea approved does the ticket still go on record on my MA driver’s license?
    3) Will anything ever show up once I transfer my MA license to NJ?
    4) If I do not transfer MA license but just get a completely new NJ license does it clear my driving history?
    This is my first speeding violation ever.


  54. Gayle says:

    I’m a bit confused about this ‘roadside reduction’ issue. My son got ticketed the other night doing 95 in a 65 mph zone. Cop wrote the 95 miles down and checked the 30+ mph box, too, but wrote the 39:4-98 statute down. Are you saying that the smaller points/fee is what my son will be charged with? Why write down all that other stuff then? We’ll definitely go and try to plead it down and take the surcharge option – that worked for me last year over an illegal u-turn ticket. The whole thing is complicated by the fact that my son has a provisional license. If the points stay under 4, is there any extension of the provisional status? Can’t seem to get a straight answer on that. Thanks!

  55. Erik says:

    Thanks for the informative page! I received a speeding ticket on I-78 in Readington Township about 2 weeks ago. The ticket is for doing 81 in a 65 zone and will be 4 points. My question is: I live in NY State, my car is registered in NY State, my insurance policy is in NY State. If I plead guilty and pay the fine, will the points show up on my insurance here in NY State? I am considering showing up to court to speak with the prosecutor as you suggest. However, if the points do not show up on my insurance policy, I will just pay the fine online and be done with it. Let me know what your experience is regarding this matter. Thanks!

  56. Lee says:

    Tommy K, that is a dumb question.

    Michelle, that sounds like a good-enough resolution. Glad you’re done with it.

    B, good luck, tell us how it works out.

    Nikki, the lawyer charged $750 for just about nothing eh? Phoey!

    Deepster, the question of one speeding ticket being honored in another state is a matter of “reciprocity”. I don’t know for sure but yeah, the ticket will probably follow you home… or maybe it won’t if you pay it quickly. Here are some good starting terms to google for: “Non-Resident Violator Compact”, “Drivers License Compact”, “reciprocity”. Tell us what you find out! As for the rest, I dunno.

    Gayle, read previous discussion about this subject.

    Erik, read above about reciprocity.

  57. deepster says:


    Thanks for the response. My questions is somewhat similar to Erik’s question. If I plea bargain and pay off the surchage there are no points in NJ as it is not considered a moving violation.

    In the same breadth when the ticket is reported into MA or NY (in eirc’s case) is it reported as a moving violation or the other surcharge item.

    Any clarity would be appreciated.


  58. Lee says:

    Thanks for rephrasing that Deepster. I’m -pretty sure- I remember that when you pay the surcharge, the “offense” ceases to exist. So there’s no offense that NJ would forward on to your state. Then again, it obviously stays on one’s record in NJ (otherwise, someone could use this trick every time they got a ticket and the judge would never know unless he remembered your face).

  59. lwpat says:

    To Erik
    NJ does not report speeding tickets to New York so it will not show on your record for points.

  60. deepster says:

    Thanks for the clarification Lee

    So I guess you can only plea bargain once. If I ever have another violation in NJ no recourse – I will remember that.

    One thing I would like to point out though my wife once had an out of state ticket that did not show up on her MA records. However our insurance company found out about it through the “Checkpoint” service and then added it to her records in MA. We could do nothing to remove it.

  61. Ralph says:

    I’m a bit confused about this ‘roadside reduction’ issue. My son got ticketed the other night doing 95 in a 65 mph zone. Cop wrote the 95 miles down and checked the 30+ mph box, too, but wrote the 39:4-98 statute down. Are you saying that the smaller points/fee is what my son will be charged with? Why write down all that other stuff then? We’ll definitely go and try to plead it down and take the surcharge option – that worked for me last year over an illegal u-turn ticket. The whole thing is complicated by the fact that my son has a provisional license. If the points stay under 4, is there any extension of the provisional status? Can’t seem to get a straight answer on that. Thanks!

    Im in the same situation in North Brunswick and the prosecutor is not trying to hear it.she will plea 4 to 2 points and 2 to 0 points but 5 and up she will not budge.I was doing like 70mph and 2 cars passed me fast when I get pulled over he says I was doing 93mph.He says he got me on radar and I asked well did u see the other 2 cars he says what cars…right there I knew I was done and I just shut up and took the ticket….Researching it I noticed that also the whole 98/99 statute.he marked the ticket 39:4-98 but wrote that I was going 93mph in a safe corridor.when I get to court today she asked for my ticket and I lie and say I forgot it so she checks her paperwork and shows me the 98 statute and then says u were going 93mph then I asked her about the statute and she says no its how fast you were going.and that other people had been asking the same thing that the internet info is false.finally she would not plea bargain with me for i asked to reschedule and come back with a lawyer…im beat.i got 2 weeks.

  62. NCOrangeCty says:

    Great blog! Lot’s of very helpful info. Since we drive in NJ very frequently, it is great to know about the zero-point option.

    Came across this site via Google. My husband received a speeding ticket in Maine, for going allegedly 14 mph over the speed limit. (The state troopers were holding a ticket blitz at an interstate exit and had more than a half a dozen vehicles stopped at the time.)

    By the way, my husband is a very good driver. Drives about 1,000 miles a week for business; has for over five years; never has been stopped, let alone issued a ticket. He hates the idea of pleading guilty to something he is not guilt of, but Maine is quite a distance to make a court appearance. We have a few days to decide which way we’re going to handle it.

    From what I’ve read on the NY DMV site, the points will not transfer to NY. However, I’m gathering here that the insurance company may find out via their own search. Will post with further info on this if it happens.

  63. patrick says:

    hi my name is patrick i just moved back to n.j some months ago from california well yesterday as i was driving in oceancity n.j over the long port bridge receieved an ticket for speeding i was going 44 in 25 speed limit zone so it was 15-19 mph over the limit which i found was an 4 point ticket so what should i do to get this ticket down to 0 points

  64. Lee says:

    Patrick, read comment #41 in this post.

  65. Vince says:

    Hi, I got pulled over for speeding in NJ. I was doing 43mph in a 25mph zone. I tried to talk my way out of the ticket, but the officer said that he wasn’t my buddy. So he gave me a ticket and said the he cut me a break. Instead of a 43mph in a 25mph ticket he gave me a 34mph in a 25mph ticket. I called the courts and they said that if I plead guilty I can pay the fine $85.00 plus 2 points or I can also pay $400.00 with no points. I have 3 questions. 1st) If I pay the fine with points how much does insurance go up? 2nd) How long will points stay on my DL. 3rd)Is there any way I can challenge this ticket based on him reducing it? I need to make a court date in the next day or two, so any help would be great.


  66. Lee says:

    1st) Read my post

    2nd) I think it’s that you drop 2 points for every 3 years of clean driving. I could be wrong, it’s been a while; you should check.

    3rd) Read the numerous comments about that subject.

  67. Karl says:

    Stopped at intersection/on-ramp off Rt 202 turning onto Route 17 South, turned left and started to accelerate out of corner, maybe at 25mph when lost control, slipped on oil or black ice, went off road into shrubbery. No witnesses. Cops come, ticket me for careless driving.
    It was an accident. I already have to deal with damage to car. Cops were not very polite, just smiled and gave me ticket. Careless driving is $85 but surcharge will probably be $200. This is in Mahwah, NJ.
    NY license so points won’t transfer.
    What are chances of fighting careless driving due to oil/road conditions/low speed/no witnesses/can’t self incriminate anyway, plus less than polite police officers (1st thing they asked for was “license/reg …”, 2nd comment was “you’re f*****d”, 3rd thing was we’ll call a tow truck, 4th was “here is ticket”).
    Or does this not go down so well with prosecutor/judge. Most unprofessional, considering Mahwah PD has motto “excellence in service”?

  68. Lee says:

    Karl, Interesting story. As for any answers, I have no idea. But I know How to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey.

  69. B says:

    Update: If you all recall, I had a court date set up for January 3rd for going 43 in a 25 (btw, 43 seems like a popular number in here), however when I did appear they turned me away only to reschedule me for another court date since I did not notify the court that I was pleading not guilty.

    I just found out that the court has rescheduled me for March 7th. Thats 2 months away and 4 months past my date of offense. I just find this strange…

  70. C says:

    I stumbled across this site through google, and I had a question of my own. I’m from NJ, but I attend school in Maryland. I know the NJ “Non-Resident Violator Compact” and “Drivers License Compact” states that all moving violations obtained from out-of-state will result in 2pts on your NJ driving record. This is my second speeding ticket, first one being in PA for doing 80 in a 65, which I did NOT receive any points for. The state trooper (from PA) actually told me the points wouldn’t carry over, and surprisingly he was right. I just mailed in the check and paid the fine. No record whatsoever showed up on my insurance or DMV record. (this was 4yrs ago)

    This time, however, I got pulled over on a local road in MD, and the cop told me the same thing. He told me if I just paid the ticket, I would not receive any points… but doesn’t this contradict the DLC? If what he’s saying is true, I will just pay the $90 ticket and move on, but I am too paranoid that the points will accrue on my NJ record. (I have a clean record btw.)

    Has anyone had any similar experiences with out-of-state tickets? I am planning on showing up to court and requesting a plea bargain, hopefully to a non-moving violation. Ugh, I so do not need this right now. I’m a student!

  71. Eric says:

    I just got a ticket in Paterson for driving supposley 48 in a 25mph zone!!! DAmn officer couldn’t gimme a break since it was my first offense and i have a PBA Badge!! enyways how many points would this be? surcharge? and what are the steps when i go 2 court since this is my first time, and will they try 2 screw me up because I have a provisional and im 18. DAMNIT I TOLD THE COP I WAS GOING 2 COLLEGE!!! O well help enyone! I gotta go count my pennys.
    He Wrote really BIg RADAR on the ticket But i knw i wasnt going 48 !!! Should I find out if the gun was properly calibrateed or should I talk 2 da prosecutor?>
    Any Suggestions???

  72. Lee says:

    Eric, read my original post and the 70 comments following it for your answer.

  73. DUTDA says:

    Lee , I wish that I saw your blog before hiring a lawyer for $450.

    I received a ticket in Emerson for doing 44 in a 25 mph zone. When I got to the court house early, I heard the prosecutor advising people of the 2 point or no point plea bargains. When the judge appeared , he even advised people that pleaded guity to talk to the prosecutor first.

    Of course I paid the surchage and got off with no points but I could have easily done it without paying the lawyer $450 for doing practically nothing. The only advantage is that I got out of there quickly as they hear the cases first that are represented by lawyers.

  74. Matthew says:

    Hello Lee,

    Just got pulled over in Middlesex. The Officer was actually a decent guy. i was doing about 50 in a 25. He wrote down 44 in 25 though. I also had an expired Insurance card with me, that he let me slide for(I do have insurance though). So I’ll be looking at 4 points

    I looked up on
    the points for speeding and they are as follows:

    39:4-98 and Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit 2
    39:4-99 Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit 4
    Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit 5

    I came across your site when searching this information and was surprised more NJ drivers didn’t know of this option. I have never had the pleasure of a speeding ticket till tonight, but i knew all about talking a plea with the prosecutor.

    My court date is 2/15/07. I’ll keep you posted

  75. Robert De Lorenzo says:

    As I am an unfortunate repeat offender of the NJ DMV system, I can tell you this:
    39:4-97.2 is a gem. That’s the good news

    The bad news, you are only allowed this violation twice in, I believe, a three or five year period.

    Meaning on your third offense… Get ready for this kids:
    You are automatically assigned 4 points by the NJ DMV.

    So the you think you just dodged a 2 point bullet a third time but in reality you just cost yourself 4 points and no there are no take backs.

    So use it wisely my friends, it is not an open ended invitation to do as you please on the road.

    I have not had a clean license, of points, since I was 18.

    Max I had a one point was 24 (without a suspension and I can go into that if you like but trust me… the DMV is web of traps .. once your in, it’s a nightmare to get out of the system

    I am down to 3 points with a BIG party coming in September…. If I make it.

    Best of luck and vote no for seatbelt and helmet laws!

  76. Lee says:

    Robert De Lorenzo followed up with this email to me. There’s a lot of info in it. With his permission, I present it here:
    Basically, NJ runs two systems — DMV and Insurance and they are independent of each other.

    Insurance can only go back 3 years from the current date. They can only ding you every renewal period. So a renewal in February 07 and a ticket in march 07, will not be caught or penalties assessed until next February’s renewal.

    DMV however works like this:

    That ticket in March (call it March 5th for argument sake) may not be heard in court till April. You take a 4pt. ticket in court or just pay the fine not knowing about the local surcharge deal.

    You must drive point free and suspension free from March 5th 07 to march 5th 08. If you accomplish this you get a 3 point credit fo4r good driving leaving you with still 1 point on your license. You must drive from March 5th to march 8th, again no point assessing tickets or suspensions, to receive your 3 point good driving credit. The catch you can never go negative.

    Now suppose on August 5th of 07 you get a parking ticket, forget to pay it, someone swiped the ticket from your car, or you fail to appear in court. The local court has a right to request a suspension of your driving privileges until the fine is satisfied. Guess what, you got a suspension within the year period of your good driving credit. NO CREDIT FOR YOU, a75 – 100 fee to reinstate your license, then you pay the stupid 11 dollar ticket. On the day your license is re-instated, call it August 20th by the time you get the suspension letter in the mail, get a ride to DMV ( don’t drive there — your license is suspended) and pay the fine… you must drive one year from that date for the credit.

    And so it goes — you now have 4 pts on your license, you must drive two years due to the suspension for the credit and if you were to get another 2 — 4pt ticket within the first year of the other ticket. 30 day suspension automatically.

    You can only take a NJ state approved course, like through AAA, once every 5 years, and DMV has to send you to their 3 point course of which when you complete it you are on probation for 1 year. Get a ticket in that year and walla, another suspension.

    For me, I was young, moved out at 18 and had the whole world figured out — my parents new nothing.

    $5,000 in fines, restoration fees, class fees, insurance surcharges via the DMV — did we cover that little rip-off — get 6 or more points and they charge you an insurance surcharge of$150 a year for three years — and its 50 a point for each point over 6 but it has nothing to do with the Insurance company or their point assessment.

    So basically I couldn’t afford a few tickets, I thought not paying them and avoiding court would delay them getting to me, etc…

    IT was a total disaster and I am still not out of it.

    Just the other day, I made an honest mistake — turned left from an unmarked lane in New City New York. HE gave me a 2 point ticket. Well guess what all out of state tickets put two points on your license which will interrupt my credit this September.

    IF I cannot get him to reduce this ticket to a similar non point assessing charge I am so screwed.

    Nothing like driving on eggs every day of your life trying to avoid a ticket when you have to go to work, school, family etc.

  77. Lee says:

    If you are a NJ driver and get a speeding ticket in another state or if you are from a state other than NJ and get a speeding ticket in NJ, you should take a look at this:

    NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Violations committed in other states

    Even though you are a New Jersey driver, you can still acquire points and penalties for violations committed in other states. New Jersey is a member of two compacts that enforce this policy.

    The Driver License Compact

    * Consists of 45 states and the District of Columbia. States not included are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin
    * Members in this compact exchange all violation information. Out-of-state moving violations are worth two points. For example, if you receive a speeding ticket in Florida, you will get two points on your New Jersey driving record for that violation

    The Nonresident Violator Compact

    * Consists of 44 states and the District of Columbia. States not included are Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin
    * Assures nonresident motorists the same rights and privileges as residents
    * Nonresident drivers have due process protection and cannot be detained out-of-state
    * Requires drivers to fulfill the terms of traffic citations received in member states or face the possibility of license suspension in their home state
    * Does not apply to parking or standing violations, highway weight limit violations and violations of Hazmat transportation laws

  78. Lee says:

    Andrew P writes:

    I learned the hard way that pleading a ticket down to O points only works twice within a 5 year period in the state of NJ. Do it more than twice, and the DMV will issue you a fee and 4 points on your license.
    Pass it on!

    Also, I’ve never had the option of a municipal surcharge where 4 points are reduced to 0, so while it may be true for some municipalities, you shouldn’t claim it’s true for all, as all the NJ municipal prosecutors I’ve encountered never offered me 0 points for a 4 point ticket. It’s somewhat hard for me to believe you got 0 points on a 4-pointer.

    Thanks for the info Andrew!

  79. Dean Herbert says:

    well my daughter just got her license, and of course she got the lecture from me about following the laws, dont speed, your young and a target etc etc .She didnt have her license even 1 week before got off of 295 in N.J. and recieved her first ticket 70 mph in a 50 mph zone measured by pursuit not radar. we postponed the court date until after the holidays. I contacted a friend (before reading this ) who was a Attorney who advised me (just like yourself) to plead this down to unsafe operation of a motor veh pay the costs & no points. It was a total sucess doing it ourselves,and a 450.00 lesson learned by a teenager … you are dead on with your advise.

  80. Lee says:

    I have closed comments on this post. You can visit my follow-up post, How to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey: Part 2. You can leave a comment on another follow-up post How to beat a speeding ticket in New Jersey: Part 3

    If you have a question about how you can beat your NJ speeding ticket, DO NOT EMAIL ME. Read my original post and the follow-up comments. It’s all there. Again, DO NOT EMAIL ME.

    If this information saves you $500 or more, I would appreciate a $5 donation. Don’t send me anything until AFTER you have been to the courthouse and saved money! Here is a Paypal donation link: