NEW JERSEY UNLICENSED DRIVING LAWYER
Driving without a license in New Jersey is illegal and
the consequences for violating the law are harsh. A conviction for unlicensed
driving may result in fines, loss of license, three years of motor vehicle
surcharges and even jail. It is
important for anyone charged with unlicensed driving in New Jersey to consult
with an experienced New Jersey Unlicensed Driving Lawyer.
Free Consultations Available – (908) 358-2938
The Sloan Law Firm handles unlicensed driving, expired license and other traffic charges occurring in New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, call (908) 358-2938.
Unlicensed Driving Statute
N.J.S.A. 39:3-10 Licensing of drivers
39:3-10. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a
public highway in this State unless the person is under supervision while
participating in a behind-the-wheel driving course pursuant to section 6 of
P.L.1977, c.25 (C.39:3-13.2a) or is in possession of a validated permit, or a
probationary or basic driver’s license issued to that person in accordance with
No person under 18 years of age shall be issued a basic
license to drive motor vehicles, nor shall a person be issued a validated
permit, including a validated examination permit, until the applicant has
passed a satisfactory examination and other requirements as to the applicant’s
ability as an operator. The examination shall include a test of the applicant’s
vision, the applicant’s ability to understand traffic control devices, the
applicant’s knowledge of safe driving practices and of the effects that
ingestion of alcohol or drugs has on a person’s ability to operate a motor
vehicle, the applicant’s knowledge of such portions of the mechanism of motor
vehicles as is necessary to insure the safe operation of a vehicle of the kind
or kinds indicated by the applicant, and of the laws and ordinary usages of the
road. No person shall sit for an examination for any permit without exhibiting
photo identification deemed acceptable by the commission, unless that person is
a high school student participating in a course of automobile driving education
approved by the State Department of Education and conducted in a public, parochial,
or private school of this State, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1950, c.127
(C.39:3-13.1). The commission may waive the written law knowledge examination
for any person 18 years of age or older possessing a valid driver’s license
issued by any other state, the District of Columbia, or the United States
Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. The
commission shall be required to provide that person with a booklet that
highlights those motor vehicle laws unique to New Jersey. A road test shall be
required for a probationary license and serve as a demonstration of the
applicant’s ability to operate a vehicle of the class designated. No person
shall sit for a road test unless that person exhibits photo identification
deemed acceptable by the commission. A high school student who has completed a
course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education approved by the State
Department of Education and conducted in a public, parochial, or private school
of this State, who has been issued a special learner’s permit pursuant to
section 1 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.1) prior to January 1, 2003, shall not
be required to exhibit photo identification in order to sit for a road test.
The commission may waive the road test for any person 18 years of age or older
possessing a valid driver’s license issued by any other state, the District of
Columbia, or the United States Territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto
Rico, or the Virgin Islands. The road test shall be given on public streets,
where practicable and feasible, but may be preceded by an off-street screening
process to assess basic skills. The commission shall approve locations for the
road test which pose no more than a minimal risk of injury to the applicant,
the examiner, and other motorists. No new locations for the road test shall be
approved unless the test can be given on public streets.
A person who successfully completes a road test for a
motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement when operating a motorcycle or
motorized scooter with an engine displacement of less than 231 cubic
centimeters shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement restricting the
person’s operation of such vehicles to any motorcycle with an engine
displacement of 500 cubic centimeters or less. A person who successfully
completes a road test for a motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement when
operating a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 231 or more cubic
centimeters shall be issued a motorcycle license or endorsement without any restriction
as to engine displacement. Any person who successfully completes an approved
motorcycle safety education course established pursuant to the provisions of
section 1 of P.L.1991, c.452 (C.27:5F-36) shall be issued a motorcycle license
or endorsement without restriction as to engine displacement.
The commission shall issue a basic driver’s license to
operate a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle to a person over 18 years of
age who previously has not been licensed to drive a motor vehicle in this State
or another jurisdiction only if that person has: (1) operated a passenger
automobile in compliance with the requirements of this title for not less than
one year, not including any period of suspension or postponement, from the date
of issuance of a probationary license pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1950, c.127
(C.39:3-13.4); (2) not been assessed more than two motor vehicle points; (3)
not been convicted in the previous year for a violation of R.S.39:4-50, section
2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), P.L.1992, c.189 (C.39:4-50.14),
R.S.39:4-129, N.J.S.2C:11-5, subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:12-1, or any other motor
vehicle-related violation the commission determines to be significant and
applicable pursuant to regulation; and (4) passed an examination of the
applicant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to this section.
The commission shall expand the driver’s license
examination by 20%. The additional questions to be added shall consist solely
of questions developed in conjunction with the State Department of Health and
Senior Services concerning the use of alcohol or drugs as related to highway
safety. The commission shall develop in conjunction with the State Department
of Health and Senior Services supplements to the driver’s manual which shall
include information necessary to answer any question on the driver’s license
examination concerning alcohol or drugs as related to highway safety.
Up to 20 questions may be added to the examination on
subjects to be determined by the commission that are of particular relevance to
youthful drivers, after consultation with the Director of the Division of
Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety.
The commission shall expand the driver’s license
examination to include a question asking whether the applicant is aware of the
provisions of the “Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,” P.L.2008,
c.50 (C.26:6-77 et al.) and the procedure for indicating on the driver’s
license the intention to make a donation of body organs or tissues pursuant to
P.L.1978, c.181 (C.39:3-12.2).
Any person applying for a driver’s license to operate a
motor vehicle or motorized bicycle in this State shall surrender to the
commission any current driver’s license issued to the applicant by another
state or jurisdiction upon the applicant’s receipt of a driver’s license for
this State. The commission shall refuse to issue a driver’s license if the
applicant fails to comply with this provision. An applicant for a permit or
license who is less than 18 years of age, and who holds a permit or license for
a passenger automobile issued by another state or country that is valid or has
expired within a time period designated by the commission, shall be subject to
the permit and license requirements and penalties applicable to State permit
and license applicants who are of the same age; except that if the other state
or country has permit or license standards substantially similar to those of
this State, the credentials of the other state or country shall be acceptable.
The commission shall create classified licensing of
drivers covering the following classifications:
a. Motorcycles, except that for the purposes of this
section, motorcycle shall not include any three-wheeled motor vehicle equipped
with a single cab with glazing enclosing the occupant, seats similar to those
of a passenger vehicle or truck, seat belts and automotive steering or any
vehicle defined as a motorcycle pursuant to R.S.39:1-1 having a motor with a
maximum piston displacement that is less than 50 cubic centimeters or a motor
that is rated at no more than 1.5 brake horsepower with a maximum speed of no
more than 35 miles per hour on a flat surface.
b. Omnibuses as classified by R.S.39:3-10.1 and school
buses classified under N.J.S.18A:39-1 et seq.
c. (Deleted by
amendment, P.L.1999, c.28).
d. All motor vehicles not included in classifications a.
and b. A license issued pursuant to this classification d. shall be referred to
as the “basic driver’s license.”
Every applicant for a license under classification b.
shall be a holder of a basic driver’s license. Any issuance of a license under
classification b. shall be by endorsement on the basic driver’s license.
A driver’s license for motorcycles may be issued
separately, but if issued to the holder of a basic driver’s license, it shall
be by endorsement on the basic driver’s license. The holder of a basic driver’s
license or a separately issued motorcycle license shall be authorized to
operate a motorcycle having a motor with a maximum piston displacement that is
less than 50 cubic centimeters or a motor that is rated at no more than 1.5
brake horsepower with a maximum speed no more than 35 miles per hour on a flat
The commission, upon payment of the lawful fee and after
it or a person authorized by it has examined the applicant and is satisfied of
the applicant’s ability as an operator, may, in its discretion, issue a license
to the applicant to drive a motor vehicle. The license shall authorize him to
drive any registered vehicle, of the kind or kinds indicated, and shall expire,
except as otherwise provided, on the last day of the 48th calendar month
following the calendar month in which such license was issued.
The commission may, at its discretion and for good cause
shown, issue licenses which shall expire on a date fixed by it. If the
commission issues a license to a person who has demonstrated authorization to
be present in the United States for a period of time shorter than the standard
period of the license, the commission shall fix the expiration date of the
license at a date based on the period in which the person is authorized to be
present in the United States under federal immigration laws. The commission may
renew such a license only if it is demonstrated that the person’s continued
presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. The fee for
licenses with expiration dates fixed by the commission shall be fixed by the
commission in amounts proportionately less or greater than the fee herein
The required fee for a license for the 48-month period
shall be as follows:
Motorcycle license or endorsement: $18.
Omnibus or school bus endorsement: $18.
Basic driver’s license: $18.
The commission shall waive the payment of fees for
issuance of omnibus endorsements whenever an applicant establishes to the
commission’s satisfaction that said applicant will use the omnibus endorsement
exclusively for operating omnibuses owned by a nonprofit organization duly
incorporated under Title 15 or 16 of the Revised Statutes or Title 15A of the
New Jersey Statutes.
The commission shall issue licenses for the following
license period on and after the first day of the calendar month immediately
preceding the commencement of such period, such licenses to be effective
All applications for renewals of licenses shall be made
in a manner prescribed by the commission and in accordance with procedures
established by it.
The commission in its discretion may refuse to grant a
permit or license to drive motor vehicles to a person who is, in its
estimation, not a proper person to be granted such a permit or license, but no
defect of the applicant shall debar the applicant from receiving a permit or
license unless it can be shown by tests approved by the commission that the
defect incapacitates the applicant from safely operating a motor vehicle.
In addition to requiring an applicant for a driver’s
license to submit satisfactory proof of identity and age, the commission also
shall require the applicant to provide, as a condition for obtaining a permit
and license, satisfactory proof that the applicant’s presence in the United
States is authorized under federal law.
If the commission has reasonable cause to suspect that
any document presented by an applicant as proof of identity, age or legal
residency is altered, false or otherwise invalid, the commission shall refuse
to grant the permit or license until such time as the document may be verified
by the issuing agency to the commission’s satisfaction.
A person violating this section shall be subject to a
fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 60
days, but if that person has never been licensed to drive in this State or any
other jurisdiction, the applicant shall be subject to a fine of not less than
$200 and, in addition, the court shall issue an order to the commission
requiring the commission to refuse to issue a license to operate a motor
vehicle to the person for a period of not less than 180 days. The penalties
provided for by this paragraph shall not be applicable in cases where failure
to have actual possession of the operator’s license is due to an administrative
or technical error by the commission.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or
extend the expiration of any license issued prior to the date this amendatory
and supplementary act becomes operative.
Free Consultations Available – Call (908) 358-2938
The Sloan Law Firm provides aggressive and experienced legal to defense to anyone charged with unlicensed driving and other traffic violations in New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been charged with unlicensed driving and would like to discuss the charge with a New Jersey Unlicensed Driving Lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact the Sloan Law Firm at: (908) 358-2938. The initial consultation is always free. We are available 24/7.