New Jersey Driver, Pennsylvania Traffic Violation – What Happens?

The quick answer is that the New Jersey driver will be assigned 2 motor vehicle points to his or her NJ driving record if he or she is convicted of or pleads guilty to the PA traffic (moving) violation.

This is the policy of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. I am not sure whether this policy of assigning 2 points to any out-of-state moving violation is legal. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are part of the Interstate Driving Compact, as are almost every state. The Interstate Drivers Compact requires that the state in which the driver is convicted of a motor vehicle violation must report the conviction to the driver’s “home” state. The driver’s home state is then supposed to interpret the state’s law where the driver received the ticket as compared to the “home” state law.

For example, if a NJ driver gets a moving violation in PA, NJ is supposed to read the Pennsylvania law and determine what NJ law is most similar to the PA law and assess motor vehicle points as the similar NJ law would.

But the policy for NJ (from what I am told by the NJ MVC) is that any out-of-state moving violation is assessed 2 NJ motor vehicle points. It seems that NJ does not go through the comparison process that the Interstate Drivers Compact requires.

The problem I see is that NJ has a few zero-point motor vehicle (moving) violations, as do most other states. If a client gets convicted of (or pleads guilty to) a zero-point offense in PA, automatically NJ will assess 2 motor vehicle points. Is this fair? Is this contrary to established law?

The problem is, to fight this government policy may take thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of legal work. Most clients would want to spend thousands of dollars to fight NJ MVC policy. So, for now, big government may be winning this battle.

F.Y.I.: Non-moving violations such as parking tickets and equipment violations do not transfer any points.