SENATE, No. 324
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Senator PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Senator ANTHONY M. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Assemblyman DANIEL R. BENSON
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblyman ROY FREIMAN
District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)
Assemblywoman BETTYLOU DECROCE
District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Senators Gill, O'Scanlon, Assemblyman Moen, Assemblywomen Vainieri Huttle, Jasey, Assemblyman Calabrese and Senator Pou
Authorizes operators of motor vehicles to display electronic proof of registration; requires MVC to send application for registration renewal to lessee of leased vehicle.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As amended by the General Assembly on March 25, 2021.
An Act concerning 2[certain proof of]2 motor vehicle registration and amending 2R.S.39:3-4,2 R.S.39:3-292,2 and P.L.1972, c.200.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
21. R.S.39:3-4 is amended to read as follows:
39:3-4. Except as hereinafter provided, every resident of this State and every nonresident whose automobile or motorcycle shall be driven in this State shall, before using the vehicle on the public highways, register the same, and an automobile or motorcycle shall not be driven unless so registered.
Registration shall be made in the following manner: An application in writing, signed by the applicant or by an agent or officer, in case the applicant is a corporation, shall be made to the chief administrator or the chief administrator's agent, on forms prepared and supplied by the chief administrator, containing the name, street address of the residence or the business of the owner, mailing address, if different from the street address of the owner's residence or business, and age of the owner, together with a description of the character of the automobile or motorcycle, including the name of the maker and the vehicle identification number, or the manufacturer's number or the number assigned by the chief administrator if the vehicle does not have a vehicle identification number, and any other statement that may be required by the chief administrator. A post office box shall appear on the application only as part of a mailing address that is submitted by the owner, agent or officer, as the case may be, in addition to the street address of the applicant's residence or business; provided, however, the chief administrator, upon application, shall permit a person who was a victim of a violation of section 1 of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10), N.J.S.2C:14-2, or P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.), or who the chief administrator otherwise determines to have good cause, to use as a mailing address a post office box, an address other than the applicant's address or other contact point. An owner whose last address appears on the records of the commission as a post office box shall change the owner's address on the owner's application for renewal to the street address of the owner's residence or business and, if different from the owner's street address, the owner's mailing address unless the chief administrator has determined, pursuant to this section, that the owner may use a post office box, an address other than the owner's address or other contact point as a mailing address. The application shall contain the name of the insurer of the vehicle and the policy number. If the vehicle is a leased motor vehicle, the application shall make note of that fact and shall include along with the name and street address of the lessor the name, street address, and driver license number of the lessee.
Thereupon the chief administrator shall have the power to grant a registration certificate to the owner of any motor vehicle, if over 17 years of age, application for the registration having been properly made and the fee therefor paid, and the vehicle being of a type that complies with the requirements of this Title. The form and contents of the registration certificate to be issued shall be determined by the chief administrator.
If the vehicle is a leased motor vehicle, the registration certificate shall, in addition to containing the name and street address of the lessor, identify the vehicle as a leased motor vehicle.
The chief administrator shall maintain a record of all registration certificates issued, and of the contents thereof.
Every registration shall expire and the registration certificate thereof become void on the registrant's numerical calendar day of birth in the 12th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was issued; except that the registration shall expire on the last day of the 12th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was issued if the numerical calendar day of the registrant's birth does not correspond to a numerical calendar day in that month or if the vehicle is a leased motor vehicle.
The chief administrator may, at the chief administrator's discretion, require registrations which shall expire, and issue certificates thereof which shall become void, on a date fixed by him, which date shall not be sooner than three months nor later than 26 months after the date of issuance of the certificates, and the fees for the registrations, including any other fees or charges collected in connection with the registration fee, shall be fixed by the chief administrator in amounts proportionately less or greater than the fees established by law. The chief administrator may fix the expiration date for registration certificates at a date other than 12 months if the chief administrator determines that the change is necessary, appropriate or convenient in order to aid in implementing the vehicle inspection requirements of chapter 8 of Title 39 or for other good cause. The chief administrator may, for good cause extend a registration beyond the expiration date that appears upon the registration certificate for periods not to exceed 12 additional months. The chief administrator may extend the expiration date of a registration without payment of a proportionate fee when the chief administrator determines that the extension is necessary for good cause. If any registration is so extended, the owner shall pay upon renewal the full registration fee for the period fixed by the chief administrator as if no extension had been granted.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, every registration for new passenger automobiles shall expire and the registration certificate shall become void on the registrant's numerical calendar day of birth in the 48th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was initially issued; except that the registration shall expire on the last day of the 48th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was initially issued if the numerical calendar day of the registrant's birth does not correspond to a numerical calendar day in that month.
On and after February 1, 2005, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to new passenger automobiles purchased by a rental company for use as rental passenger automobiles. As used in this paragraph, "rental company" means a person engaged in the business of renting motor vehicles; and "rental passenger automobile" means a passenger automobile that is rented without a driver and used in the transportation of persons or property other than commercial freight.
If the new passenger automobile being registered is a leased passenger automobile, the registration shall expire in accordance with the term of the lease. If the term of the lease extends beyond one or more 12-month periods by one or more months, the registration period shall be based upon the full year into which one or more of the months extend; provided, however, the registration period for a leased automobile shall not exceed 48 months.
Following the 48-month period of the initial registration of a new passenger automobile, the subsequent registration shall expire, and the registration certificate shall become void, on the registrant's numerical calendar day of birth in the 12th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was next issued; except that the registration shall expire on the last day of the 12th calendar month following the calendar month in which the certificate was next issued if the numerical calendar day of the registrant's birth does not correspond to a numerical calendar day in that month.
All motorcycles for which registrations have been issued prior to the effective date of P.L.1989, c.167 and which are scheduled to expire between November 1 and March 31 shall, upon renewal, be issued registrations by the chief administrator which shall expire on a date fixed by him, but in no case shall that expiration date be earlier than April 30 nor later than October 31. The fees for the renewal of the motorcycle registrations authorized under this paragraph shall be fixed by the chief administrator in an amount proportionately less or greater than the fee established by R.S.39:3-21.
Application forms for all renewals of registrations for passenger automobiles shall be sent to the last addresses of owners of motor vehicles and motorcycles, as they appear on the records of the commission, except that the application form for a renewal of registration for a leased passenger automobile shall be sent to the last address of the lessee of the motor vehicle as it appears on the records of the commission.
A person owning or having control over any unregistered vehicle shall not permit the same to be parked or to stand on a public highway.
Any police officer is authorized to remove any unregistered vehicle from the public highway to a storage space or garage, and the expense involved in the removal and storing of the vehicle shall be borne by the owner of the vehicle, except that the expense shall be borne by the lessee of a leased vehicle.
Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $100, except that for the misstatement of any fact in the application required to be made to the chief administrator, the person making the statement or omitting the statement that the motor vehicle is to be used as a leased motor vehicle when that is the case shall be subject to the penalties provided in R.S.39:3-37.
The chief administrator may extend the expiration date of a registration certificate without payment of a proportionate fee when the chief administrator determines that the extension is necessary, appropriate or convenient to the implementation of vehicle inspection requirements. If any registration certificate is so extended, the owner shall pay upon renewal the full registration fee for the period fixed by the chief administrator as if no extension had been granted.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall make a reasonable effort to notify any lessor whose name and address is on file with the commission, or any other lessor the commission may determine it is necessary to notify, of the requirements of this amendatory act.
A lessor doing business in this State shall notify in writing the lessee of a motor vehicle registered pursuant to this Title of any change in its policies or procedures affecting the registration of the motor vehicle.2
(cf: P.L.2017, c.271, s.1)
2[1.] 2.2 R.S.39:3-29 is amended to read as follows:
39:3-29. The driver's license, the registration certificate of a motor vehicle, and an insurance identification card shall be in the possession of the driver or operator at all times when [he] the driver or operator is in charge of a motor vehicle on the highways of this State.
The driver or operator shall exhibit [his] the driver or operator’s driver's license and an insurance identification card, and the holder of a registration certificate or the operator or driver of a motor vehicle for which a registration certificate has been issued, whether or not the holder, driver or operator is a resident of this State, shall also exhibit the registration certificate, when requested so to do by a police officer or judge, while in the performance of the duties of [his] their office, and shall write [his] the driver or operator’s name in the presence of the officer, so that the officer may thereby determine the identity of the licensee and at the same time determine the correctness of the registration certificate, as it relates to the registration number and number plates of the motor vehicle for which it was issued; and the correctness of the evidence of a policy of insurance, as it relates to the coverage of the motor vehicle for which it was issued.
The registration certificate or insurance identification card may be displayed or provided in either paper or electronic form. For the purposes of this section, "electronic form" means the display of images on an electronic device, such as a cellular telephone, tablet, or computer.
The use of a cellular telephone, tablet, computer, or any other electronic device to display proof of registration or insurance does not constitute consent for a police officer or judge to access any other contents on the device. Any police officer or judge presented with an electronic device pursuant to this section shall be immune from any liability resulting from damage to the device.
Any person violating this section shall be subject to a fine of $150, except that if the person is a driver or operator of an omnibus, as defined pursuant to R.S.39:1-1, the amount of the fine shall be $250. Of the amount of any such fine collected pursuant to this paragraph, $25 shall be deposited in the Uninsured Motorist Prevention Fund established by section 2 of P.L.1983, c.141 (C.39:6B-3).
If a person charged with a violation of this section can exhibit [his] the person’s driver's license, insurance identification card, and registration certificate, which were valid on the day [he] the person was charged, to the judge of the municipal court before whom [he] the person is summoned to answer to the charge, such judge may dismiss the charge. However, the judge may impose court costs.
In addition to and independent of any fine or other penalty provided for under law, the court shall impose a fine of $150 on any driver or operator of an omnibus, convicted of a violation of this section, who does not have a certificate of public convenience and necessity as required pursuant to R.S.48:4-3. The State Treasurer shall annually deposit the monies collected from the fines imposed pursuant to this paragraph to the "Omnibus Safety Enforcement Fund" established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2007, c.40 (C.39:3-79.23). The fine described herein shall not be deemed a fine, penalty, or forfeiture pursuant to R.S.39:5-41.
(cf: P.L.2015, c.54, s.1)
2[2.] 3.2 Section 2 of P.L.1972, c.200 (C.39:3-29.1) is amended to read as follows:
2. a. The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission 1[shall] may1 promulgate rules and regulations concerning the issuance, design, and content of the registration certificates required by this act.
The 1[rules and regulations shall:
(1) contain provisions designed] commission may take any actions necessary1 to deter and detect counterfeit or fraudulent registration certificates 1[;]1 and 1[
(2) ] to1 provide for an electronic form for the display of registration certificates as provided in R.S.39:3-29.
b. The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall, after consultation with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, promulgate rules and regulations concerning the issuance, design, and content of the insurance identification cards required by this act.
The rules and regulations shall:
(1) contain provisions designed to deter and detect counterfeit or fraudulent insurance identification cards; and
(2) provide for an electronic form for the display of insurance identification cards as provided in R.S.39:3-29.
(cf: P.L.2015, c.54, s.2)
24. (New section) The driver or operator of a motor vehicle may provide proof of registration in electronic form to any law enforcement officer, judicial officer, or other person, including an electronic image or photograph depicting the registration certificate for the motor vehicle.2
2 52 2[This] Sections 1 through 3 of this2 act shall take effect 1[immediately] on the first day of the 18th month following enactment, but the chief administrator may take any anticipatory acts in advance of that date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act1. 2Section 4 of this act shall take effect immediately and shall expire on the first day of the 18th month following enactment.2