New Jersey

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban all drivers
Young drivers all cellphone ban learner's permit and intermediate license holders
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 65
Urban interstates (mph) 55
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 161
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months1
Have a minimum supervised driving time of none
Have a minimum age of 171
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
no more than 1 passenger (exception is limited to drivers' dependents)
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 12 months or until age 21, whichever occurs first (min. age: 18)
Passenger restrictions 12 months or until age 21, whichever occurs first (min. age: 18)
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 4 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds
Adult safety belt permissible not permissible
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Seating preference children 7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds must be in the rear seat if available
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 03/01/85
Standard enforcement? yes; effective 05/01/00 (secondary for rear seat occupants; effective 1/20/11)
Who is covered? In what seats? 7 years and younger and more than 80 pounds; 8+ in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $20
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? yes
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered all riders
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 16 and younger
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage employees engaged in their duties
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less; the commissioner may permit use on specified roads where the posted speed limit is greater than 25 mph but not greater than 35 mph
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? local jurisdictions must pass an ordinance and apply to Transportation Commissioner to participate in a pilot program
Violations red light
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? registered owner and driver are jointly liable
What image is taken? two or more images of vehicle and tag
Traditional enforcement penalty $85
Auto enforcement penalties/record penalty same as for traditional citation; no points

1In New Jersey, the permit becomes an intermediate license after six months for drivers younger than 21 and after 3 months for drivers 21 and older. The graduated licensing law applies to adults, except that the night driving and passenger restrictions are waived for new drivers 21 and older. If the applicant has not completed driver education, the minimum permit age is 17 and the minimum intermediate license age is 17, 6 months. Learner's permit holders may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and may carry only one passenger in addition to the supervising driver or any parent, guardian or dependant.