In the near future, instead of showing your paper New Jersey vehicle registration document to a police officer when you’re pulled over, you’ll be able to show electronic proof of registration.
But it is New Jersey, so there’s a catch—You’ll just have to wait 18 months for the benefit to arrive.
The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26), was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy Nov. 8.
“Knowing they will be able to use their phone to prove their car is properly registered may provide a bit of relief. This will also save drivers from the hassle and costs of responding to unnecessary tickets for failing to provide proof of registration,” said Bucco.
Mechanics of the Law
Under the law, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) will be required to develop electronic vehicle registration certificates for use in the state. The agency will need to offer these to customers, and draft provisions to deter and detect counterfeit registrations.
“No one wants to ever be in a position not to have their registration on them. It’s stressful enough getting pulled over without having to dig through the glove box looking for paperwork you throw in there and then forget about,” DeCroce said. “Using technology to ease one part of the process is a small win for drivers.”
The law follows in the footsteps of a 2015 law which allowed drivers to display electronic proof of insurance when pulled over by a police officer.
Bucco and DeCroce positioned the act as a way to modernize the agency.
“Granting drivers the option of displaying vehicle registration information digitally is part of our effort to modernize New Jersey’s motor vehicle services,” added Bucco. “Our experience rolling out digital insurance cards has been extremely positive, so it makes sense to allow digital registrations as well.”
Bucco previously decried NJMVC’s performance during the pandemic, with labor shortages leading to long wait and lead times for inspections, documentation, and more.
“Using technology to ease one part of the process is a small win for drivers,” said DeCroce.