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How to Renew an Expired Driver's License in New Jersey

by Tina Amo

New Jersey provides a grace period to renew your expired driver's license and doesn't charge a penalty for renewing past the due date. With few exceptions, you must renew expired licenses in person at the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). New Jersey does not allow online renewals.

Period of Validity

New Jersey's driver's licenses expire four years after the issue date. You have up to three years to renew yours after it expires but it is illegal to continue driving with it until you do. You must apply for a new license if you have missed the three-year grace period. Like any new applicant, you have to pass the written, driving and eye tests if you re-apply for the license.

Visit the Motor Vehicle Commission

New Jersey offers a "Skip the Trip" mail renewal service for licenses that are still valid, but you can't use it if your license has expired. You must renew in person so the MVC can take a new digital photo of you. The state uses a six-point identification system that assigns points to various types of identification you present. For instance, a primary form of identification, like a birth certificate, is worth two points while a secondary is worth one. You must present enough identification to earn the six points necessary to begin the renewal process. The MVC also requires a vision test and an application fee. As of 2015, this fee is $24.

Renew by Mail

The MVC will allow you to renew your expired license by mail if you are unable to do it in person because you are out of the state or country for an extended period. You can renew this way for a basic automobile license (Class D) but not for a commercial driver’s license (Class A, B, C). Complete the "Application for Driver's License" form and write a letter explaining why you can't renew in person. Also, include copies of your identification documents that satisfy the six-point requirement, a check or money order for the $24 fee and a return envelope for your renewed license. The MVC suggests sending a tracking envelope. Call the department at (609) 292-6500 to request the form.

Concessions for Military Personal

Active military personnel who have been deployed receive automatic extensions so their licenses don't expire in their absence. When they return, they have two weeks to renew their licenses at the MVC following the regular procedure. They can use their licenses before the renewal but must carry documentation showing their special status and the extension the MVC provided.

About the Author

Tina Amo has been writing business-related content since 2006. Her articles appear on various well-known websites. Amo holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

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