Ever realize that an important document might have gotten swept into a junk mail pile?

Cue the frantic rifling through papers on a side table or basket.

A proposed measure would give New Jersey drivers the chance to avoid such a scene with at least one item — their vehicle registration.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, has introduced legislation that would allow for prepaying vehicle registration for up to ten years at a time.

NJ MVC vehicle
NJ MVC vehicle (Rick Rickman, Townsquare Media NJ)

“Every time a renewal is required it opens drivers up to complications. If a notice or response get lost in the mail, or if someone simply forgets to renew their registration, drivers can face costly tickets or even the prospect of having their vehicle towed,” O’Scanlon said in outlining the measure.

He said prepaid registration would be transferable to a new vehicle, if a motorist moves on before the time expires.

Currently, after an initial multi-year new car registration period, New Jersey residents must renew a vehicle’s registration yearly with the state Motor Vehicle Commission.

If someone is pulled over for a registration violation they may have to pay a fine to renew their registration and may even have their car impounded by the police.

Those interested in prepaying would pay the then-current registration fee for all years up front.

Others might choose to stick to the annual registration schedule.

MVC branch in Wayne
MVC branch in Wayne(NJ MVC)

Under state guidelines, some motorists now qualify for online renewal of a registration — which once completed, is effective immediately.

Drivers also can now display an electronic form of vehicle registration.

Paper registrations still are mailed to a motorist’s address after renewal.

There are also still practices for renewing vehicle registrations in-person and by mail.

“This bill would protect drivers by reducing the likelihood that they’ll be pulled over and penalized for a registration violation, which will save New Jerseyans time, hassle and money in the long run, and save the MVC money as well,” O’Scanlon said in a written statement.

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