Written by attorney Kenneth Albert Vercammen

Driving while suspended defenses 39:3-40

There are two types of license suspension :

  1. Court imposed suspension

  2. Administrative / Division of Motor Vehicles suspension

The most common scenario reflects where that the driver, through a motor vehicle violation, failure to pay surcharge or a accumulated points has been placed on a suspended list maintained by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles (Division of Motor Vehicles), thereby making them ineligible to operate a motor vehicle for a prescribed period of time in this state.

If the driver is aware that they are on the suspended list and acknowledged they were suspended to the police officer there is little room for defense However, more often than not the driver claims that they were unaware of their placement on the suspension list.

The scenario that will often be presented by the driver is that he/she was stopped by police for an unrelated motor vehicle violation. In the process of the police encounter they were informed by the officer that their license has been suspended and they were issued an additional summons for Driving While Suspended. Over the past decade several New Jersey cases have crafted the current position on the driving while suspended issue that often confronts many municipal courts throughout the state.


The first and foremost is that of adequate notice of the suspension. In Parsekian v. Cresse, 75 N.J. Super. 405 (App Div. 1962), the court ruled that it was incumbent upon the Director of the State Division of Motor Vehicles to provide fair and adequate notice to the licensed driver of the proposed suspension of their license. The court recognized that the Director could not arbitrarily suspend the license of a driver without providing both notice and enunciating specific reasons as to why the license was being suspended. NOTICE BY Division of Motor Vehicles

Where the driver was suspended by the Division of Motor Vehicles, the state must introduce

Notice of scheduled suspension. Proof of mailing notice. Order of suspension. Proof of mailing order. Certified motor vehicle abstract.

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