The state of New Jersey offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
License and registration tax and fee exemption
Registration refunds are available for individuals who are currently an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who holds a valid NJ registration. You may be eligible for a refund of the remainder of your registration period if you fulfill the following:
Write a letter with proof of service and detail why you are requesting a refund.
Complete form RU-9 and include the information along with your proof of service.
Return original registration documentation along with your license plates and copy of military orders along with any out-of-state registrations.
Driver’s license veteran designation
New Jersey appreciates that our military veterans have proudly served to protect our freedom, and offers a special designation for ID cards issued in the state of NJ. Custom-designed stickers are now available for veterans who do not wish to wait through the entire process of getting their registration and renewal updated. The stickers can be obtained in a variety of ways: in person, or by mail. When requesting the designation in person, be sure you bring the following documents in order to receive your sticker at that time. You will also receive instructions for proper application of the sticker to your driver’s license or non-license identification card.
Current New Jersey driver’s license or non-driver ID card plus
Photocopy or original of General Discharge or honorable discharge papers
This could include: DD-214, DD-215, original official county-issued ID card, federal activation orders under Title 10, section 672 or section 12301 of the US Code or
Separation of Active Duty papers
Military honor plates
The state of New Jersey allows for active or inactive registered military personnel to purchase military reserve plates for commercial or passenger vehicles, with the exception of motorcycles. The cost for Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine and Navy Reserve are $25, while all others are $15. Learn more here.
Available military plate designs:
- National Guard
- Disabled American Veterans
- Combat Infantryman Badge
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Prisoner of War
- USAF Reserve
- Army Reserve
- USCG Reserve
- Gold Star Family
- USMC Reserve
- USN Reserve
- Disabled Vet
- Air/Army Guard
- Combat Veteran
- Navy Cross
- Silver Star
- Garden State
Military CDL skills test waiver
As of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule. This rule contains a provision authorizing SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) to allow U.S. Military drivers to leverage their service-related truck driving experience in lieu of the skills test to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver License). In order to be eligible to skip this portion of the testing process the driver must apply within a year of leaving a military position, which required them to operate a commercial vehicle. The driver must have had two years such experience in order to qualify for the waiver program.
Applicants must certify to an SDLA:
His or her experience as a safe driver
That he or she hasn’t held more than one license (excepting a U.S. Military driver license) in the previous two years
That he or she has not had their driver license (issued by their base state) suspended, revoked, or cancelled
That he or she has not been convicted of a motor vehicle violation that would disqualify them from obtaining a CDL
There is a range of offenses that can disqualify military personnel from participating in the skills waiver program; these include things like DUI, hit-and-run accidents, or using a CMV to commit a felony.
The Military Skills Test Waiver program in New Jersey and almost every other state is the result of collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in order to make the process of getting a CDL easier for veterans. Military personnel with applicable experience can download and print the waiver here. Applicants must still complete the written CDL test.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
This legislation provides authority for states to issue a CDL to active military members, including the Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, even if they are not New Jersey residents, as long as their temporary or permanent base is in New Jersey.
Active or veteran military personnel who wish to find out more about veteran and military driver laws and benefits in Alabama can consult the state’s motor vehicle division website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Jersey and was authored by Valerie Johnston.