Is it Legal to Show Registration on Your Phone If Pulled Over in New Jersey?
Today, I was driving on Route 37 in Toms River when the red and blue lights started flashing in my rearview.
I pulled over to the shoulder and went into my glove box to get my registration and insurance card. My insurance was there, but my registration was not. It was at that moment that it dawned on me that I brought my registration card into the house to get some information off of it and I totally forgot to bring it back out to the car.
But, I did have a picture of my registration on my phone. I thought if you could show your insurance card on your phone, you must be able to do the same with registration.
I was wrong.
The officer was quick to inform me that during a traffic stop, electronic copies of vehicle registration are not accepted.
Would you indulge me in a quick rant? Thanks. The only reason showing your registration and insurance is a thing is so the State can fine you for not having the documents in your car. It's a quick money grab plain and simple. The officer that pulls you over can find out if you are insured and if your vehicle is registered in a matter of minutes. How do I know this? I've watched it happen when I've been pulled over in the past.
I have the worst luck on the road. I could be going 1 mph over the limit. If there's a cop in the vicinity, I will be pulled over. It's like there's a neon sign over my car that says "screw this guy" that is blinking brightly.
In case you were wondering, this time I was pulled over for going 7 mph over the speed limit. 7 mph. The hope is that an officer can find any reason to stop you and then they go in for the kill with the registration and insurance nonsense. Most of the time if you are polite and honest you'll get a pass. But not always.
I want to make it clear that I don't blame police officers and State Troopers. They are doing their jobs. It's the State of New Jersey.
To recap, you cannot show your vehicle registration on an electronic device. You must have the card, and if you aren't able to present it at the time of a stop, the fine is $180.
The good news is that some members of our government are hoping to move us out of the dark ages with a new bill that would make it legal to show your documents on your mobile device. If passed, we would join only two other states that are going electronic. I wonder why so few states are open to allowing documents to be presented on phones? The answer is simple. $.