New Jersey teen drivers forced to identify themselves beginning May 1

Teenage drivers in New Jersey will soon be easily recognizable. Following through on legislation approved last year by former Governor Jon Corzine, the Motor Vehicle Commission recently introduced red decals that most motorists under the age of 21 will be forced to display on their license plates.

The new law requiring decals, which will begin to be enforced on May 1, will alert police of anyone who is driving on a learner’s permit or a probationary license, according to

Pam Fischer, director of New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety, says the law will help police enforce “things like a curfew, making sure they’re not having too many passengers in the car, they’re complying with the ban on hand-held and hands-free cell phones and so forth.”

After drivers have completed the 12-month provisional-license period, they will no longer be required to display the decal.

Meanwhile, local teenagers are speaking out against the regulation, stating that it unfairly targets a specific age group.

“It’s already scary being a new driver, but to know that you have a scarlet letter on your car can make you even more nervous,” said Christina Lombardo, the chapter vice president of Students Against Destructive Decisions at Old Bridge High School, quoted by

The decals cost $4 and will go on sale April 12 at Motor Vehicle Commission offices statewide.