I am a parent. I also happen to own a driving school, but I was a parent first. My children are older and I have already successfully navigated (short prayer of thanks) the high school, solo cup, dorm living phases of their existence.
We were reviewing NJ Motor Vehicle practice tests for the 16 year old permit, and my eyes settled on multiple choice question ” At what BAC is it illegal for an individual under 21 to drive?” The answer choices were 0.10, 0.08, 0.05, 0.01. I thought about this for a minute and wondered if NJ had reduced the tolerance for provisional license holders. I am old enough to remember the BAC reduction from 0.10 to 0.08. When I referred to that section of the NJ Motor Vehicle Driver Instruction Manual, the answer was 0.01. There is zero tolerance for individuals under 21 to operate a motor vehicle when they have been drinking. If your young driver is caught doing so; they face fines, suspension of driving privilege and surcharges. With high school graduation being just last week, this seemed like a great time for this info share.
Effective October 1, 2020 – NJ Drivers will need to trade in their New Jersey driver’s license for a Real ID if they want to fly or enter federal facilities. The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission is still preparing to be able to provide NJ Real ID and hope to provide a limited quantity to NJ Driver’s License holders effective June 15, 2019 – however they are not going to make getting that gold star easy! Applicants for Real ID will need to bring two proofs of address as well as proof of social security number when they head to the DMV. Lines will be long and the process will be slow until everyone gets the swing of it – so those going for their Real ID should being their patience also….
Here is what you must know:
- The REAL ID looks like your traditional New Jersey driver license or ID, but with a gold star in the upper right corner. The standard driver license or ID looks similar, but instead of a gold star, it will have the words NOT FOR “REAL ID” PURPOSES written on it. Both the REAL ID driver license and the standard driver license are valid for driving. Here is what it will look like:
- The MVC will begin beta-testing REAL ID issuance in June 2019. The MVC will start with one agency, then as it works out the kinks, the department will expand to more agencies.
- During beta testing, the MVC will be issuing actual REAL ID licenses and IDs. You can find out more – and sign up to be notified when the agency near you starts issuing – at REALIDNJ.com.
- There will be an $11 fee associated with changing your standard NJ driver license or non-driver ID to a REAL ID if not done at renewal.
- You can get a REAL ID driver license or non-driver ID prior to the expiration of your current driver license or ID by visiting any New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Agency. This REAL ID driver license or ID will expire upon your current expiration date. Sign up to be notified when the agency nearest you starts issuing REAL ID.
- You are not required to get a REAL ID. However, starting October 1, 2020, if you typically use your driver license or non-driver ID (instead of a passport or other form of ID) to fly domestically, you probably want a REAL ID. Otherwise you will need to use other acceptable identification such as a valid U.S. passport or military ID. The standard New Jersey driver license can still be used for driving.
- REAL IDs are best for those who typically use their driver license or non-driver ID (instead of a passport or other forms of ID) to fly domestically.
- If your current driver license or non-driver ID expires after September 30, 2020, you can wait until renewal time, but you’ll need to use a passport or another form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel in the interim. Or, you can come into an agency sooner to change to a REAL ID driver license or ID.
- People are probably familiar with what they currently need to provide at the Motor Vehicle Commission agency as proof of identification for a standard ID. They need to have a verifiable Social Security Number, they need to provide one document as proof of address and they need to provide identity documents that add up to 6 points according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission guidelines.
- You will need to bring the following with you to get a REAL ID: two documents as proof of your address; one document as proof of your Social Security Number; identity documents that add up to six REAL ID points. Please check back at REALIDNJ.com soon for a link to an online calculator which will help you choose exactly what documents you will need to bring to a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agency for REAL ID.
- It is a federal requirement for security purposes that MVC scan the documents and keep them securely stored in an encrypted format.
- Your identification documents will be verified and, under certain circumstances, shared with the federal government. You can find out more by visiting the website https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.
- To get your first REAL ID driver license or non-driver ID, you will have to visit a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agency. The MVC recommends you visit the agency during the middle of the month to potentially reduce your waiting time.
- The MVC will be adding more online services so drivers don’t have to visit an agency for certain transactions, such as renewing a standard driver license or non-driver ID. So check the website to see if you can skip the trip to Motor Vehicle.
- The MVC is increasing staffing so that it can serve people more quickly if you have to come to the agency in person. If you are getting a REAL ID for the first time, you will have to visit an MVC agency.
- By federal law, people who are 18 and older after September 30, 2020, will need a REAL ID to fly domestically if you do not have a valid passport to use. More information can be found on the federal DHS website.
Who has seen this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl-CzC2HLKo
Subaru had the most wonderful idea; use adorable golden retrievers and mimic the trials of both parallel parking and the parenting of a would-be driver. It was brilliant! It resonates with parents of drivers, adults who were in the student seat – and of course, dog lovers everywhere!
Parallel parking is still a very real part of the NJ driver license road test. It is one of the primary things that student driver’s with NJ driver permits practice over and over. We see them on weekends in parking lots working their way in and out of the orange cones that define the parking space.
I was trying to evaluate the relevancy of parallel parking for a student driver. Where do you still use this skill? Our office is in Moorestown, NJ and you definitely still use it here in town; our Main Street is lined with parallel parking spots. Individuals coming in from Mount Laurel or Cinnaminson and Delran all have to navigate around or pause for, those attempting to slide themselves into the prized storefront spots. That however, was the only local place I could think of.
Back in the day both Moorestown and Cherry Hill malls had parallel parking spots around the premises for those driving in from surrounding South Jersey towns. There was a drive-in movie theater in Palmyra that also sported some bordering parking spots, and of course Pennsauken Mart had some also! Those places have come (expanded in the cases of Moorestown and Cherry Hill malls) or gone (Palmyra and Pennsauken). It surprises me that the NJ DMV still requires this skill. Perhaps when you are not in South Jersey the local towns have a greater need. We should have NJ Motor Vehicle develop a ‘South Jersey’ driving test…. and hold the parallel parking. Wouldn’t that be great!
How did I become a Driving Instructor? Short answer? Maxwell’s Driving School took the time to teach me the ropes. Long answer? Here you go…. Maxwell’s Driving School had me ride with and observe two of their drivers while I was working on getting my Driver Instructor License. The instructors had two different type personalities with two distinct teaching methods that worked individually for them. I can say that I use portions of what I learned from each while in the car with new students. I very much appreciated getting to audit both drivers.
I think, for me, the most obvious characteristic that stood out to me was the even-keeled approach the instructors had with their students. It was also explained to me that I should not be ‘spoiled’ by what I saw from one student to another because all students do not pick up the nuances of driving as quickly. The instructor’s tone was conversational and sure and one that shared a confidence that could be instilled in his student so he could get comfortable and shake any nerves he may have had at first entering the car.
We started with some of the vehicle basics that most of us who have been driving take for granted. Seat placement was his starting point. Adjusting the seat so the student’s right foot was able to contact the brake pedal and with the heel resting on the floor mat so the foot could easily go from brake to accelerator without lifting the foot. Rearview mirror adjusted so the entire rear window was aligned with it and side mirrors adjusted to see a small piece of the car side and level to the road for maximum exposure to other vehicles trailing behind the car. A short discussion on ‘blind spots’ followed the mirror adjustments with the instructor outside of the vehicle and walking up the side to demonstrate where another vehicle would disappear from view and the importance of glancing over your left or right shoulder prior to changing lanes. Review of the interior dash was next highlighting the turn signals, lights, high beams, windshield wipers, tachometer, speedometer, temperature gauge, gas gauge and the Hazard light button; with an explanation on the importance of using it if stalled or on/off the road in an emergency.
With the student’s foot on the brake the vehicle was started and the transmission engaged to ‘Drive’. The instruction began in the parking lot with the easing of the foot from the brake and allowing the car to go forward first with no foot on the gas pedal and steering our way around the lot slowly followed by the student applying some gas and picking up speeds to begin to get a feel for the gas, braking and steering of the car. After some Stop sign practice, left turn and right turn explanation and execution and a newly found confidence as to how the vehicle performed the student was ready for the road and the parking lot was excited.
We drove thru Haddon Heights and Haddonfield, Moorestown and Mount Laurel where we could execute a series of left and right turns while following the rules of stopping at the stop signs, clearing the sight lines for pedestrian and vehicular traffic and moving safely throughout the neighborhood. The student was able to listen to the clearly provided instruction and scan their mirrors for other traffic and drive around to avoid the many obstacles that were encountered on the streets; bicycles, people, animals, parked cars, moving cars…
After getting comfortable in the neighborhood, we graduated to a more major road with higher speed limits and additional traffic lanes so he could be introduced to additional obstacles in moving cars, changing lanes and traffic signals. The student was able to take suggestions and implement them immediately as they drove down the road.
We ended the two hour lesson with an introduction to parallel parking, where the instructor, again, had specific pointers for his student to make sure he could take some visual pointers from the positioning of the parking cones and flags that allowed him to put the car in the 25 foot space and K Turn out once done.
I thought the driving lesson was a good one to observe because I was able to see a student who was sharp, a good listener, and a willing participant take instruction delivered in a calm, professional manner from his instructor and execute the driving of a car for the first time in a neighborhood and execute the basic elements of what is tested for on the Motor Vehicle driver’s license examination and prepare for his road test.
Being a driving instructor is not for everyone, but being able to teach, support and guide those with their NJ learner permit or learning to drive is a great fit for me.
April Showers bring May Flowers…. or so the saying goes. If you are a new driver however spring showers can bring some new obstacles and opportunities of which you should be aware:
- Be on the lookout for potholes… they are everywhere this time of year. One good pothole can bounce you into traffic or damage your vehicle.
- Slow down for spring showers…. when you are studying for your driving test you learn about hydroplaning and the dangers of rain on the roadways. Spring showers can be a hazard if you aren’t careful.
- Watch for animals on the move. It is ‘Spring’ and the deer as well as other animals are on the move! Be sure to keep an eye out for animals darting into roadways.
- Watch for pedestrians on the move…. and bicyclists…. and motorcycles. Everyone is out and about when the weather is nice!
- And finally: maintain proper tire air pressure and inspect your tire tread. Being prepared goes a long way!
Have you scheduled your road test to get your NJ drivers license? Congratulations! Here are a few things that you need to remember….
For the first year that you have your NJ driver’s license, it is Provisional. What does this mean? Basically it means that you have some additional restrictions that you must pay attention to when operating a motor vehicle such as provisional license holders may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5AM. In addition, provisional license holders are allowed no more than 1 passenger under age 20 for first 6 months of licensure, and no more than 3 passengers under age 20 for the next 6 months. Provisional drivers must be accompanied by an adult driver who is at least 21 year or older and has a valid New Jersey driver’s license with a minimum of three years of driving experience, and you are prohibited from using any type of wireless communication device while driving. Finally, you must have a reflective decal on both the front and back license plates of your vehicle. The decals are available at New Jersey motor vehicle agencies and cost $4 for each pair.
The good news is that the provisional period only lasts for one year. Teen drivers that hold their probationary license for one year without any suspensions or postponements and are at least 18 years of age may apply for a full driver license. They will need to take their 6 point and visit their local Motor Vehicle Commission office with their probationary license and they will leave with a standard motor vehicle license.
If you have any questions about this process, give us a call. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Parallel Parking; every student driver’s dreaded component to obtaining their license. How relevant is this skill?
Parallel parking is the equivalent of Season 8 of Game of Thrones: unknown despite knowing it is coming! Every student practices, driving instructors teach, and parents dread.
Where we live in Moorestown, NJ, parallel parking is definitely relevant. Last night we went up to Main Street for dinner, and gracefully slipped into our curbside spot without issue. We should; we own a driving school! Interestingly enough however, just two cars up someone else was having a completely different experience. After unsuccessfully attempting to park twice, the driver let his date out at the curb and proceeded up to the traffic light to go to the public parking behind the restaurant. Not the best start to the evening, and hopefully not a first date…. not the best impression!
Living in Moorestown, walking in Moorestown or growing up in Moorestown – you know about parallel parking. That makes it relevant locally, but how about the bigger picture?
Going into Philadelphia last week, we were in a parking garage under One Liberty Place that had parallel parking available for visitors. They were the only available spaces on the first 3 floors of parking: apparently not used by visitors. Into Collingswood for Cipolli Cannoli? Parallel parking again. Finally and much to my surprise, I took my dog to the groomers in Rancocas Woods last week and due to multiple individuals dodging the raindrops, the only way I could tuck my vehicle into the lot was to parallel park in the driveway leading to the parking lot.
Dreaded or not, parallel parking is more relevant than we give it credit for. So practice, practice, practice: and give us a call: we can help. Happy Parking!
As seen in Moorestown Patch March 28, 2019
MOORESTOWN, NJ – Anyone driving in and through Moorestown next month should probably make sure they put their phone down because police will be watching. Moorestown police on Wednesday said they support New Jersey’s “UDrive. UText. UPay.” enforcement campaign that will run from April 1-21.
“This is clearly one of the most critical traffic safety issues that we face today,” New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Eric Heitmann said. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016 alone, 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and an estimated 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.”
In New Jersey, driver inattention was listed as a contributing circumstance in 53 percent of the state’s crashes in 2016, police said. It was listed as a contributing factor in crashes at a rate nine times higher than that of the next highest contributing factor, which was speed.
Read the full article here: