Online car buying, digital registrations may soon become a reality in NJ

Going to a car dealership to sign your new ride papers could get as archaic as using a dial-up modem.

A flurry of bills approved by both houses of the state legislature on Thursday could allow New Jersey drivers to complete a full vehicle transaction online and allow them to show authorities a digital copy of their registrations.

The State Assembly and State Senate have approved bills allowing drivers to present a paper or electronic record to authorities, a proposal that has been pending since 2019.

If signed by Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey would join two other states, Michigan and Tennessee, which allow drivers to show digital proof of vehicle registration.

Like the provisions of previous invoices, a driver does not give consent to a police officer or judge to access any other content on a smartphone, laptop or tablet by showing a digital recording. Any police officer or judge showing up with an electronic recording would be exonerated from any liability if the device was damaged.

The two legislative bodies also passed final approval of bills allowing vehicle dealers and buyers to complete a full sale of motor vehicles online. Technically, online sales are allowed, except for part of the transaction. Buyers must physically sign the purchase and registration documents.

Online and remote vehicle sales were added by Murphy to Executive Order 107 in March 2020 after coronavirus restrictions shut down businesses to reduce the spread. In-person sales resumed on May 19, 2020.

The bills would allow the buyer and an authorized motor vehicle dealer to use an electronic signature to sign all motor vehicle transaction documents and legally consider this to be an acceptable alternative to one. signature in traditional ink.

Bills go to Murphy for final action.

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Larry Higgs can be reached at [email protected].

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