Did you know your New Jersey transponder might actually be illegally placed in your car? It's something most in New Jersey might not even realize.

Now to be clear, the transponder on its own isn't illegal. In fact, most drivers from other states have their E-ZPass transponders located in the same general areas as those from New Jersey.

Now, does that mean the E-ZPass tags are mounted illegally in other states? It's possible, depending on the law.

In New Jersey, it is against the law to have anything obstructing the view of the windshield, with only very limited exceptions. The inspection sticker, located in the lower left corner from the passenger's view, would be one of those exceptions.

(David Lentz, ThinkStock)
(David Lentz, ThinkStock)

Can I get a ticket?

That's probably one of the biggest questions for anyone with E-ZPass. Can you get a ticket for having an E-ZPass transponder mounted onto your windshield?

Technically, yes you can. But is it likely? Probably not. At least, not as long as you place it in a spot that doesn't really obstruct the view of the driver.

The most common spot on the windshield is behind or around the rearview mirror. If you have it there, then it's highly likely a police officer wouldn't bother issuing a ticket for that.

EZ Pass transponder
EZ Pass transponder (Chris Swendeman, Townsquare Media NJ)

Ticket odds increased?

Now, what if the E-ZPass transponder is mounted on another part of the windshield? Say, midway down instead of along the top? Or, mounted midway down on the passenger side?

Would that increase the odds of getting pulled over for a ticket? Well, it might, depending on if it's obviously blocking the view of the driver.

But more likely than not, an officer won't actively try to stop you just for having an E-ZPass transponder mounted on your windshield, even if not directly behind the rearview mirror.

With that said, if someone were to mount it midway down on the windshield in front of the driver's seat, then there might be a problem. Not only should such a placement like that warrant a ticket, but it's also incredibly dangerous when it comes to seeing what's in front of you while driving.

Car air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror in a car / vehicle

What about air fresheners?

Just like an E-ZPass transponder, air fresheners are also technically illegal in New Jersey. At least, they're illegal if they obstruct a driver's view through the windshield in any way.

Car dice are another one that falls into that grey area when it comes to New Jersey law. They may look sharp hanging from that rearview mirror, but since they could block what a driver sees while operating the vehicle, they're technically not allowed.

With that said, the odds of getting pulled over for such items like that hanging from the rearview are relatively low, but not zero. And when it comes to anything like that, the size of the object hanging might matter more depending on how much of the view is obstructed.

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attachment-E-ZPass Delaware-River-Joint-Toll-Bridge-Commission

Important note

It really boils down to common sense. Yes, it's technically illegal for anything to obstruct the view of the windshield, but it doesn't mean you can't put your E-ZPass transponder there.

As long as it's placed in a logical spot where it won't make it dangerous to drive, there shouldn't be any issue. That, and as long as the driver is safe and responsible while operating the vehicle, the risk of getting a ticket is relatively low.


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Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.