Montclair Under State Rules to Ration Gasoline [UPDATED]

The ordinance will go in effect on Saturday at Noon


[Updated: 10:30 a.m. Saturday]

Montclair Council's ordinance to restrict the purchase of gasoline by license plate number has been superseded by a state order.

Governor Chris Christie signed an executive order Friday night rationing the purchase of fuel based on the last number of car's license plate starting at noon on Saturday.

Montclair’s rationing ordinance which was passed prior to Executive Order 108 is no longer in effect. 

The state has imposed gasoline rationing in 12 counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Monmouth, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.

According to the state, plates ending in an even number can fill up on even numbered days of the month, while plates ending in an odd number can fill up on odd numbered days of the month.

Zero is considered an even number.

The number to look for is the final numerical digit contained in the plate number, whether it is the final character on the plate or not, according to the governor's office. 

For example, a theoretical plate number of "MVM 48Q" would have "8" as its final numerical digit, and would be permitted to fill up on an even day.

Specialized or vanity plates, those not displaying any numbers, will be considered odd numbered plates, the release said.

"Only in cases where there are no numbers and only letters is the plate counted as an odd number," said Kevin Roberts of Gov. Chris Christie's press office in an email to Patch.

This system does not apply to gas cans, such as those for generators, at this time, according to a spokesman from the governor's office.

The ration order will remain in effect for as long as the limited declared state of energy emergency is in effect.

Click here for a fuel price guide for gas stations in the state.

Click here to go to the state's Office of Emergency Management website where you can find a list of open gas stations, pharmacies and stores.  

Click here for Patch's real-time updates about where to find gasoline.


[Originally posted: Friday] The Montclair Council passed an ordinance late Friday will restrict the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel in town to an odd/even system based on a car's license plate starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday. 

Gasoline can be purchased however in containers on all days.

The distribution of gasoline and diesel within Montclair will be as follows:

  • The last digit or letter of a vehicle's license plate will determine whether the vehicle is odd or even. 
  • A license plate ending in letters A through M will be considered odd.
  • A license plate ending in letters N through Z will be considered even.
  • Gasoline and diesel fuel will be dispensed to odd number/letter vehicles on odd numbered dates.
  • Gasoline and diesel fuel will be dispensed to even number/letter vehicles on even numbered dates.
  • Saturday begins day one. 

This ordinance will remain in effect until further action of the council or until Township Manager Marc Dashield determines that the emergency is over.

The township cited the following reasons it sought to impose the restriction:

  • There is a severe difficulty in obtaining gasoline in Montclair after Hurricane Sandy.
  • Electric service remains out for nearly 50 percent of households in town.
  • The gasoline shortage is causing long lines at gasoline stations, in some cases exceeding one-half mile and resulting in waits of several hours for service.
  • Long lines at gas stations have caused serious disruptions in traffic.
Victoria Hanks November 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Yes I heard noon also--montclair needs to be on this to instruct people correctly. thank you
Linda Lombri November 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I can end the confusion, Jacob. After spending 1/2 hr on line for the Valley Road Delta station, a very understanding, but firm Montclair police officer told me to go home and return tomorrow. Montclair Patch's story is not totally accurate. If you have a plate number that ends in an even number followed by letter A-M, you go by the number, not the letter. Since I fall into that category, I get to wait in line again TOMORROW. Gov. Christie's rule is as follows: even numbers/even days; odd numbers/odd days regardless of what letter follows. If, however, your plate is ALL letters, you are designated for an odd day. State rules trump towns and local e-newsletters. Now that I am now down BELOW 1/4 tank (YIKES), I get to find a station with gas tomorrow and get on line again. The officer recommended a strong complaint to Patch for confusing info. But these are confusing times with information often in flux. And I know Patch's reporters are doing their best to keep us all informed. You still get an A on your report card for all of your efforts. Linda in Mtclr
RRsq November 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
This is inaccurate. Just got kicked out of line, after waiting hours at WP gas station. A-M are not considered "odd. The last number of your license plate is what they go by. Patch, please get your facts straight.
Mike D'Onofrio November 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
@RRsq: I updated page today at 10:30 a.m. that state rules are in effect. Montclair rationing rules were superseded by state rules last night. Check above to see new rules. My apologies for the confusion. -- MCD
Gabrielle Howard November 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Can anyone tell me if LUKOil on Valley Road has gas? Thanks!


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