When It Comes to Pumping Gas, New Jersey Now Stands Alone

Oregon had been the other holdout

NJ gas station
Almost 50 years after this photo was taken, you still can't pump your own gas in NJ.
Frederic Lewis/Archive Photos/Getty Images

It’s probably worth mentioning from the outset here that I grew up in New Jersey, and so my earliest memories of going to a gas station involved one of my parents rolling down their window and telling the station attendant what type of gasoline they wanted. It wasn’t until much later that I noticed that this didn’t hold up when we traveled out of state — that there, the driver would have to do the unthinkable and — gasp! — pump their own gas.

And because of where I grew up, it didn’t occur to me until much later than that that New Jersey was something of an outlier — that gas stations in most states were, in fact, self-serve operations.

Well, now the Garden State is even more of an outlier. As Gothamist reports, New Jersey is now the only state in the country where drivers cannot pump their own gas. Oregon, which had been in a similar situation, recently enacted a law allowing driver the option of pumping their own gas or having it pumped.

Atlanta’s Best Burger Is in a Suburban Gas Station
Not only did we try it ourselves, we got behind the griddle with NFA Burger owner Billy Kramer

As for the odds of New Jersey joining Oregon, that seems less clear — as Gothamist noted, Governor Phil Murphy has been noncommittal when it comes to the gas-pumping issue. In March of 2022, the state legislature introduced a piece of legislation that would change state law relative to gas stations — but since its introduction, there’s been no additional movement on it.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.