Weights & Measures

About the Office
Almost everything we buy is sold by weight, volume, length, count, or measure. For example:
  • A cord of fire wood
  • A dozen eggs
  • A gallon of milk
  • A liter of soda
  • A pound of hamburger
  • A yard of cloth
Since we don't carry a scale or measuring tape with us, how can we be sure a pound is a pound and an inch is an inch?

In 1911, Governor Woodrow Wilson established the Office of Weights and Measures to protect the citizens of New Jersey. Part of the Division of Consumer Affairs, under the Department of Law and Public Safety, Weights and Measures' officials work to keep the marketplace honest by using highly accurate equipment to inspect scales, meters, scanning equipment, gasoline station pumps and lumber yards throughout the state. Weighing or measuring devices are not permitted to be used for commercial purposes unless they are registered with the Office of Weights and Measures.

Because of the inspections and investigations conducted by the men and women of Weights and Measures, New Jersey consumers can have confidence when shopping. However, consumers should also pay attention when making purchases. Small, seemingly insignificant errors can add up.

Scales & Scanners
  • Always check for the Weights and Measures seal, indicating a scale has been tested. Each registered business also receives a Registration Certificate which should be prominently displayed.
  • Be cautious of scales which appear to be in poor condition. Scales with broken glass or those which are not level are more likely to be in error.
  • Check to make sure scales are set at zero prior to weighing produce. If the weight display on a scale indicates a weight when there is nothing on the scale, bring this to the vendor's attention. Any weight indicated on the scale prior to weighing of your item will result in additional cost to you.
  • Make sure the shelf price or advertised price agrees with the scanner price on your receipt.
Home Heating Oil
  • Make sure the meter register reads all zeros before delivery begins.
  • Request a specific delivery date and plan to be home at that time.
  • When the delivery is completed, compare the delivered gallons printed on the ticket with the gallons indicated on the meter register.
Gas Pumps
  • Check for the seal indicating that the dispensers have been tested by Weights and Measures.
  • Check to make sure your receipt matches what the pump registers prior to signing your credit card form.
  • Make sure attendants have reset the pump to zero before filling your tank.
  • Make sure the price on the sign is the same as the price on the pump.
  • When having your propane cylinder (the type used for barbecuing) filled by weight, make sure the weight of the cylinder and any remaining propane is not part of the total weight you are paying for.
Timing Devices
The Office of Weights and Measures registers approximately 155,000 timing devices (vehicle parking meters, laundry drying/washing machines, tire air pumps, car wash vacuums, etc.) annually.
  • Check for seals and certificates indicating devices have been inspected.
If you have a problem with a weights and measures issue try to resolve it with the manager or owner. If they can't resolve your problem to your satisfaction, contact the Cape May County Office of Weights and Measures at 609-886-2904.