By Richard Newman

Tesla Motors can go back to selling its luxury electric cars directly to consumers in New Jersey as Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday signed legislation that allows the car maker to do so at up to four locations.

The car maker had been barred from selling cars in New Jersey for the past year by a Motor Vehicle Commission rule.

"I said last year that if the Legislature changed the law, I would sign new legislation put on my desk and that is exactly what I'm doing today," Christie said in a statement. "We're pleased that manufacturers like Tesla will now have the opportunity to establish direct sales operations for consumers in a manner lawfully in New Jersey."

The law rolls back regulations put in place last April by the Motor Vehicle Commission that required new car dealers to have a franchise agreement in order to sell new cars in the state.

Under the amended law, Tesla will have to maintain a servicing facility in the state and report annually to the Division of Taxation the number of vehicles sold.

The Senate had approved the measure Tuesday in a 30-2 vote, and the Assembly passed it last year.

(c)2015 The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)