Let's Drive NJ brings together over eighty community, faith, labor, social service, and advocacy organizations to push to expand access to driver's licenses in the Garden State. Too often, otherwise qualified drivers face barriers to obtaining a license -- vulnerable populations like undocumented immigrants, survivors of violence, transgender individuals and senior citizens are particularly impacted. In 2019, New Jersey became the 15th state to expand access to driver's licenses to qualified drivers, regardless of immigration status. On May 1st, 2021, the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) will begin accepting applications for standard driver's licenses and ID cards from newly eligible New Jersey residents.
New Jersey joins fourteen other states and D.C that have implemented similar measures. It is expected New Jersey will see an increase in public safety, an increase in revenues to state and local economies, and an increase in the well-being of all families – particularly the hundreds of thousands who will gain access to a driver's license. More information on this common-sense proposal here. Read the legislation here.
On January 15th, the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) adopted regulations for the start of driver’s licenses for all in New Jersey and the agency introduced new amendments to the regulations to implement the law!
The new expansion of licenses to all only applies to the standard driver's licenses and standard non-driver identification cards. Newly eligible residents without immigration status who have can start applying for a driver's license on May 1st, 2021!
This is a big win for immigrant communities who have been fighting for years to obtain a driver’s license in order to feel safe while driving in New Jersey.
WHAT WE KNOW:
Starting May 1st, standard driver's licenses and non-driver IDs will become available to residents who have an ITIN or are willing to obtain a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating they are ineligible for an SSN.
The MVC Introduced A New Amendment!
- The MVC has introduced a new amendment to the regulations to remove the SSA ineligibility letter option and replace it with an affidavit option. The affidavit will allow individuals to attest to their ineligibility for an SSN so that they don’t have to share information with a federal agency.
- This is good progress so everyone feels safe when applying to get a driver’s license!
- In February, the new amendment will be posted in the New Jersey register. These amendments will have to go through a 60-day comment period, followed by a comment review period. After that, the MVC Board will vote on the amendment for the affidavit. We don't yet know when the MVC will make the affidavit option available.
The MVC requires all individuals to prove their identity, their age, and that they reside in New Jersey under the 6-points of ID system. Please check the MVC for more information and see our resources on the 6 Points of ID.
We encourage everyone to study for the test and learn the basics of the process of applying for a driver’s license in New Jersey. You can start preparing by studying the driver's manual in English or Spanish.
Remember, do not fall for fraud. The MVC does not accept money for appointments and appointments for the new standard driver’s license are not yet available. Read all the community information here.
WHAT WE STILL NEED TO FIND OUT FROM THE MVC:
- We do not know when the MVC will open their schedule for appointments for immigrants with an ITIN or SSA ineligibility letter. We need to find out if May 1st is the date when the MVC will open up their system for or if that is the first date for which appointments will be available.
- We don’t know how many appointments the MVC will make available for immigrants without status on May 1st and after.
Contact your local community organization for questions and resources