Frequently Asked Questions About Access To Driver's Licenses in New Jersey

Driver’s licenses for all was approved in New Jersey in December 2019! 

¡Las licencias de conducir para todos fueron aprobadas en Nueva Jersey en Diciembre 2019!

We are waiting for the Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) to make the final rules and regulations for the new driver’s licenses law. Please be aware that the expansion for driver's licenses to all in New Jersey has not been implemented and the list of documents required for new drivers under this expansion is not yet final.  We expect the standard driver’s license to be made available to everyone in January 2021. 

For more information or questions: Contact us via email at info@letsdrivenj.org 

Para más información: Contáctenos en correo electrónico a info@letsdrivenj.org

How does expanding access to driver’s licenses make New Jersey’s roads safer?

A:

More New Jersey drivers will be tested, trained, insured, and held accountable for their driving record.

Licensed drivers will be more likely to stay at the scene of an accident to aid police and more likely to exchange insurance information in traffic accidents.

Driver’s Licenses for all was approved in New Jersey! What happens now? Can I apply for a driver’s license?

A:

If you do not have immigration status, not yet! The law DOES NOT go into effect until the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) releases the timeline and the updated regulations for the new law. According to the law, they must do so by January 2021. However, we are expecting delays due to COVID19 lockdown impacts at MVC agencies.

What does the new law do?

A:

The new law allows all those who live in New Jersey regardless of immigration status, the opportunity to get tested for a standard driver’s licenses and state ID card. 

The standard license is not a work permit nor is it a REAL ID, so it does not give you permission to get on a plane or enter a federal building. Its purpose is for driving and for identification only.

How long will this take to be implemented?

A:

While the law was approved in December 2019, the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (MVC) has until January 19th, 2021 to begin implementing the new law.  The MVC must also start educating the public about the changes in their regulations within 6 months. This means before or by May 2020 we will know more about what will be required to apply.

What is required? What documents do I need?

A:

While the MVC has not released the final list of documents that will accept under the new law yet, the documents are probably similar to what is accepted other states that have implemented driver's licenses for all. The new law will require proof of identity (example a current passport, birth certificate or consular ID card), proof of NJ address (example: a bill, lease agreement showing you reside in NJ), and proof of your age.

What is the difference between Real ID and standard driver’s licenses and ID cards?

A:
  • The new law only expands access to the New Jersey standard driver’s licenses and state ID cards. 
  • REAL ID licenses and ID cards are only available to those who can prove legal residence and can be used to board an airplane. The REAL ID license has more stringent requirements and has privacy risks, requiring an individual’s documents to be uploaded into an MVC database that can be shared with other government agencies. 
  • The standard driver’s license is only used for driving and identification purposes. 

What happens if I have a driver’s license from another state?

A:

The MVC will determine the new regulations for drivers with a driver’s license from another state.

I have a valid license from another country. Will I need to reapply?

A:

The MVC will determine the new regulations for drivers with a valid driver’s license from another country.

I have an expired license. What do I need to do to get a new license?

A:

The MVC will determine the new regulations for drivers with an expired driver’s license from another country.

Can I apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

A:

The new law DOES NOT expand access to commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) regardless of immigration status. CDLs are regulated federally. Only those with status are able to access a commercial driver’s license.

Do I need to take a test?

A:

Yes, every new driver will need to pass the written and road test to access a standard driver’s license. The written examination will be available in multiple languages.

What should I do If I have been stopped for driving without a license in the past?

A:

Once MVC publishes the regulations around the requirement of the new law, you may need to consult a lawyer before applying for a driver’s license. 

How can people avoid fraud when applying for a driver's license?

A:

IMPORTANT 

  • BEWARE OF FRAUD
  • DO NOT PAY ANYONE or give out your personal information to anyone who says they are an MVC representative or they can help you get in front of the line. 
  • THE MVC DOES NOT accept payment for holding space for appointments. 
  • The MVC DOES NOT accept payment for speeding up the process to get a license.
  • Once the new law regulations are decided upon, the MVC will update everyone on the process. 

What should I do if I have a final deportation order or have a criminal offense charge?

A:

If you have a final deportation order or if you have criminal offenses or if you have issued a driver's license in another state where you do not live, you should consult with a lawyer before applying for the New Jersey driver's license.