Sunday, January 3, 2021
TUBS, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
In December 2019, New Jersey's governor Phil Murphy signed A4743 into law. This law amended the state's code regarding drivers licenses and became effective on January 1, 2021.
N.J. St. 39:3-10 now reads:
In addition to requiring an applicant for a driver's license to submit satisfactory proof of identity and age, the commission also shall require the applicant to provide:
(1) as a condition for obtaining a permit and standard basic driver's license, proof of the person's social security number and one document providing satisfactory proof that the applicant is a New Jersey resident. If the person does not have a social security number, the person shall either:
(a) provide satisfactory proof of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; or
(b) indicate, in a manner prescribed by the commission and consistent with all other provisions of P.L.2019, c. 271 (C.39:3-10o et al.), that the person is not eligible to receive a social security number;
When signing this provision into law, Governor Murphy emphasized that: “Expanding access to driver’s licenses is critical for the safety of New Jerseyans and a step toward building a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all... Allowing residents the opportunity to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status will decrease the number of uninsured drivers and increase safety on our roads. I thank my partners in the Legislature for sending this important bill to my desk.”
Despite having more than a year's lead time, NJ's State Motor Vehicle Commission has announced that it does not yet have a process for undocumented migrants to obtain drivers' licenses. The agency blamed coronavirus for the delay and hopes to roll out a process by Spring.
For now, the estimated 440,000 individuals who would be eligible for licenses under the new law will have to wait.