Laws governing driver licenses

The following list provides a summary of the New Jersey laws governing driver licenses:
  • A motorist who operates a motor vehicle in the State of New Jersey must carry a valid driver license, a valid provisional license or a validated New Jersey permit. The motorist must also carry valid insurance and vehicle registration cards. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-29)
  • A motorist with a validated New Jersey driver permit must be accompanied by an appropriately licensed driver. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-13, 39:3-13.2a)
  • A motorist who is a legal resident of New Jersey must be licensed in this state. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10, 39:3-17.1)
  • A motorist who changes addresses must report this change to the MVC within one week after moving. This includes individuals who are moving out of New Jersey. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-36)
  • A motorist who legally changes his/her name (marriage, divorce, adoption) must report the change to the MVC within two weeks. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-9b)
  • A motorist with a valid out-of-state license who moves to New Jersey must apply for a New Jersey license within 60 days (commercial driver license – CDL - within 30 days) or before the current license expires, whichever is sooner. The out-of state license must be surrendered prior to receiving a New Jersey license. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-17.1, 39:3-10.17, 39:5D-5)
  • A motorist who is a foreign national with a valid license from another country may be eligible for a New Jersey driver license. If the motorist receives a New Jersey license, he/she will not have to surrender the out-of-country license.
  • Operators of commercial vehicles, such as large trucks, buses and vehicles that transport hazardous materials, must satisfy more stringent testing standards than the drivers of automobiles or motorcycles. These operators must still possess a valid, basic New Jersey driver license prior to applying for a CDL.
  • Individuals who have never had a driver license must complete the MVC’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program, which introduces driving privileges in phases with a period of supervised driving before getting a basic driver license. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10, 39:3-13 through 39:3-13.8)
  • All applicants for a New Jersey driver license who are under 18 years of age must present a completed consent form signed by a parent or guardian. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-13 and 39:3-13.3)
  • GDL, special learner and examination permits are valid until all qualifications for a provisional license are met, or for two years, whichever occurs first. All others are valid for 90 days.
  • All applicants for a New Jersey driver license must provide a full name, current address, Social Security number, TRU-ID and other documentation that verifies that his/her legal presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. Documents must be in English or have an approved translation. (N.J.S.A. 39:3-9a, 39:3-9b, 39:3-10 and N.J.A.C. 13:21-1.1, 13:21-1.2, 13:21-1.3, 13:21-8.2)



Copyright © State of New Jersey, 2007

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ 08666
(609) 292-6500
TTY (609) 292-5120
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Last Updated: May 20, 2015