TRENTON – Starting May 1, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) will expand the availability of standard driver licenses and non-driver ID cards to include all New Jerseyans without regard to immigration status, implementing a law signed by Governor Phil Murphy in December 2019.
“Increased access to a driver license will do much to improve the lives of many New Jersey residents and enhance public safety,” said MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. “Our roads are safer when drivers are trained, tested, licensed, and insured.”
All those seeking new licenses will have to complete the state’s Graduated Driver License program and will receive a standard New Jersey driver license or ID when the requirements are met.
The Graduated Driver License program is outlined in detail at the MVC’s First Driver License/ID webpage. NJMVC provides resources in English and Spanish including:
- new FAQs
- 6 Points of ID flyers
- NJ Driver Manual
- video guides with captions in English and Spanish
These user-friendly resources will make the process of getting a driver license in NJ easier to understand. These will be provided in additional languages in coming weeks.
Ahead of the launch of status-neutral licensing on May 1, the MVC will be hosting a Facebook Live event with Chief Administrator Sue Fulton on Friday, April 30, at 12 p.m. See below.
NJMVC FACEBOOK LIVE PRESENTATION ON STATUS-NEUTRAL LICENSES
When: Friday, April 30 from noon to 1 p.m.
Where: NJMVC Facebook Page
What: Presentation, Short Video and Q&A
Who: Chief Administrator Sue Fulton and staff
“There will be no ‘special process’ or ‘special license’ for those seeking to be licensed without regard to immigration status,” said Chief Fulton. “Beginning May 1, the process for getting a standard NJ driver license will stay the same for all applicants – what will change are the documents you will be required to bring to an appointment to obtain an initial permit at an MVC Licensing Center.”
These updated document requirements were recently published at the MVC website in English and Spanish. Applicants will need to prove their identity (using “6 Points of ID”) and New Jersey residence, and provide either a Social Security number or ITIN. Starting June 1, applicants will have the option of providing an affidavit in lieu of a Social Security number or ITIN.
After successfully purchasing a permit, applicants will then have to complete the remaining requirements of the Graduated Driver License program, which include passing a knowledge test, a period of supervised practice driving, and passing a road test.
Qualified applicants who have the required documents must schedule an appointment online at NJMVC.gov to get their initial permit. Customers should not call or show up at any MVC location to get an appointment. Appointments are added each day, so customers should check the website frequently, and try multiple Licensing Centers.
While the MVC is adding new permit appointments, there will be an initial rush for appointments and some delays in scheduling due to the number of increased applications. This will not impact other types of appointments or transactions that are widely available on the website.
“An additional 400-450,000 New Jerseyans may be eligible for a license starting May 1,” Chief Fulton said. “This will increase demand for new permit appointments and, later, knowledge tests. For the next few months, New Jersey customers getting their first driver permit or non-driver ID and not part of a high school or driving school program will experience long waits for appointments.”
To increase in-person capacity and speed transactions, the MVC has launched several new initiatives:
- Expanding the availability of driver license renewals online to include probationary licenses and licenses expired less than 3 years.
- Enabling all forms to be filled out online and pre-printed before an MVC visit, to shorten transaction times in agencies.
- Issuing licenses and IDs via central issuance, which reduces the time customers spend at Licensing Centers. Instead of waiting, an interim license is issued and the permanent license is printed and mailed from a central, secure facility.
- Adding camera stations at road test operations, so those who pass their road test can complete their license without a new visit to a Licensing Center.
- COMING SOON: Knowledge tests at offsite locations proctored by MVC staff.
“We have seen improved efficiencies with the separation of Vehicle Centers and Licensing Centers, and we expect to add more appointments per day because of increased processing speed,” Chief Fulton said.
More than 75 percent of all MVC transactions are handled online. And more than 85 percent of license renewals and registration renewals are handled online.
The MVC maintains strict health and safety protocols and anticipates fewer closures due to COVID-19 as vaccinations continue increasing.
“Check NJMVC.gov before you visit any MVC location. Most transactions can be done online. And if you’re interested in a new driver license, please use our First Driver License/ID webpage before scheduling an appointment.”
For the latest MVC news and updates, visit NJMVC.gov and follow the MVC on Twitter (@NJ_MVC), Facebook (NewJerseyMVC), and Instagram (njmvc).