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New Driver’s Licenses Coming For NJ Drivers [AUDIO]

New Jersey drivers will start seeing new licenses next month as the state starts rolling out stricter federally-mandated standards known as the “TRU-ID.”

NJ Driver's License (NJ DMV)
NJ Driver's License (NJ DMV)

The federal changes were a response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to tighten security and crack down on identity theft after it was found that it was too easy to get fake drivers licenses in the U.S. because states didn’t have uniform standards.

A current New Jersey driver license or non-driver ID will continue to be valid as identification for federal purposes:

Until December 1, 2014 for individuals born after December 1, 1964

Until December 1, 2017 for everyone else

After the 2014 and 2017 dates, federal agencies will no longer accept a driver license or ID card unless it is REAL ID-compliant. This means an individual will not be allowed to board commercial flights or enter federal facilities unless he or she has a REAL ID-compliant or other document acceptable to the federal government, such as a U.S.-issued passport.

Documents must show proof of a valid social security number, legal identity, legal presence in the U.S. and proof of a principal residence, said Ray Martinez, Chief Administrator at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Some documents accepted under the 6-point ID program won’t do for Tru-ID.

For example, new drivers used to be allowed to present high school and college transcripts to prove identity. U.S. passports, even if expired, were acceptable.

NJ MVC

Now, only valid U.S. passports will be allowed. Documents such as military cards and gym memberships will no longer be accepted.

To accommodate the state’s six million drivers, Martinez says they are phasing in the new licenses by date of birth.

“If you are born after December 1st, 1964, you will have to come into Motor Vehicle’s and comply with the federal Real-ID requirements.”

However, if you were born before that date, Martinez says you can “skip the trip” to the MVC and they will mail you a license renewal form. The new license will be good for four years, but will not be federally compliant.

Martinez says they are doing this to alleviate the traffic at the state’s MVC offices.

“The good news is either way you are going to be able to skip a trip coming into our facilities…in eight years if you were born after 1964, and right now if you were born before 1964.”

New Jersey becomes the 8th state to implement the new federal license.

Martinez said he has spoken to other states that have rolled out the new licenses already. “While I expect some resistance here and some folks who won’t have the right papers, I think if people read the letters we send them, follow the instructions and bring the right forms with them, it really won’t be much different than the 6-points of ID they were used to bringing.”

Tru-ID licenses will be good for eight years and cost $48, the same per-year price of the current four-year licenses.

To read more about the new licenses, visit the MVC website.

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