Starting May 1, unauthorized immigrants living in the Garden State may begin to apply for the documentation they will need to legally operate a motor vehicle.

The unauthorized immigrant driver’s license law, which was passed in 2019, had originally be scheduled to take effect at the start of this year but the process was delayed by the COVID pandemic

In order to qualify for a driver’s license, unauthorized immigrants must present identification proving they are who they say they are.

“Everyone who gets a standard New Jersey license or ID has to present 6 points of identification, proof of address and proof of New Jersey residence,” Sue Fulton, chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission said.

Fulton noted that as part of this process, “we have expanded the number of documents we will accept but you are still required to prove your identity.”

The MVC also will require applicants seeking a standard driver’s license to present a Social Security number or an Individual Tax Identification Number, or an affidavit indicating they are not eligible to receive a Social Security number and they do not have an ITIN.

People seeking a license who present this type of affidavit will not be able to apply for an appointment until June 1.

The law was opposed by immigration hardliners who do not believe that the government should provide privileges to those in the country illegally.

“The reality is there are people driving today and everyone in New Jersey is safer when all of our drivers are trained, tested, licensed and insured, which we require," Fulton said.

The other type of driver’s license available in New Jersey is the Real ID license, which requires 6 points of identification and proof of legal status in the United States.

Starting Oct. 1, unless the deadline is delayed because of the pandemic, a Real ID driver’s license or a passport will be required to board a commercial flight in the United States or any federal facility.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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