Five weeks after Real ID was launched in New Jersey, a growing number of Motor Vehicle Commission agencies are offering the new driver’s license, but you may still have to wait several months to get one.

“We’ve only issued 1,400 Real IDs to date, but 425, which is almost a third of them, were just last week. We’re in the process of scaling up," MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said.

She said issuing a Real ID license takes more time than a regular license.

“That transaction can take 20 to 30 minutes, and we’re seeing that in our stats, because they’re scanning all those documents, they’re verifying passports, they’re verifying Social Security Numbers," she said.

Starting in October of 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require everyone who wants to use a driver’s license to fly commercially, or to enter a federal building or a military base, to have a Real ID license. A valid U.S. passport will also allow you to board a plane or enter a federal installation after that date.

Fulton said when Real ID was rolled out in New Jersey on Sept. 18, six agencies started issuing them, but that number is now up to 15, and additional agencies are getting on board every week as employees become trained in the Real ID process.

Trenton, Eatontown, Delanco, Medford, Cherry Hill and South Brunswick are fully operational, she said.

She said initially only one Real ID station was set up within each agency, which limited the number of Real ID licenses being issued, but “we have multiple stations now offering Real ID appointments, so at the agencies that are fully live, they have more than one station.”

“The places that are currently issuing Real ID are getting faster and doing more, but we’re adding cameras, we’re adding test agencies and we’re expanding test agencies to full operational status," Fulton said.

She said the biggest concern is that people are showing up with incorrect and incomplete documents.

“It’s very important for everybody to understand — it’s 2 proofs of address, one proof of your Social Security Number, in addition to your 6 points," she said.

She said to get specific information on what is necessary to get a Real ID license and to get on the Real ID appointment waiting list, go to

She noted for the time being, Real ID licenses will only be issued by appointment.

“But we are going to keep a very close eye on our numbers, because obviously the goal here is to ensure that everyone in New Jersey who needs a Real ID will get one before they need it," she said.

Fulton said it’s impossible to predict when all 39 MVC agencies across New Jersey will be offering Real ID, but she said every region of the state will have at least one agency offering Real ID by Thanksgiving.

“When we get down to the end of the list there are agencies that have ongoing construction, there are agencies where we’ve had manager turnover where it’s going to take a little bit longer," she said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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