Licenses, non-driver IDs open to non-citizens in NJ starting May 1
A fight that went on for years becomes a reality on Saturday when the MVC begins scheduling driver permit appointments and get non-driver ID cards regardless of immigration status. The process, however, may take longer than expected.
The change was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in December 2019 but its implementation was delayed by the pandemic. The new law makes about 425,000 people eligible for a new license, according to MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton
All applicants, regardless of their immigration status, 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.
But like all new drivers, you have to get a permit first.
The steps are:
- STEP 1: Permit. (includes knowledge test)
- STEP 2: Probationary license. (includes road test).
- STEP 3: Basic driver license.
"There will be no ‘special process’ or ‘special license’ for those seeking to be licensed without regard to immigration status," Fulton said. “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.”
Applicants will need to prove their identity using six points of identification 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.
Fulton warned that the increase applicants will also mean delays for everyone in getting an appointment. She advised not to call a branch office directly and that new appointments are being added daily.
Other types of appointments or transactions that are widely available on the website will not be affected by the additional license and permit applications.
Several services have been moved online in anticipation of the delays, including renewals for probationary licenses and licenses expired less than 3 years. The MVC is also 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.
“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,” Fulton said.