New Jersey- Governor Phill Murphy signs a new law expanding driver’s licenses to NJ’s about half a million undocumented immigrants which will decrease uninsured drivers while increasing road safety.
The Bill (A4743) which will go into effect by January 2021, now has created two categories of driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards: federally-compliant REAL ID, which is only available for documented residents, and the Standard Basic driver’s license and ID, which will be available to all New Jersey residents regardless of immigration status. However, anyone who applies for a Standard Basic driver’s license or ID, whether a citizen or non-citizen, must provide six points of identification.
“Expanding access to driver’s licenses is critical for the safety of New Jerseyans and a step toward building a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all,” said Governor Murphy. “Allowing residents the opportunity to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status will decrease the number of uninsured drivers and increase safety on our roads. I thank my partners in the Legislature for sending this important bill to my desk.”
Besides New Jersey, thirteen other states which offer driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, Washington and District of Columbia (Washington DC).
According to Center for Migration Studies, there are about 5.3 million undocumented immigrants nationwide who will be eligible to get driver’s licenses.
According to Brookings Institute, estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. range from 10.5 million to 12 million, or approximately 3.2%–3.6% of the U.S. population of 329 millions.