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New Driver’s License Rules Require Proof of Identity and Address

 

There are new rules for getting a driver’s license or non-driver identification card in New Jersey. Applicants for a license or ID card must have proof of both identity and address. Even if you are just renewing your card, you will need to follow these rules. Applicants will need more than one document to prove identity and at least one additional document to prove address. People who are not U.S. citizens will also need to prove that their presence in this country is authorized under federal law.

Applicants must prove their identity using a combination of specific documents. Each type is assigned a point value, and the total point value of all documents presented must be at least six points.

Primary Documents

 

Primary Documents for U.S. Citizens

You must submit at least one of the following:

4 Points Each

  • Birth certificate issued by one of the 50 states, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory
  • U.S. Department of State birth certificate (Form FS- 545, FS 240, or DS-1350)
  • U.S. adoption papers
  • U.S. passport (current or expired less than 3 years)
  • N.J. Digital Driver License (current or expired less than 3 years)
  • Valid N.J. Non-Driver Digital Identification Card
  • Valid U.S. military photo identification card
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550, N-570 or N-578)

 

Primary Documents for Non-U.S. Citizens

You must submit at least one of the following:

4 Points Each

  • Current alien registration card (new Form I-551) with expiration date including verification from INS or BCIS
  • Foreign passport with INS or BCIS verification and with valid record of arrival/departure (Form I-94) or valid I-551 stamp in passport
  • Refugee travel document (Form I-571)
  • U.S. re-entry permit (Form I-327)
  • Valid I-94 stamped “Refugee,” “Parolee,” “Asylee,” or “Notice of Action” (Form I-797 approved petition) by INS or BCIS
  • Valid I-94 with attached photo stamped “Processed for I-551…” by INS or BCIS

3 Points Each

  • Current photo employment authorization card (Form I-688B or I-766) (must be presented with a valid Social Security** card)

2 Points Each

  • Current alien registration card (new Form I-551) with expiration date including verification from INS or BCIS
  • BCIS verification photo temporary resident card (Form I-688)

** Submission of your Social Security number is required by state law. The number will be used to prevent errors, enforce federal and state laws, and assist in the collection of motor vehicle fees. To resolve problems with your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their Web site (see link following article).

To prove identity, applicants need at least one primary document (primary documents are listed in the boxes above) and at least one secondary document (secondary documents are listed below). For U.S. citizens, all primary documents are worth four points each. For non-U.S. citizens, primary documents are worth between two and four points each. Secondary documents are worth between one point and three points each.

Proof of address documents are listed below.

IMPORTANT: All douments must be original or certified copies and have the required state and/or municipal seals.

Secondary Documents

 

Secondary Documents for U.S. Citizens and Non-U.S. Citizens

You must submit at least one of the following:

3 Points Each

  • Legal name change court order signed by a judge or court clerk
  • Civil marriage certificate or divorce decree
  • Current U.S. military dependent card
  • U.S. military photo retiree card
  • N.J. firearm purchaser card

2 Points Each

  • Valid U.S. government employee driver license
  • Valid U.S. government employee photo identification card
  • U.S. military discharge papers (DD214)
  • FAA pilot license
  • U.S. school photo identification card with transcript or school records
  • U.S. college photo identification card with transcript

1 Point Each

  • (You cannot present more than two (2) 1-point documents)
  • State professional license
  • N.J. public assistance card with photo
  • Social Security** card
  • High school diploma or GED (general equivalency diploma)
  • Bank statement/record (cannot be submitted in conjunction with ATM card)
  • ATM (automated teller machine) card with preprinted name and applicant's signature (cannot be submitted in conjunction with bank statement)
  • Current health insurance card or current prescription card or current employee ID card with printed pay stub
  • Property tax statement, bill, or receipt issued by a N.J. municipality High school certificate (written test waiver)
  • Veterans Administration universal access photo identification card
  • Current N.J. non-digital photo driver license
  • Current photo driver license from any other state of the U.S., including the District of Columbia

*** Submission of your Social Security number is required by state law. The number will be used to prevent errors, enforce federal and state laws, and assist in the collection of motor vehicle fees. To resolve problems with your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their Web site (see link following article).

If you are unsure that you have the documents that you need, you can call the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission toll free in New Jersey at 1-888-486-3339 or from out of state at 609-292-6500. You can also find more information about licensing, registration, or other motor vehicle issues on the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Web site (see link following article).

Proof of Address

 

Proof of Address (at least one) 

  • Utility or credit card bill showing your name at current address, issued within the last 90 days
  • A property tax bill, statement, or receipt within the last year
  • Any letter or correspondence (including tax bills) received from the IRS or state tax office in the last year
  • High school or college report card or transcript within past 2 years (must contain address)
  • Original lease or rental agreement with your name listed as the lessee or renter
  • First-class mail from any government agency within 6 months
  • Checking or savings account statement (bank or credit union) within 60 days
  • Parent/guardian certification (if under 18 years old) that verifies you are living with a parent/guardian

 

This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Looking Out for Your Legal Rights ®.

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