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Thanks to measure A4743/S3229 it is possible to obtain a driver’s license in NJ for undocumented immigrants.

In the past, undocumented immigrants worried about not having a license to drive in the state. However, nowadays this is no longer so problematic. Our New Jersey immigration lawyers can help you with the procedures related to U. S. immigration law.

What Is A Driver’s License In NJ For Undocumented Immigrants?

In New Jersey, driver’s licenses for individuals with irregular immigration status are called: “Standard Driver’s License.”

Unlike REAL IDs issued to U. S. residents and citizens, standard licenses are not valid as federal identification documents. 

Despite this difference, the driver’s license for undocumented immigrants allows you to drive legally in any state in the country.

immigrant with a driver's license in nj

Driver’s License Chronology In New Jersey For Undocumented Immigrants

In 2019, New Jersey joined fourteen other states and DC in allowing qualified drivers to obtain licenses. Regardless of their immigration status. 

As of May 1, 2021, the state accepts applications for driver’s licenses from undocumented immigrants. This is with the expectation of achieving:

  • Improvements in public safety, 
  • Increases in economic income, and 
  • Well-being benefits for families, especially those who can now obtain driver’s licenses.

What Type Of Driver’s License Can I Get?

You can obtain a New Jersey driver’s license or basic driver identification card. However, you must first meet all eligibility requirements. 

Steps For Undocumented Immigrants Seeking To Obtain A Driver’s License In NJ In 2024

The process to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey for undocumented immigrants is similar to the conventional one. That is, the one followed by lawful permanent residents and American citizens. 

immigrant couple with driving license in new jersey

1# Gather The Necessary Documents

To obtain a driver’s license in NJ for undocumented immigrants, submit documents that verify your identity and residency. This must be before the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC). 

Use at least six points with primary and secondary identification to prove your identity. Some examples of the documents are:

  • Primary identification: Your foreign passport, and
  • Secondary identification: Your birth certificate.

Additionally, you must prove your residency with proof of address. For example, a utility bill.

Once this is done, you will need to submit proof of ITIN or an affidavit. The latter will be in case you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN Number. 

The affidavit must be signed before a notary public or NJMVC official. In addition, documents in Spanish must have a certified translation into English.

2# Get An Appointment To Apply For A Learner’s Permit

Possibly the most important step in getting a driver’s license in New Jersey is to request an appointment for a learner driver’s permit. For it:

  • Schedule an appointment at the NJMVC site, 
  • Choose an office, 
  • Choose the date and time, and 
  • Enter your details.  

In the last stage, select the option: “Purchase auto examination permit (Class D”.

3# Attend Your Appointment To Obtain Your Learner’s Permit

Go to the NJMVC office on your appointment date and time. Actually, we recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early. Remember to carry all the necessary documents. 

After obtaining the provisional permit, you have two years to complete the required guidelines. If you do not do this, you will have to process the permit again. This permit costs $10.

4# Take a vision test and written exam

To validate your learner’s permit and practice your driving skills, you must pass a 50-question test. This exam will be about New Jersey traffic laws and you will have to answer at least 80% correctly. 

We recommend that you study the Driver’s Manual before the appointment. Additionally, you must bring the same documents used that you submitted to obtain your permit. 

You may also have a vision test at this step. If approved, continue to the next step. Otherwise, schedule a new appointment at least a week later.

5# Practice Driving Under Supervision

After passing the traffic law theory test, your learner’s permit allows you to practice driving. However, it will be under the following conditions:

  1. Be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years of age and has a valid New Jersey driver’s license and at least three years of experience.
  2. The supervisor must be in the front seat. That is, as a co-pilot.
  3. You should not use cell phones or wireless devices while driving.
  4. All occupants, including the learner driver, must wear seat belts at all times.
  5. Only parents, guardians or dependents, in addition to the supervisor, are allowed as passengers. Siblings can ride if the parent or guardian is present in the car.
vehicles stopped by traffic

6# Pass Your Practical Driving Test

When you have enough practice you can schedule an appointment for the practical exam. 

If you are over 21 years old, practice with a supervisor for 3 months. If you are younger, the waiting period is 6 months. 

For the exam, you must bring the required documents and a car that is registered and insured for the test. If you pass, some driving schools issue the license on the spot. Otherwise, take the permit to an NJMVC licensing center.

7# Upgrade Your Temporary Driver’s License To A Permanent One

After passing your first driving test, you will be issued a probationary license valid for one year. During this period, you can drive unsupervised and transport passengers without restrictions. 

After one year, you can upgrade your provisional license for a permanent one online for a cost of $24.

8# Start Driving

As you have observed, the process to obtain a driver’s license for undocumented immigrants in NJ is quite accessible. However, it is crucial to note that driving without a valid license is a crime with significant consequences. 

Therefore, before you start driving, you must first get your driver’s license in New Jersey for undocumented immigrants.

What Is Needed To Obtain A Driver’s License For Undocumented Immigrants In NJ?

To obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey for undocumented immigrants The law requires that the applicant prove their identity, their age and their residence in New Jersey. Therefore, NJMVC has the following requirements:

  • Proof of address.
  • ITIN number.
  • Sworn statement that the requirements to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) are not met.
  • Passport of the country of origin.
  • Comply with 6 identification points.

In fact, many ask us: “How many points do you need to get a license in New Jersey?” As you have read before, you will need a minimum of 6 ID points.

What Are The 6 Points To Obtain A License In New Jersey?

As we have stated before, applicants for driver’s licenses must complete the NJMVC verification system. This is key to prove your identity. 

To better understand this, we will show you some examples of the requested documents. To do this, you must submit at least one document from each segment shown below:

driving points for undocumented immigrants

Primary 4-Point Documents

  • Passport from another country verified by USCIS and a valid arrival/departure record (Form I-94).
  • Refugee travel document (Form I-571).
  • Foreign passport with USCIS verification and a valid Form I-551 stamp.
  • Current alien registration card including expiration date and USCIS verification.
  • Permit to re-enter the United States (form I-327).
  • Valid Form I-94 stamped “Refugee,” “Temporary Parole,” “Asylee,” or with Notice of Action (request for approval of Form I-797).
  • Valid Form I-94 with an attached photograph stamped “Processed for Form I-551.”

3-Point Secondary Documents

  • U. S. Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card.
  • U. S. Civilian Retiree Photo ID Card.
  • Digitized New Jersey driver’s license (including probationary license).
  • Digitized non-driver New Jersey identification card.
  • NJ Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.

2-Point Secondary Documents

  • U. S. Government Employee Driver’s License.
  • Certified adoption records from any country except the U. S.
  • NJ DOC ID Card.

1 Point Documents

  • ATM card with the applicant’s name and signature printed on it (cannot be used in conjunction with the bank statement or register).
  • State professional license.
  • New Jersey public assistance card with photo.
  • Property tax return, invoice, or receipt issued by a New Jersey municipality.
  • High school diploma or GED, vocational school degree, or college diploma from any country.

Unlike the other documents, no more than 2 documents of 1 point are allowed.

Proof That You Live In New Jersey

In addition to the above documents, the applicants must prove that they reside in New Jersey. Therefore, they must provide one of the following documents that shows the residence address:

  • Tax receipt, invoice or account statement issued during the last year.
  • Utility bill or a credit card issued within the last 90 days.
  • Rental or Leasing contract.
  • Report card or academic record.
  • Mail received from any local, state, federal or government agency in the last 6 months.
  • Any letter, refund, document, or correspondence received from the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or any state tax office during the past year.
  • NJ property deed or title in real estate.
  • Copy of current driver’s license or non-driver ID that is accompanied by authorization from a legal guardian or parent. This is only for those under 18 years of age. 
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Can an illegal immigrant buy a house? It is another common question of many of those who seek to achieve the American dream. In our blog we tell you everything you need to know.

How Do I Get An Appointment For A New Jersey License Or Non-Driver ID?

The only way to get an appointment to get a driver’s license in New Jersey is by accessing the website. Once on the page, look for the section titled “Make an Appointment” to complete the process.

What Can I Do If I Do Not Have A Social Security Number Or ITIN Number To Apply For A Driver’s License?

Those who lack a Social Security number or ITIN have the option of submitting a notarized statement. Said declaration is available online or at the relevant agencies to comply with this requirement.

It is important to be alert to possible scams related to obtaining an SSN or ITIN.

Obtaining an ITIN takes about 7 weeks and can be processed for free through the IRS.

So can I really get a New Jersey driver’s license without SSN? Yes, but you will need an affidavit or an ITIN.

Can I Trust Someone Who Has Offered To Get Me A Driver’s License Appointment In Exchange For Payment?

Please don’t make any payment to those who offer assistance in scheduling an appointment. This is because only MVC has the ability to schedule appointments and does not collaborate with intermediaries. Additionally, MVC does not accept money for appointments.

How Long Does A Probationary License Last In New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a probationary license is valid for 12 months. 

Once this period has passed, the drivers are obliged to go to the nearest CMV agency. There they will get their basic license which has no restrictions.

What If I Already Have A Driver’s License From Another State?

Even if you have a driver’s license or ID from another state, it is advisable to make an appointment with MVC. This way you can transfer your license from another state to NJ. It is important that you bring all the documents required for the process.

If your license expired more than a year ago, you will need to start the process to obtain a new license or ID for the first time. 

Non-driver IDs issued by other states are not accepted as evidence to obtain a standard license in New Jersey.

How Much Does A Driver’s License Cost In 2024 New Jersey?

The cost of a standard driver’s license in New Jersey is $24. This fee must be paid at the agency with cash, credit card, check or money order payable to NJMVC. 

Lastly, an additional fee is required depending on the type of driver’s license you apply for. 

Can Undocumented Immigrants Get A Real ID In NJ?

Generally, most undocumented immigrants do not qualify for a Real ID. Despite this, the law allows individuals to obtain standard driver’s licenses without indicating citizenship status. 

  • Immigrants who have obtained the Green Card can obtain an identification card too, as long as they comply with the Real ID law. 
  • This identification card allows the holder to board domestic flights and identify the holder’s citizenship status. This does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses (CDL).
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Wondering how to get US citizenship? We encourage you to be aware of the mistakes in completing the N-400 naturalization application first to avoid delays or denials of your application.

Can A Non-Resident With A Valid License Drive In New Jersey?

Individuals visiting the United States are authorized to drive for a period of up to one year. However, they must use their foreign license and have it accompanied by an international driving permit issued in their country of residence.

Who Can Obtain A Driver’s License In NJ For Undocumented Immigrants?

Undocumented immigrants who fall into the following categories may be eligible to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey:

  • Undocumented immigrants who fall into the following categories may be eligible to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey:
  • Parents of American citizens.
  • Treaty Traders (E-1 visa).
  • Students (F-1 student visa), together with their family.
  • Exchange visitors, together with their family.
  • Representatives of foreign information (together with their family).
  • International entertainment groups or athletes (P visa or O type visa).
  • Immigrants who are part of a reciprocal exchange program.
  • Religious ministers with their spouses (visa type R).
  • Canadians who have a temporary residence (TN visa).
  • Individuals who have temporary protection from removal (for example, TPS or SIJ).
  • Foreigners transferred intracompany that accompany their spouses and minor children ( L-1A visa and L-1B visa).
  • Temporary workers accompanying their spouse and/or children (for example, the H-1B visas).

To find out in depth how a foreigner could enter the U. S. under any of these categories, check our blog: What are the different types of visas in U. S. 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Driver’s License In NJ For Undocumented Immigrants

What Happens to Undocumented Minors with Their Driver’s Licenses?

Minors will be subject to the State of New Jersey requirements for the GDL program. However, the most advisable thing in these scenarios is to have the help and advice of a lawyer. 

What Happens If I Have My Driver’s License From Another Country?

It is possible to drive in the U. S. with a foreign driver’s license. However, it should be noted that U. S. officials require to know more about your immigration status.

Certain undocumented immigrants may be exempt from the road test if their foreign driver’s license is used as proof of driving experience. 

What Happens If I Don’t Speak English?

If the undocumented immigrant does not speak English, don’t panic. The Motor Vehicle Commission offers translators in each office and all forms in other languages. Typically, languages ​​present include Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog.

On the other hand, written tests are offered in English, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Polish, Korean, Russian, Japanese, Albanian, Turkish, Hindi, Korean and French. Oral tests are only in English and Spanish.

Why can an undocumented immigrant obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey?

This measure was implemented to improve traffic safety in New Jersey. Therefore, it ensures that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are trained and know the traffic laws.

The idea is that by allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, the number of unlicensed drivers on the roads will be reduced. As a result, it would contribute to a safer environment.   

How Can The Curbelo Law Firm Help You?

The Curbelo Law firm specializes in all matters related to immigration law in the U. S. Therefore, individuals who wish to obtain assistance with any immigration legalization issue should contact us.

To do this, you can call us, send us an E-mail or book an appointment with the office, located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.