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 driver’s license in the state. However, nowadays this is no longer a problem. Our immigration lawyers in New Jersey can help you with matters related to US immigration law.
Table of Contents
How The Undocumented Can Get A Driver’s License In NJ In 2023
The process to obtain a driver’s license in New Jersey for undocumented immigrants is similar to the process for permanent residents and US citizens. In general terms, the alien must:
- Collect all required documents.
- Schedule an appointment with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) to apply for a driver’s license.
- Pass the state-mandated driver’s theory test.
- Pass the practical driving test.
The main difference that undocumented immigrants have with citizens or residents when applying for a driver’s license, are the submitted documents.
All this is due to the A4743/S3229 legislation that was approved in 2019 and launched on May 1, 2021.
Next, we will explain in more detail about the requirements that must be completed to obtain a driver’s license in NJ for undocumented immigrants.
What Is Needed To Get An Undocumented Driver’s License In New Jersey?
To obtain a driver’s license in NJ for undocumented immigrants, the law requires that the applicants prove their identity, age and residence in New Jersey. Therefore, NJMVC mandates the following requirements:
- Proof of address.
- ITIN number.
- Sworn statement that the requirements for obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) are not met.
- Passport of the country of origin.
- Meet 6 identification points.
NJMVC uses a point system to prove the identity of the undocumented immigrant. As a result, the immigrant must have at least 6 points using a primary and secondary form of identification.
Generally, all applicants for driver’s licenses must complete the NJMVC’s 6-point verification system. This is essential to prove your identity.
To better understand this, we will show you some examples of the documents requested by the 6-point verification system. The applicant must present at least one of the following documents:
Primary 4-Point Documents
- Foreign passport issued by the government of the applicant’s country of citizenship.
- US Passport or Passport Card
- Original birth certificate from any country.
- Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record stamped “Refugee,” “Asylee,” “Paroleed,” or “Notice of Action” (application approved by Form I-797).
- Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550, N-570 or N-578).
- Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560, N-561 or N-645).
3-Point Secondary Documents
- US Uniformed Services Photo ID Card
- U.S. Civilian Retiree Photo ID Card
- Scanned New Jersey driver’s license (including probationary license).
- Scanned non-driver New Jersey ID card.
- Permission card to purchase firearms in New Jersey.
2-Point Secondary Documents
- US government employee driver’s license.
- Certified adoption records from any country except the US
- 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 Reside In New Jersey
In addition to the above documents, the applicant 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 past year.
- Utility bill or a credit card issued in the last 90 days.
- Rental or lease contract.
- Deed or title of ownership of a property.
- 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.
Steps To Get A Driver’s License In New Jersey For Undocumented Immigrants
Step 1: Gather All Requested Documents
Once the applicant has collected all the necessary documents to apply for the license, they must submit proof of their ITIN to the NJMVC. If you do not have it, you must submit an affidavit confirming that you do not have a TIN or SSN.
- This declaration is submitted by means of the following form.
- The signing of this document must be done in front of a notary public or an officer of the NJMVC. Therefore, it is essential not to sign this document until it is time for the appointment.
- All documents that are in Spanish must be accompanied by a certified translation.
A certified translation is considered if:
- It is made by the same government institution that issued that document, or
- Has a seal and signature of an American Translators Association (ATA) certified translator, or
- It is carried out by a competent translator in both languages.
Information About The Competent Translator
If the translation has been carried out by a competent translator, this must include the following information:
- Name of the translator.
- Applicant’s name.
- Name of the document to be translated.
- Statement that the translator is fluent in English and Spanish.
- Signature, address, email and a phone number of the translator.
- Statement by the translator indicating that they understand that if any part of the translation is intentionally false, the translator will be subject to a penalty.
- Statement indicating that the translation is complete and accurate with respect to the original text. This includes stamps or seals.
Step 2: Schedule An Appointment To Get An Initial Driver’s Permit
Before obtaining the standard driver’s license, the immigrant must apply for an initial driving permit. As a result, through this permit the aliens will be able to practice their driving skills and then take the practical test.
Applicants can schedule an appointment for this permit through the following link. On this website you can select the office that best suits you, the day and time of your appointment.
Step 3: Attend The Initial Driver’s Permit Appointment
The applicant must attend the NJMVC office on the day and time that the appointment is requested. It is important to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance and bring all the documents collected.
After obtaining an initial driver’s permit, the alien has 2 years to complete the following steps. If they don’t, they will have to go through the same process again.
Step 4: Take A Theory And Vision Exam
To complete the learner’s permit and perform driving skills, the applicant must pass a knowledge test on New Jersey traffic laws.
- This exam consists of 50 questions, which must be answered correctly at least 40 questions. That is, you must successfully answer at least 80% of the exam questions to pass.
- Test content is based on the New Jersey Driver’s Manual. Therefore, this manual must be previously studied before taking the test.
If you fail this exam, you can retake it. However, the new appointment must be at least one week after the first attempt.
Step 5: Practice Driving Under Supervision
After successful completion of the learner’s permit, aliens will be able to drive to practice their skills under the following considerations:
- Must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years of age, possesses a current New Jersey driver’s license and at least 3 years of driving experience.
- The supervisor must be seated in the front seat of the car. That is, next to the driver.
- You may not use telephones, portable video games or any other interactive devices, including “hands-free”.
- Only their parents, guardians or dependents can be carried as passengers. Siblings are not considered dependents, but may ride as passengers if a parent or guardian is in the car.
- The driver and passengers must always wear seat belts.
Step 6: Take The Practical Driving Test
Once the immigrant has enough practice driving with supervision, they must make an appointment to take the practical driving test. It should be taken into account that if the immigrant is:
- Over the age of 21, you must practice with a proctor for at least 3 months before taking your road test.
- Under 21 years of age, the waiting period will be 6 months.
When you go to this appointment, the alien must bring all the documents submitted in the previous steps. Also, their car must be registered and insured.
If the immigrant passes their driving test, they may be issued their driver’s license at the same location. If the facility where they are located does not issue licenses, they must take their stamped and approved permit to one of the following licensing centers.
Step 7: Update The Probationary Driver’s License To A Final Driver’s License
After successfully completing their driving test for the first time, the immigrant will have a probationary license so they can drive without supervision for one year.
- During this time, the immigrant will be able to drive unaccompanied and will be able to carry passengers without limitations. However, they must make sure to always wear their seatbelt and they will not be able to use electronic devices.
- After that year, aliens may renew their license for a final one. This process is done online through the following link.
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:
- 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 access the US under any of these categories, check our blog: What are the different types of visas in U. S.
How Much Does A Driver’s License Cost In 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.
Also, an additional fee is required depending on the type of driver’s license being applied for.
Can Undocumented Immigrants Get A Real ID In NJ?
Typically, 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, 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 CDLs.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Driver’s License In NJ For Undocumented Immigrants
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.
It is possible to drive in the US with a foreign driver’s license. However, it should be noted that US officials need to know what is going on in their papers.
Certain undocumented immigrants may be exempt from the driving test if their foreign driver’s license is used as proof of driving experience.
If the undocumented immigrant does not speak English, don’t panic. The Motor Vehicle Commission provides translators at each office and all forms in other languages. Typically, the languages present are Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog.
On the other hand, the 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.
How Can The Curbelo Law Firm Help You?
The Curbelo Law Firm specializes in all matters related to immigration law in the US Therefore, individuals who wish to obtain assistance with any immigration legalization issue should contact us.
To do this, they can call us, send us an E-mail or book an appointment with the office, located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.