New Jersey considers adding allergy information to driver’s licenses

 New Jersey lawmakers are considering a measure allowing inclusion  of drug allergies on driver's licenses. (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a measure allowing inclusion of drug allergies on driver's licenses. (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

New Jersey residents with drug allergies might soon be able to put that information on their driver’s license.

 

The measure allowing that has won unanimous approval in the state Assembly and is awaiting action in the Senate.

The idea is to prevent adverse reactions to medications if someone is unable to communicate after an accident, said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano.

Not everyone with drug allergies wears a medic alert bracelet because they want privacy.

“Some people just don’t really want everyone to know that they have an allergy or a medical condition,” said Quijano, D-Union. “So with a driver’s license, that’s the first thing that the emergency personnel will look at. They want to know who you are. This will give them life saving information right at their fingertips.”

Any information available to first responders is beneficial, said Ed Burdzy, executive director of the EMS Council of New Jersey. But he said he’s concerned what actually would be listed on the license.

“I am allergic to about seven different types of antibiotics myself, and I don’t know how they would be able to put that on a license other than to say drug allergies,” he said

Antibiotics usually aren’t given to people injured in a traffic accident until they get to the hospital, Burdzy said. And by that time, a medical history if often available to determine if someone has medication allergies.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.