Undocumented New Jerseyans are now eligible for driver’s licenses. Here’s how to apply

This policy change makes as many as 450,000 New Jerseyans newly eligible to get behind the wheel.

New Jersey driver's license (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

New Jersey driver's license (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

Starting this weekend, people applying for driver’s licenses in New Jersey will no longer have to prove they’re in the country legally.

The change comes because of a new state law that permits residents to get driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status. Officials said it could make as many as 450,000 people newly eligible to get behind the wheel in the Garden State.

Sue Fulton, chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, said the way to apply for a driver’s license — and the license itself — otherwise won’t change.

“The process for getting that permit and the license, and the actual license you will receive, are the same,” Fulton said.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

To prove residency, New Jerseyans can use property tax bills, current leases or rental agreements, bank account statements, and high school or college report cards, among other documents. A full list of those documents is available in English and Spanish.

All applicants for New Jersey driver’s licenses have to complete the same process, which is outlined on the MVC’s website.

First, an applicant has to gather the necessary documents and make an appointment to obtain a permit. After that, the driver has to take a knowledge test, which is available in 14 languages. Last, the driver must pass a road test.

The change comes after a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

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

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal