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New Jersey Driver Licenses for Immigrants

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2012 | Deferred Action, Work Permits |

Our office is frequently asked by our new immigrant clients, as well as those here on working visas, what is required to get a driver’s license. In New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission (or what people commonly refer to as the “DMV”) regulates licensing. Their web page can be found here. http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/index.htm. New Jersey has a 6-point verification test in which applicants must demonstrate proof of identity by showing a total of at least 6 points in order to qualify for a driver’s license or non-driver identification card. Each document is assigned a certain number of points. Individuals must show at least one Primary Document and one Secondary Document. While US Citizens rarely have problems in meeting the six points, non-citizens, on the other hand, sometimes find it challenging to gather enough documents to accumulate the necessary points. The actual brochure can be assessed on the website. The point of this entry is merely to highlight the point value of some common documents. Of the primary documents, current alien resident cards as well as passports with valid I-551 stamps equal four points. Note that current alien registration cards without an expiration date (the old ones, in other words) only have a value of two points. Valid I-94s stamped “Refugee,” “Parolee,” “Asylee” or “Notice of Action” also earn four points. At this time, the Motor Vehicle Commission has not clarified whether individuals granted Deferred Action Status will earn four points. We will certainly make every effort to find out in the near future and keep readers posted. A current Photo Employment Authorization Card, presented with a valid social security card, is worth three points. The secondary document list has many more items from which to choose, but of less value. Marriage and divorce certificates are worth three points. School photo IDs with transcripts are worth two points. And then there are miscellaneous documents worth one point each, such as bank statements, a high school diploma, an employee ID card with printed pay stub, social security card, etc. However, of the one-point documents, no more than two may be shown. So, sometimes, the math is not always so easy….