Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants?


Will undocumented immigrants get a NJ driver's license?On Wednesday, March 27th, the city council of Jersey City, NJ approved a resolution that supported the possibility of a state measure allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.  This means that Jersey City has announced their support for the idea of undocumented immigrants receiving driver’s licenses, and if the proposed state measure allowing such were to come up for a vote, Jersey City would be on board. This state measure is a long way off however, because there are still some kinks in the plans that need to be ironed out.  Actually, many people identified these issues in response to this resolution.  Of course, you had the normal response from some members of the society; claims that this will affect the strength of America, or that we need to stop making things so easy for undocumented immigrants; but there were also several good points raised.

  1. NJ auto Insurance.  We must insure that the newly licensed (and undocumented) immigrants purchase insurance.  Today they are prevented from doing so because of the lack of a NJ license.  Some register and insure their vehicles out of state.  By allowing them to get a New Jersey driver’s license we give the opportunity to purchase insurance in New Jersey.  An undocumented immigrant who borrows someone else’s car and gets ticketed for driving without insurance (NJS 39:6B-2) has a defense because the state has to prove that he knew or should have known the car wasn’t insured.  That changes when the immigrant is the owner of an uninsured vehicle.
  2. Identity Documentation. How do you determine the identity of the person receiving the license? Every NJ resident must show six points of documentation in order to prove their identity and get a NJ driver’s license.  The key word there is documentation.  Undocumented immigrants do not have U.S. issued documentation.  The laws need to be clarified to allow foreign passports and birth certificates (which are already accepted for certain visa holders) to also be used for presently undocumented persons.  As a society, we need to make sure that anyone who is legally prevented from getting a license can’t circumvent the law by making up a new name.

A driver’s license for immigrants is a good thing.  It will ensure that only those who can’t be licensed are prevented from getting a license, which was the original intent of the law.  It will reduce the likelihood of an accident victim not getting the treatment they need because of a lack of insurance.  It will reduce the insurance burden on all of us who pay additional premiums to cover for those claims.  It will also help law enforcement by having current addresses of immigrants who commit crimes.

Free Resources for you

If you are charged with a DUI you need to know your options before going to court.  On this page you will see an offer for my books, click the link, put your name and contact information and we will give you these books free:

  1. Arrested for Drunk Driving?  Learn how to Beat the Odds – Here I discuss defense strategies, and common mistakes I see other attorneys make in defending these complicated cases.  I also list for your question you should ask any attorney that you interview for your defense.
  2. Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is NOT an Option – Here I discuss court process and violations, including DUI’s.  There lots of case examples here.
  3. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court.  This discusses specifically what you will encounter in  Municipal Court if you aren’t a U.S. citizen and how it can result in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  I define important terms and guide you through the Municipal Court and Immigration Court process.

If you have DUI or Traffic offenses questions, we have answers.  You can,

  1. Call 888-695-6169 to speak to our knowledgeable staff;
  2. Fill out the contact us form on this page;
  3. Select the live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help traffic and DUI defendants, one court case at a time.

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