ACLU-NJ v. Martinez

On May 4, 2012, the ACLU-NJ sued the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for violating New Jersey’s Administrative Procedure, which dictates that any new rule or regulation requires, at minimum, public notice and a chance for citizen review. The state released minimal information about TRU-ID just a few weeks before the planned implementation. It did not seek any input from the public, legislators or stakeholders. In addition to privacy concerns, the ACLU-NJ’s lawsuit also addresses the potential impact of TRU-ID on some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable communities with regard to civil rights and personal safety. The regulation’s requirement that all documents, including birth certificates, be in English imposes a burden on anyone born in a non-English speaking country. Likewise, the homeless will have difficulty proving their citizenship. In addition, it is uncertain whether there are exceptions for victims of domestic violence, who are currently allowed to use an alternate address for all state and local government purposes, rather than their actual home addresses, which could jeopardize their safety. On May 4, 2012, the court granted a temporary restraining order restricting the implementation of the state’s TRU-ID licensing program.

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