Driver’s Licenses: Know Your Rights When You Get Your ID

All New Jersey residents are eligible to apply for a standard driver's license or non-driver ID. Here's what you need to know.

You can get a license at any Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office and make an appointment online. Identification cards require a fee, but an appointment does not. For more information, visit the Motor Vehicle Commission website.

The MVC must provide interpretation at your appointment or allow an interpreter — but they’re not allowed in the car for a road test.

  • The MVC is required to provide phone translation service — or you can bring an interpreter. But no one, not even a translator, can come with you in the car during the road test.
  • The written exam is offered in: English, Arabic, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. The oral exam is offered in English and Spanish.

You must translate your documents into English, but it doesn’t have to be by a professional. Your documents can be translated by anyone 18 or older and fluent in English and the other language. The translator must sign a certificate
verifying accuracy. See a sample certificate.

To get a license you must provide:

  • Proof of identity. You need one primary document and one secondary document, as part of six points of ID, listed here.
  • Proof of New Jersey residency. You’ll show a document with your name and your New Jersey address, like a utility bill or lease agreement.
  • Either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer ID number (ITIN) OR a sworn statement (affidavit) that you don’t have an ITIN or Social Security number, and aren’t eligible for an SSN. If you have been officially issued a Social Security Number or ITIN, you can’t use the affidavit. With an ITIN, you should show an ITIN approval letter OR a tax return listing your ITIN. The affidavit form, which must be signed in front of an MVC employee, or notarized, is available here.

An MVC employee might ask if you want to register to vote, or you might get voting information in the mail. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you CANNOT register to vote. A non-citizen who registers to vote risks prosecution, deportation, or the ability to become a citizen.

The MVC can share your personal information, but the law has privacy protections and limitations for sharing data. Read about the MVC's privacy restrictions.

  • The MVC CANNOT share your personal information for purposes of federal immigration enforcement unless you give written permission, or unless a judge or subpoena requires it.
  • The MVC DOES add your information to its database and CAN share with law enforcement, courts, and businesses for specific reasons, like vehicle safety or employer verification.
  • The MVC CANNOT keep copies of your identity documents when you apply for a standard license or ID, unless there’s an identity fraud investigation.

Contact a lawyer before applying for a license if you have been: in deportation proceedings, stopped by police, prosecuted for an offense, issued a driver’s license previously, or stopped for driving without a license, or if you have questions about Social Security numbers.

If you are mistreated or your rights are violated, you can file a complaint with the MVC:
By calling 609-292-6500 or 888-486-3339
Emailing MVC.Correspondence@mvc.nj.gov
Mailing Motor Vehicle Commission, Customer Advocacy Office, P.O. Box 403, Trenton, NJ 08666

*This resource is solely for your information, and not legal advice. If you need legal advice on privacy or whether to apply for state identification, contact a lawyer.