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NJ Makes History, Expands Access to Driver’s Licenses as Governor Murphy Signs Landmark Bill into Law

December 19, 2019

Licenses bill, A4743/S3229, was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy after years-long campaigning by the Lets Drive NJ coalition

ELIZABETH – Flanked by advocates, lawmakers, and community leaders, Governor Phil Murphy made history this morning as he signed into law A4743/S3229, which expands access to driver’s licenses to all who are qualified in New Jersey. New Jersey has a 13-month deadline to implement the new basic standard driver’s license created by the new law.

“Expanding access to driver’s licenses is a change that has been years in the making, and one that benefits all New Jerseyans,” said ACLU-NJ Senior Staff Attorney Farrin Anello. “We make our communities safer and we bolster our economy when all qualified drivers can obtain a license, and we demonstrate New Jersey’s commitment to equality and justice not just for some, but for all. We thank the bill’s prime sponsors, Assembly members Quijano, Mukherji, Schaer, Johnson, Vanieri Huttle, and Danielson, and Senators Vitale, Cryan, Ruiz, Cruz-Perez, Pou, and Gill, as well as the leadership of Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, for passing this essential legislation.”

Expanding access to licenses increases opportunities for New Jerseyans by ensuring that all qualified drivers can be tested and insured regardless of age, gender identity, or federal immigration status. Ensuring every qualified driver can access a license strengthens public safety and the statewide economy.

“Signing this bill into law is only possible because of the tireless work of advocates and community members who dedicated themselves to the belief that everyone in New Jersey deserves to be able to live their lives freely, without unnecessary obstacles, regardless of their age, gender identity, or immigration status,” said ACLU-NJ Campaign Strategist Alejandra Sorto. “Thank you to all of the activists and partners who led this fight – today is a victory for each and every one of you, and for each and every New Jerseyan.”

“El que esta legislación se convierta en ley únicamente es posible por el trabajo incansable de activistas y miembros de la comunidad, quienes se dedicaron a esta lucha con la creencia de que toda persona en Nueva Jersey merece vivir su vida libremente, sin obstáculos innecesarios, independientemente de su edad, identidad de género o estatus migratorio,” dijo Alejandra Sorto, Estratega de Campaña para ACLU-NJ. “Gracias a todos los activistas y aliados que lideraron esta lucha -hoy representa una victoria para cada uno de ustedes, y para todos los residentes de Nueva Jersey.”

Estimates project that expanding access to driver’s licenses would generate more than $90 million annually to benefit the New Jersey economy once implemented. Expanding access to driver’s licenses to all who are qualified would allow more than 700,000 additional New Jersey residents to access driver’s licenses and state ID cards.

The ACLU-NJ is an Executive Committee member of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, whose “Let’s Drive NJ” campaign united advocates and community leaders in the effort to expand driver’s licenses to all qualified drivers in the Garden State.

“By making licenses for all the law of the land, New Jersey has set an example for the rest of the country, showing that upholding fundamental principles of equality and justice and furthering public safety are complementary goals,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha. “We’re grateful to the legislature and to Governor Murphy for his continued leadership and steadfast commitment to making New Jersey a fairer, more just state.”

Category: Immigrant Rights

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