(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - 11/27/18) - The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) is calling on the New Jersey Muslim community to support the Assembly bill A4743 and the Senate bill S3229, which give all New Jerseyans access to a driver’s license regardless of their citizenship status.
CAIR-NJ Action Alert: Tell NJ Lawmakers to Support Expanded Access to Drivers Licenses
In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act which sets out strict guidelines for all state issued I.D. to be accepted for federal purposes including entering federal buildings or boarding planes. Most state-issued IDs are not compatible with the Real ID act, and therefore states around the country have passed laws to make their licenses and IDs compliant with the Real ID Act.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is set to implement the Real ID Act in New Jersey in 2019 by issuing a new license for Real ID Act purposes.
Since its inception, the Real ID Act has raised issues of privacy and access, with many in vulnerable communities facing increasing barriers to being able to get a driver’s license and state ID.
Additionally, many residents have concerns that their personal documents will be scanned and entered into a government database as it is required for REAL ID Act compliance. This issue is particularly important for the undocumented community who are facing the harshest anti-immigrant environment in the last several decades.
SEE: It Is Time For New Jersey to License Undocumented Drivers
However, though the Real ID Act has stringent requirements, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does allow states to continue issuing limited licenses and ID cards as alternatives to the licenses for REAL ID Act purposes. These IDs however can only be used in-state and would not allow individuals access to federal buildings or to air travel.
Bill A4743 & S3229 will ensure that the NJ MVC can also issue a limited, alternative driver’s license option allowing qualified residents to be able to access a license and identification card.
“Every New Jersey resident should be able to have access to a driver’s license or state-issued ID,” said CAIR-NJ Legislative Director Jay Rehman. “This bill will give members of many of the most vulnerable communities -- who may not have access to required documents to obtain a Real ID -- the ability to obtain a New Jersey identification card.”
CAIR-NJ has joined the Let’s Drive New Jersey campaign in their support of this bill.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.