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Mukherji, Holley & Gusciora Bill to Exempt Homeless from Fee for a Non-Driver Identification Card Continues Advancing

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Jamel Holley and Reed Gusciora sponsored that would allow homeless people to obtain, duplicate or renew a non-driver identification card without paying fees to the Motor Vehicle Commission was advanced Thursday by a Senate panel.
The bill was approved 71-0 by the Assembly in April. It was advanced Thursday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“The administration fee is the only thing prevented many homeless people from acquiring identification, when shelters and social services organizations are willing to help these citizens,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Identification will be useful in many ways by allowing them access to services that will help them in the long run. It is a simple, common sense change in the law that can make a huge impact in the lives of our homeless citizens.”
“As we continue looking to combat the scourges of poverty in New Jersey, this is a simple step that can go a long way toward giving homeless people a step up,” said Holley (D-Union). “As we all know, it’s difficult to get a job and other services without identification. We should make it as easy as possible for our most vulnerable residents to acquire it so they can more easily rebuild their lives.”
“We should remove any obstacles that prevent those living in poverty from improving their lives,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “If waiving this fee makes it easier for a homeless person to get the identification they need to get a new start, then we should do it. It’s a simple but effective idea.”
Under the legislation (A-2107), the MVC chief administrator may waive the fees for a homeless person who submits proof of temporary residence through either a social worker or the coordinator of an emergency shelter for the homeless where the person is temporarily residing.
Currently, residents who are 14 years of age and older may apply to the MVC for a non-driver identification card, for a fee of $24. The card is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive.
The legislation requires the MVC chief to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the bill. The bill would take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment.