Assembly Sponsor Says Legislation Would Protect Motorists without Compromising Security
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano released the following statement Wednesday on legislation (A-2135) she is sponsoring to allow undocumented residents to obtain driving privilege cards:
“This bill was designed to protect drivers on the road from uninsured motorists.
“We know there are a lot of people driving who are undocumented and, consequently, do not have the proper insurance or properly registered vehicles.
“This puts everyone else in danger and increases the financial burden on those who are insured. When insurance companies have to pay accident claims under ‘uninsured/underinsured’ provisions on a policy, this cost is eventually passed on to the consumer.
“Ultimately, this is a public safety measure that’s designed to protect motorists everywhere by ensuring that everyone is subject to the same certification and licensing standards,” said Quijano (D-Union).
Quijano’s bill would require the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue driving privilege cards to applicants who are New Jersey residents, but cannot provide proof of their authorized presence in the United States. The bill stipulates that a holder of a valid driving privilege card would have the same privileges and legal responsibilities with respect to the operation of a motor vehicle as a holder of a basic driver’s license.
The driving privilege card would display a digitized picture and a statement that the card is not for federal identification purposes.
“With the safeguards we crafted into the legislation, this bill would offer individuals an opportunity to drive legally while not compromising the security of New Jersey’s official driver’s license,” added Quijano.
Quijano is reviewing best practices from other states and has been consulting with different government agencies as well as civil liberty organizations and advocacy groups.