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 signed into law on Monday.
“The administration fee is the only thing preventing 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 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). “Waiving this fee will make it easier for a homeless person to get the identification they need to get a new start. It’s a simple but effective idea.”
Under the new law (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 new law will take effect in August.