New Jersey To Join Growing Number of States Extending Access to Driver’s Licenses for All Residents

December 16, 2019

Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

New Jersey to Join Growing Number of States Extending Access to Driver’s Licenses for All Residents

New Jersey is the 15th state to pass legislation extending access to driver’s licenses to all residents, regardless of immigration status

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey State Legislature voted today to pass critical legislation that expands access to driver’s licenses to all residents who are otherwise eligible, regardless of immigration status. Once the governor signs the legislation into law, it is estimated that 500,000 more New Jersey residents will now be newly eligible to drive with a license.

This major policy victory for immigrant families in New Jersey comes the same week that New York’s Green Light Law goes into effect, expanding access to driver’s licenses in that state regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and just a few months after Oregon passed similar legislation. New Jersey is the 15th state to pass licenses-for-all legislation. With the bill’s passage, most immigrants in the United States will now live in a state that issues licenses to all, regardless of immigration status

“This victory is life-changing for hundreds of thousands of immigrant families throughout the state of New Jersey who will now have the opportunity to live more freely and fully in their communities,” said Jackie Vimo, NILC economic justice policy analyst. “Access to driver’s licenses has long been a core ask from immigrant communities. For everyday working families, a driver’s license is more than just about any other document — it means they are able to drive to work, take their kids to school, visit the doctor, go to church, all without the added fear that a broken tail light might lead to deportation. Today’s win is another milestone in a growing movement to advance policies that allow immigrants to live more fully in their communities throughout New Jersey and across the country.”

“I am in awe of the power of immigrant communities here in New Jersey. We launched the Let’s Drive New Jersey campaign in January 2018, building on the progress and infrastructure we had built during the years before. It has been a long fight to achieve this victory,” said Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.  “We couldn’t have done this without the support of our partners and advocates across the country. Every time one state wins, another state gets closer and closer — and that’s really what these fights are about. I’m proud that New Jersey will be joining the other 14 states across the country that have passed this groundbreaking legislation, and I’m excited for what this means for our fight going forward.”

The NILC Winning in the States initiative aims to tangibly improve the lives of immigrants in the communities where they live and to help change the national narrative around immigration. NILC is investing in building power in these communities to accelerate the progress being made. We are creating a structure for advocates across the country to share resources and support each other so that, together, we can ensure that every immigrant living in the United States can feel safe and supported in their community. Learn more: