New Jersey Licenses for non-citizens

by Joshua on May 23, 2014

If you’re not a citizen of the United States, getting a drivers license in New Jersey can be confusing. There are many requirements that must be met and identification forms that must be provided. This article will help you navigate the New Jersey Motor Vehicle commission’s requirements for getting a license as a non citizen.

Who can get a non citizen license?

In order to get a non citizen drivers license, you must have already acquired a provisional visa status. You must also fall into one of the following groupings:

  • Treaty traders
  • Temporary workers, children and accompanying spouses
  • Students and their families
  • Foreign information legislatives and their families
  • Intra-company transfers along with accompanying spouses and their minor children
  • Switch over visitors and their families
  • Persons with short-term protection from deportation
  • * Canadians with momentary residence
  • Parents of persons who are U.S. citizens
  • Religious ministers and their spouses
  • Entertainment groups or International athletes
  • Persons in a reciprocal exchange program
  • You may make use of your country’s driver license as proof of driving knowledge if you have an International Driver’s Permit given by your country.
  • Learners and their families with an (F) visa must declare the INS Form I-20, student I.D cards or certification on school letterhead signifying status and their I-94 passport.
  • If you are under 18 years old, you are subject to GDL Program requirements

If you do not meet at least one of these requirements, you will not be able to obtain a New Jersey drivers license.

Other requirements

In addition to meeting the above requirements, you must also show proof provided by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, authorizing your presence in the United States. To get a New Jersey license , you will need to bring your non citizen license (if you have one) and enough approved documents to pass New Jersey’s 6 point ID requirements. The 6 Point ID program is a list of different documents that you can use to prove that you are who you say you are. Each document is worth a different number of points ranging from one to four. You must provide 6 points worth of identification in order to fulfill the requirements and get your Driver’s license.
If you have a driver’s license from your home country, you must also have evidence provided by the U.S. Naturalization and Immigration Service, sanctioning your presence in the country and verifying that your non citizen license is valid. The New Jersey motor vehicle commission will also use the systematic alien verification for entitlements verification system to confirm whether or not you are eligible to receive a driver’s license or state ID.

Graduated Driving License (GDL) Program

Some applicants may need to participate in Jerseys Graduated Drivers License Program (GDL). The GDL is a program designed to help new drivers safely learn how to operate a motor vehicle by slowly giving them more and more driving privileges. If you have never had a driver’s license or if you cannot prove previous driving experience, you will have to meet the requirements of the GDL. There are three levels of privilege involved in the GDL.

  • Examination Permit – Allows you to drive with a licensed adult aged 21 and over between the hours of 5 AM and 11PM. In order to get a student permit, you must first complete a driver’s education course with a certified driving instructor.
  • Probationary Drivers- Allows you to drive without supervision between the hours of 5AM and 11PM. Your only passengers can be your parents, legal guardians, or dependents. You must have had an examination permit for at least 3 months in order to obtain your probationary drivers license.
  • Full, unrestricted license- Allows you to drive with any passengers at any time. This is the standard New Jersey driver’s license. You must have had a probationary license for at least a year in order to receive your full, unrestricted license.

Helpful resources

The following websites can help you on your way to getting your non citizen license in New Jersey:

Getting your license in New Jersey can be confusing, but with this article to guide you, the right documentation and the right resources, you should have no problem obtaining it.

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