Mayors Across New Jersey Voice Support For Driver’s Licenses For All Residents, Regardless of Immigration Status
Fifteen mayors from Bridgeton to Newark urge the state leadership to approve S3229/A4743.
NEW JERSEY — (Thursday, December 12th, 2019) Mayors of major New Jersey cities, municipalities, and small towns sent a letter to state legislative leaders and Governor Murphy voicing their collective support of legislation that would allow residents regardless of immigration status to obtain a driver’s license.
More than 719,00 residents in New Jersey lack access to a driver’s license in New Jersey, including immigrants without status, survivors of violence, residents who are formerly incarcerated and re-entering society, and low-income individuals are particularly impacted.
Currently, legislation S3229/A4743 is being considered in the New Jersey legislature that would expand said access to more residents. The legislation passed through the Assembly Judiciary Committee and will be heard before the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday, December 12th.
The diverse cities and municipalities include the City of Newark, City of Bridgeton, Princeton, Borough of Haledon, Montgomery Township, Hopewell Borough, Palisades Park, Maplewood, Highland Park Borough, Union City, Hoboken, Parsippany-Troy Hills, City of Perth Amboy, City of Trenton, and the City of Passaic.
Mayors offered the following statements:
Mayor Michael A. Soriano, Parsippany-Troy Hills said,
“Driver’s licenses serve as the primary form of identification for most New Jersey residents. Blocking access for any qualified driver in our state is not only an insurance risk, but makes it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs. Everyone on the road will be safer once the maximum number of drivers have a license. I urge the legislature to take action on this bill to keep our communities safer.”
Mayor Liz Lempert of Princeton said,
“The Drivers’ Licenses for All bill would make our streets safer by reducing the number of uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the road. It would also help immigrants feel they can come out of the shadows to participate more fully in civic life, making our communities stronger.”
Mayor Wilda Diaz of City of Perth Amboy said,
“As the mayor of a city with one of the largest immigrant populations in the state, I urge the passage of this legislation which will give immigrants without status access to driver’s licenses,” said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz. “So many struggle to find ways to take care of their families adequately. Having driver’s licenses greatly reduces the pressure this population encounters on a daily basis.”
Fourteen states and Washington D.C. have implemented similar policy measures, with many states experiencing a decrease in the rates of uninsured motorists and an increase in road safety. Studies show rates of uninsurance decreasing significantly in Utah, California, and New Mexico after the implementation of expanded access to driver’s licenses.
The Let’s Drive NJ campaign is supported by a diverse and growing number of faith, labor, and community organizations and supporters from across the state. More information about the campaign can be found at LetsDriveNJ.org.