Older Drivers Will Be Able To Renew Licenses By Mail As MVC Preps For Stricter Federal Standards

TRENTON – New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is poised to begin processing driver license and non-driver ID renewals by mail. Beginning with documents that expire in July 2012, customers born on or before December 1, 1964 will be able to “skip the trip” to an agency and renew through the mail.

The start of mail renewals will coincide with the MVC’s adherence to a new federal law that places more stringent standards and procedures on the issuance of driver licenses and IDs. By directing more than a million customers to the mail, MVC agencies will be able to focus on serving customers born after December 1, 1964 who will be subject to the federal law’s first enforcement date of December 1, 2014.

“With all the significant technology and security enhancements made during the first two years of this administration, the MVC is ready to deliver the convenience of renewal by mail this summer,” said Acting Governor Kim Guadagno. “The start of this new service will also be a tremendous help as New Jersey begins to implement new identity and security standards that the federal government has placed on states.”

The law, known as REAL ID, prohibits the federal government from accepting driver licenses or IDs as proof of identity unless the documents conform to new standards. These compliant documents will be necessary to board a commercial flight or enter a federal building.

In addition to the first enforcement deadline of 2014, residents born on or before December 1, 1964 have until the end of 2017 to obtain a compliant document and therefore will be notified that they can skip the trip for four more years. Beginning May 7, the MVC will replace 6 Point ID Verification with TRU-ID (The Real U) to help customers become more familiar with the new requirements: proof of identity, legal presence, social security number and principal residence.

“Although the federal government has laid out new identity requirements, it’s important to note that TRU-ID is not that different from the six points that we’ve all become accustomed to presenting,” said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “With documents like your official birth certificate, social security card and mail from your bank and utility company, you’ll be able to meet the new requirements.”

Under REAL ID, the MVC must essentially re-credential every driver. The start of mail renewal will allow the MVC to better manage the flow of customers by pushing in-person renewals for customers born on or before December 1, 1964 out by four years. The federal government will not enforce REAL ID for this age group until December 2017.

Customers who visit an agency beginning this May will, upon meeting the new TRU-ID requirements, be issued a REAL ID-compliant driver license or non-driver ID that is valid for eight years instead of the typical four. Compliant documents will feature a federally-mandated designation of a gold star in the upper right hand corner.

“It’s important that our customers understand that there is no leeway with these new federal identity requirements,” added Martinez. “It is our goal to ensure that the residents of New Jersey all have a compliant license in hand by the time the TSA and other federal entities begin enforcing REAL ID.”

The introduction of TRU-ID requirements continues the MVC’s two-year progress of further ensuring the integrity of its documents and issuance process. In May 2011, Martinez, along with former Attorney General Paula Dow and then-Homeland Security Director Charles McKenna, unveiled the state’s next generation of identity protection, the Enhanced Digital Driver License (EDDL). The EDDL contains over 20 overt and covert features that not only protect personal information but also help the state to meet the guidelines established by the federal REAL ID law.

For more information about new federal identity requirements, visit www.njmvc.gov/tru

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