New Jersey Drivers License Eligibility Requirements
When seeking a drivers license in New Jersey, it is important to understand the eligibility requirements that you will need to meet. The state will only provide a DMV drivers license to residents. New Jersey drivers license applicants must also be at least 16 years of age and must have proof of lawful presence within the United States. Unless you are transferring a drivers license from another state, a new drivers license will require that you have a student learners permit or an examination permit, depending on your age. Additionally, if you are 16 years old, you must be currently enrolled in a licensed driving school.
New Jersey DMV Drivers License Documentation Requirements
In order to prevent identity theft and ensure that a drivers license is only issued after having received proper, legal documentation — New Jersey created the 6 Point ID Verification. The 6 Point ID Verification requires you to provide enough documentation that will prove your identity and lawful presence within the United States, with a different point value incurred on each accepted document. When you are seeking a New Jersey drivers license you will need to provide at least one primary document, such as a birth certificate, United States passport, or adoption papers as well as a secondary document such as a valid drivers license from another state, school photo ID or your Social Security card. Additionally, all DMV drivers license applications must include your Social Security Number, proof of address and the drivers license cost must be paid up front with your application.
When you visit a New Jersey motor vehicle agency to submit your drivers license application, it is important to first find out how many points your available documentation is worth. As an example, while a passport or birth certificate may be worth four points, a Social Security card is only worth one point, and so you would then still need an additional point worth of documentation in order to complete your application. All documentation must be an original, certified and unaltered document, otherwise it will not be accepted by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in New Jersey
Knowing where to apply for a drivers license is the first step in obtaining your license. While you will not be able to apply for a drivers license online, you can apply for drivers license at most local motor vehicle agency locations. The process of getting drivers license in NJ will differ a little, based on if you are a new resident with a valid drivers license from another state that is in good standing or if you would be receiving a license for the first time in the United States.
Both types of New Jersey drivers license applications will require that you submit the documentation, your drivers license services fees, and successfully pass a vision exam.
If you are a new resident and you have a valid drivers license from another state, you will be required to surrender your out-of-state license, but so long as your DMV drivers license is in good standing, you will not need to complete any additional testing such as knowledge tests or road skill tests. If your license had been expired, you may or may not be required to complete these tests.
If you are a resident that is seeking a completely new drivers license, you will need to meet additional requirements. New drivers license applicants will need to successfully complete a knowledge test that will cover traffic laws and vehicle safety that is covered in the New Jersey Drivers Manual. Upon a successful completion, those under the age of 17 will receive a student learner’s permit and those 17 and older will receive an examination permit. You will be able to schedule a drivers license road skills test once you have completed all the requirements for your permit, including the minimum amount of time you are required to maintain it. After a successful pass, you will be eligible for a probationary license, a DMV drivers license that comes with many of the same restrictions as a permit, but will allow you to drive on your own. A NJ drivers license will only be obtainable once you have held a probationary license for at least one year.
New Jersey Drivers License Restrictions
Unless you are surrendering a drivers license from another state in exchange for a New Jersey drivers license, you will have several driving restrictions that you must adhere to during your permit and probationary license periods. These driving restrictions include the following:
- You may only operate a motor vehicle with a New Jersey drivers license holder who is at least 21 years of age and has had a minimum three year driving experience.
- You may not use any cell phones or other hands free interactive, wireless devices or hand-held video games.
- You must always wear your seat belt.
- You are only allowed one passenger, and they may only be a parent, guardian or dependent.
- If you are younger than 21 years of age then you must display reflectorized decal on both the front and back license plates of your vehicle
- You may not drive between the hours of 11PM and 5AM, unless you can prove an exemption for employment or religious reasons.