Six Points of Identification for the DMV in New Jersey

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A driver's license is such a common form of ID that it's a big target for identity thieves. To discourage fraud, New Jersey requires that anyone applying for a driver's license must prove her identity. Possible identifying documents are each worth a certain number of points under the terms of the state's code. They range in value from one to four points and you can't use more than two one-point documents. You must score at least six points to get your license.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Various identifying documents are assigned a certain number of points. The points of all your documents must total at least six for you to receive a New Jersey driver's license.

Primary Documents

You must provide one piece of identification from the state's primary document list. Primary documents range from two to four points in value. Four-point documents include:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Current or expired less than three years U.S. passport
  • Current New Jersey driver's license
  • Current New Jersey non-driver ID card 
  • Certificate of U.S. citizenship 
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • US adoption papers
  • Valid Active Duty US Military photo ID
  • Current NJ digital boat license
  • Foreign passport with immigration or customs verification
  • Refugee travel document. 

The New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles no longer accepts Puerto Rican birth certificates that were issued before July 1, 2010. You can contact the Puerto Rico government to get an updated birth certificate if you were born there.

You can present an employment authorization card that includes your photo for three points. An alien registration card or temporary registration card counts for two points.

Photocopies of these documents are not acceptable. You must provide the original document or a certified copy.

Secondary Documents

New Jersey also requires that you show one document from the secondary list. These documents range from one to three points in value. The three-point list includes:

  • Marriage certificate or equivalent document
  • Valid divorce decree
  • Valid New Jersey firearm purchaser card
  • US military photo retiree card
  • Court order for a legal name change signed by a judge or court clerk

Two-point documents include:

  • Valid United States school or college photo ID with transcript or school records
  • FAA pilot license
  • US military discharge paperwork 
  • Valid government employee photo ID
  • Valid government employee driver's license

Certain documents are worth one point each. You may use up to two of these documents to provide your six points of ID. These documents include:

  • Social security card
  • Valid out-of-state driver's license 
  • Health insurance card
  • Bank statement
  • State professional license
  • NJ Social Services ID card
  • Property tax statement issued by a NJ municipality 
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Veterans Affairs universal access photo ID card 
  • ATM card with the applicant's full name and signature
  • College diploma

As with primary documents you provide, these must all be original documents or certified copies, not photocopies.

Your Address and Number

You must provide the Motor Vehicle Commission with your Social Security number. The MVC will compare your number, name and birth date to the records in the Social Security Administration's database. You must also provide at least one document showing your current address. This can be your high-school transcript, a property tax bill, a lease agreement, a recent utility bill or a recent bank statement. The document showing your address doesn't count toward your six points. It's additional.

Prepare Yourself

The state Motor Vehicle Commission recommends that you collect all your paperwork before you go in to apply. The documents must be either originals or certified copies. You'll have to contact the relevant state or federal agency if you don't have a certified copy on hand. Some documents also require a state or municipal seal to prove their authenticity.

If your name has changed from the one on any of your qualifying documents due to marriage or divorce, bring proof of the legal name change as well.

References

Resources

About the Author

A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.