News

ACLU Moving To Block NJ’s New License Standards

Lines outside the Motor Vehicles office off Route 46 in Wayne on July 11, 2011 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

Lines outside the Motor Vehicles office off Route 46 in Wayne on July 11, 2011 (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Critics say the state is “unlawfully” imposing stricter requirements for people seeking to obtain or renew driver’s licenses in New Jersey.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

The American Civil Liberties Union says the new standards would create privacy concerns as well as hardships for legal immigrants and others. So it’s moving to block them, claiming officials didn’t seek public comment or publish details about the new standards.

“The state tried to implement this under the radar,” Ed Barocas, legal director of New Jersey’s chapter of the ACLU told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

The state Motor Vehicle Commission had planned to start enforcing the new standards on Monday. But courts have stepped in to temporarily halt enforcement.

Aside from ID theft concerns, N.J. ACLU’s executive director Deborah Jacobs said the requirements for enhanced licenses discriminate against immigrants and the homeless.

“We have an existing secure system,” she said. “It costs a lot to implement. It burdens a huge proportion of our citizens and it’s a real bad idea for New Jersey.”

MVC officials have said any delays in implementing the standards would pose a serious disruption for drivers and adversely impact other program changes the MVC is planning.

ACLU officials, joined by advocates for homeless, immigration, minority and women’s groups, announced their objections to the plan during a news conference Monday in Newark.

Under the new standards, residents could no longer state their Social Security number, but would have to show the card itself, a paystub or tax documents.

They also would have to show two proofs of residence, rather than the one that’s currently required. And if a passport is used, it would have to be current.

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