Wider access to state ID
It was bitterly cold out this morning, but there they were, at the steps of the State House, young and old, asking for a privilege most of us take for granted. For over a decade now, they have been petitioning state legislators to do right by them.
I was inspired by their resiliency and faith. So, today I sent around a letter to my elected representatives urging them to support a recently introduced bill. It would expand access to a driver license -or to a state ID card,- to more NJ residents, enabling their self-sufficiency for now they would be able to confidently identify themselves and -subject to appropriate testing, registration and insurance- could drive for such essential needs as work, school, carry groceries, or reach medical care. Sectors of our most vulnerable residents would benefit: seniors, persons in re-entry or recovery, immigrants. They would gain confidence and independence, and we would reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on our roads.
Large areas of NJ lack adequate public transportation. This forces many households to drive at least one car. But many can’t obtain a driver license due to the onerous documentation required (the infamous 6-points of ID). This legislation would create two types of licenses. One would comply with federal REAL ID requirements to board airplanes, vote, etc. The other would simply require proof of id and NJ residence.
Increasing access to social inclusion and physical mobility in NJ is long overdue. Let’s hope our elected officials steer this legislation to its prompt adoption before the year is out.
— Maria Juega, Princeton