ASSEMBLY, No. 1738

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman† REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman† RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblyman† GARY S. SCHAER

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman† GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman† JOE DANIELSEN

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Muoio, Jasey, Pinkin, Tucker, Jones, Caride, Pintor Marin, Assemblymen Chiaravalloti, Giblin, Assemblywomen Chaparro, Lampitt, Assemblyman Green, Assemblywomen McKnight, Jimenez, Assemblyman Mejia, Assemblywomen Lopez, Reynolds-Jackson and Speight

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes the ďNew Jersey Safe and Responsible Driver Act.Ē

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

††


An Act concerning driverís licenses, supplementing chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.1997, c.151.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.† (New section)† This act shall be known and may be cited as the ďNew Jersey Safe and Responsible Driver Act.Ē

 

†††† 2.† (New section)† a. †The chief administrator shall issue a driverís license to a person who satisfies the requirements for the issuance of a basic driver's license but cannot provide proof of lawful presence in the United States.

†††† b.††† Each applicant for a driverís license pursuant to the provisions of this act shall be required to submit to the commission, upon request, proof of identity, date of birth, and residence in the State of New Jersey.† If the applicant has been issued a social security number, the applicant shall provide it to the commission.

†††† The chief administrator shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), regulations establishing the documentation necessary to prove an applicantís identity, date of birth, and residence in this State.† The documents may include, but not be limited to, an original or certified copy of the following documents or combination of documents, as determined by the chief administrator:

†††† (1)† a valid, unexpired consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicantís country of citizenship; a valid, unexpired passport from the applicantís country of citizenship; a driverís license or identification card issued by another state or a municipality; a United States military identification document; a foreign driverís license; a foreign federal electoral photo card; a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security or a court; a student identification document; a marriage license or divorce certificate; or other proof of identity, as designated by the chief administrator.† The documents may be expired if they are presented with other acceptable proof of identity;

†††† (2)† an original birth certificate, adoption records, an official school or college transcript that includes the applicantís date of birth, a foreign school record that includes a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued, or other proof of age, as designated by the chief administrator;

†††† (3)† a home utility bill, lease or rental agreement, a property tax bill or statement issued within the previous 12 months, an income tax return, a deed or title to real property, or other proof of New Jersey residence, as designated by the chief administrator.

†††† Applicants who are unable to provide the documents listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection, but who are able to provide alternative documents shall be subject to a secondary review to determine whether the applicant has presented sufficient information to verify his identity, age, and residence in this State.

†††† If a document listed under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection is in a language other than English, the chief administrator may require the applicant to submit a certified translation of the document into English if a bilingual employee of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is not able to read and interpret the document.

†††† c.††† A person applying for a driverís license under the provisions of this act is required to pay all fees applicable for the issuance of a basic driverís license.† The commission may charge the applicant an additional fee, not to exceed $50 per driverís license, to offset the administrative costs associated with the production and distribution of driverís licenses issued pursuant to this act.† This administrative fee may be assessed by the commission only until the first day of the 36th month following the effective date of this act, at which time the additional fee shall expire and a driverís license issued under this act shall be subject to the same fees applicable to the issuance of a basic driverís license.

†††† d.††† Any person applying for a driverís license under this act who provides false documentation or who knowingly makes a false statement on an application for the purpose of obtaining a driverís license shall be guilty of an offense pursuant to N.J.S.2C:21-4.

 

†††† 3.††† (New section)† a.† A driverís license issued under this act shall be valid for four years from the date of issuance.† While the license is valid, the holder shall have the same privileges and shall be bound by the same legal responsibilities with respect to the operation of a motor vehicle as the holder of a basic driver's license issued pursuant to this chapter.

†††† b.††† It shall be an unlawful discrimination violation for any person to discriminate, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection f. of section 11 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12), against an individual based upon the fact that the individual holds or presents a driverís license issued under this act.†

†††† c.††† Any public official who discriminates against an individual who holds or presents a driverís license issued under this act shall be guilty of a crime of official deprivation of civil rights pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2003, c.31 (C.2C:30-6).

†††† d.††† No underwriting rule shall operate in such a manner as to assign a risk to a rating plan, pursuant to the provisions of section 15 of P.L.1997, c.151 (C.17:29A-46.2), on the basis of an insured holding a driverís license issued under this act.

†††† 4.††† (New section) a. The chief administrator shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), regulations concerning the form and design of the driverís license issued pursuant to this act and any other regulations necessary for the effective implementation of this act.† The regulations shall require that each driverís license issued pursuant to this act include a digitized picture of the person to whom the card was issued and meet the applicable requirements for construction of driver's licenses in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.261 (C.39:3-10h).† The regulations also shall require that the driverís license issued pursuant to this act contain the statement ďFederal Limits ApplyĒ on the front of the driverís license in the smallest font size contained on the license.† In addition, the back of the driverís license shall contain the statement ďThis card is not acceptable for official federal purposes.† This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle.† It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.Ē

†††† b.††† Any personal information collected by the commission from an applicant for a driverís license pursuant to the provisions of this act is subject to the same disclosure restrictions that apply to personal information collected from applicants for driverís licenses.† In addition, this information shall not be considered a public record and notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.4), shall not be disclosed to any federal, State, or local governmental entity without probable cause or a valid warrant.

†††† c.††† A driverís license issued pursuant to this act shall not be considered evidence of an individualís citizenship or immigration status and shall not be used as a basis for an investigation, arrest, citation, or detention.

†††† d.††† On the first day of the 48th month following the effective date of this act, the chief administrator shall submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report evaluating the effectiveness of the issuance of the driverís licenses issued pursuant to this act. †The report shall provide data on the number of convictions for violations of subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and subsection d. of section 2 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).† Information pertaining to the identity of any specific individual shall not be provided in the report.

 

†††† 5.††† (New section)† The chief administrator shall establish and conduct a public education campaign regarding the availability of driverís licenses issued pursuant to this act and the requirements for obtaining such a license.

 

†††† 6.††† Section 15 of P.L.1997, c.151 (C.17:29A-46.2) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 15. a. Insurers shall put in writing all underwriting rules applicable to each rate level utilized pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1997, c.151 (C.17:29A-46.1).† An insurer may take into account factors, including, but not limited to, driving record characteristics appropriate for underwriting and classification in formulating its underwriting rules; provided that no underwriting rule based on motor vehicle violations shall be formulated in such a manner as to assign any named insured to a rating tier other than the standard rating tier applicable to the insured's territory solely on the basis of accumulating four motor vehicle points or less.† No underwriting rule shall operate in such a manner as to assign a risk to a rating plan on the basis of the territory in which the insured resides or any other factor which the commissioner finds is a surrogate for territory.† No underwriting rule shall operate in such a manner as to assign a risk to a rating plan on the basis of an insured holding a driverís license issued pursuant to P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).† An insurer which knowingly fails to transact automobile insurance consistently with its underwriting rules shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 for each violation.

†††† b.††† All underwriting rules applicable to each rate level as provided for in section 14 of P.L.1997, c.151 (C.17:29A-46.1) shall be filed with the commissioner and shall be subject to his prior approval.† All underwriting rules shall be subject to public inspection.† Except as provided in subsection d. of section 27 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-15), insurers shall apply their underwriting rules uniformly and without exception throughout the State, so that every applicant or insured conforming with the underwriting rules will be insured or renewed, and so that every applicant not conforming with the underwriting rules will be refused insurance.

†††† c.††† An insurer with more than one rating plan for private passenger automobile insurance policies providing identical coverages shall not adopt underwriting rules which would permit a person to be insured for private passenger automobile insurance under more than one of the rating plans.

†††† d.††† An insurer that revises its underwriting rules with respect to the assignment of insureds to rating tiers based on the number of accumulated motor vehicle points, as provided by subsection a. of this section, as amended by P.L.2003, c.89, shall certify to the commissioner that the revised rule will produce rates that are revenue neutral based upon the insurer's current coverages and book of business.

(cf:† P.L.2003, c.89, s.40)

 

†††† 7.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment, but the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission may take such administrative action in advance of the effective date as may be necessary.

STATEMENT

 

††††† This bill establishes the ďNew Jersey Safe and Responsible Driver Act,Ē which establishes driverís licenses for New Jersey residents who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States.

††††† Specifically, under the provisions of this bill, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is required to issue a driverís license to a person who satisfies the requirements for the issuance of a basic driverís license but cannot prove lawful presence in the United States.

††††† Under the bill, each applicant is required to submit to the MVC proof of identity, date of birth, and residency in this State.† The substitute specifies certain documents that the chief administrator may accept, in addition to any other documents determined to be appropriate by the chief administrator.† The bill provides that applicants who are unable to provide the listed documents, but who are able to provide alternative documents, are to be subject to a secondary review to determine whether the applicant has presented sufficient verification.

††††† In addition, if a document provided by an applicant is in a language other than English, the chief administrator may require the applicant to submit a certified translation of the document into English if a bilingual employee of the MVC is not able to read and interpret the document.

††††† A person applying for this driverís license is required to pay all fees applicable to the issuance of a basic driverís license and the commission may charge an additional fee, not to exceed $50 per driverís license, to offset administrative costs associated with the production and distribution of the driverís license.† This additional fee is to expire 36 months after the effective date of the bill.† Under the bill, the driverís license is valid for four years.

††††† The bill provides that the commission is required to adopt regulations concerning the form and design of the driverís license, which is to include a digitized picture of the person to whom the card was issued and the statement ďFederal Limits ApplyĒ on the front of the driverís license in the smallest font size contained on the license.† In addition, the back of the driverís license is to contain the statement ďThis card is not acceptable for official federal purposes.† This license is issued only as a license to drive a motor vehicle.† It does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits.Ē

††††† Any personal information collected by the commission is subject to the same disclosure restrictions that apply to personal information collected from applicants for driverís licenses.† In addition, this information is not to be considered a public record and is not to be disclosed to any federal, State, or local governmental entity without probable cause or a valid warrant.† The bill also provides that a driverís license issued under the provisions of the bill is not to be considered evidence of an individualís citizenship or immigration status and is not to be used as a basis for an investigation, arrest, citation, or detention.

††††† In addition, under the provisions of the bill, it is an unlawful discrimination violation for any person, pursuant to the provisions of section 11 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12), to discriminate against an individual based upon the fact that the individual holds or presents a driverís license issued under the bill.† In addition, any public official who discriminates against a person who holds or presents a driverís license issued under the bill, is guilty of the crime of official deprivation of civil rights.† The bill also provides that an applicant for a driverís license who provides false documentation or who knowingly makes a false statement on an application for the purpose of obtaining this driverís license is guilty of falsifying records.

††††† Under the bill, automobile insurers are prohibited from assigning an insured to a rating tier based on the insured holding a driverís license issued under the bill.

††††† The bill requires the chief administrator to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature evaluating the effectiveness of the issuance of driverís licenses under the bill.† Finally, under the provisions of the bill, the chief administrator is required to establish and conduct a public education campaign regarding the availability of the driverís license issued under the bill and the requirements for obtaining such a license.