Bill allowing diplomatic visa holders to renew licenses online, by mail advances

Bill allowing diplomatic visa holders to renew licenses online, by mail advances

BettyLou DeCroce

TRENTON, N.J. – Diplomatic visa holders may soon be able to renew driver’s licenses online or by mail. That bill (A5392) cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee Wednesday and will advance to the full Assembly for consideration.

Current law requires visa holders to renew basic driver’s licenses, motorcycle licenses and non-driver ID cards in person.

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, the sponsor of the bill, wants G-4 visa holders to have the option to renew their New Jersey driver’s licenses by mail or online, providing they are eligible to use a stored photograph with the Motor Vehicle Commission. Representatives from the United Nations reached out to DeCroce, asking her for the change in law. She worked with transportation committee Chairman Daniel R. Benson (D-Mercer) on this bill.

“These workers and their families often find themselves living abroad for years,” DeCroce (R-Morris) said. “They should be afforded the same conveniences as other New Jersey residents.”

International organization workers and their immediate families stay in the U.S. under G-4 visas. These nonimmigrant visas are valid for as long as the primary visa holder is employed by their international organization.

Visa holders and their families initially applying for licenses or IDs must provide the same 6-point proof of identification as all other residents, although they do not surrender their foreign driver’s licenses. They have 60 days from the time they move to New Jersey to obtain a license or ID. Those basic licenses and IDs are valid for four years, and most can be renewed online or by mail.

“With the unprecedented shutdowns the Motor Vehicle Commission continues to face, it simply makes sense to open up online and mail-in renewals to these visa holders,” DeCroce said.

The bill also allows MVC to use stored photos for ID card renewals for persons authorized to be in the country “for a period of time shorter than the standard periods of identification cards.”