E-driver's licenses study green-lighted in New Jersey

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/27/2016

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that could soon result in the state making available electronic driver’s licenses.

The new law mandates that the state Motor Vehicle Commission prepare and submit to Christie and to the Legislature a report on the feasibility of the e-licenses.

The Garden State is not the only state to take steps to make the e-licenses available. Iowa has implemented an e-driver’s license pilot test, and Delaware is pursuing implementation of e-licenses.

New Jersey Assemblyman Dan Benson, R-Mercer/Middlesex, said the change to e-licenses makes sense given the commonality of technology in people’s everyday lives.

“It’s only a matter of time before we move toward electronic licenses, so let’s get started to see how we can best accomplish this goal for the benefit of our drivers,” Benson said in prepared remarks.

A 2015 New Jersey law allows use of electronic proof of insurance on smartphones, tablets and other similar devices.

Benson’s bill specifies that the report include an assessment of the means of issuing electronic licenses through a mobile app, and the accessibility of the app by drivers.

In addition, the report would make recommendations about the development and publication of an app for the issuance and use of e-licenses.

Recommendations specified in S2695 would provide information for fiscal implications that include the cost, savings and efficiencies of creating e-licenses; keeping personal identifying information secure; and whether drivers should be charged for e-licenses or the use of an app.

“It’s time we laid the groundwork for exploring making this technology a reality,” Benson said.

Drivers could continue to use traditional plastic licenses.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey, click here.

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