TRENTON – The state’s Motor Vehicle Commission said a civil liberties group’s “last-minute move” to block implementation of New Jersey’s TRU ID licensing will hurt millions of residents.
The MVC issued a statement Monday afternoon following a morning news conference hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. The group announced a Superior Court judge approved a petition to delay the new license program – which was slated to go into effect today – while the agency challenges it in court.
“We are extremely disappointed,” read a release issued by the MVC, which explained it was implementing the TRU ID program in order to comply with the federal Real ID Act.
“This action adversely impacts over 3 million drivers and ID holders who are up against a December 2014 enforcement deadline,” said the MVC. “Given that the ACLU motion was filed on the Friday before the new requirements were to take effect, thousands of customers will come to the MVC today prepared to meet the new requirements only to find that 6 Point ID is still in effect.”
The ACLU filed its petition at 10 a.m. Friday at Superior Court in Trenton. It was heard before a judge at 3:30 p.m.
ACLU officials said they attempted to address their concerns with the MVC before filing a petition in court, but were met with “a skeptical response,” the group said.
The group argues MVC violated New Jersey’s Administrative Procedure Act, which requires new rules and regulations to undergo a period of citizen review. The MVC should have, at a minimum, posted public notices regarding the TRU-ID program to allow state residents to weigh in, the ACLU said.
“The MVC has made every effort to ensure that compliant documents would be in the hands of all customers prior to enforcement so that they would not face any confusion or disruption when attempting to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility,” the MVC argued in its statement.
Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 3.
A judge’s order denying the implementation of TRU ID remains in effect until at least then.
ACLU says TRU ID process not in compliance with state law