NJ Politics Digest: State Gets an Extension to Improve Driver’s Licenses

New Jersey's driver's licenses don't meet federal requirements for use as identification at airports.

New Jersey’s driver’s licenses don’t meet federal requirements for use as identification at airports. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Getting a driver’s license in New Jersey can be a pain—with having to provide enough forms of identification to satisfy the most cynical bureaucrat that you are who you say you are.

So New Jersey drivers might be surprised to find out that the Garden State is one of the few remaining states where its driver’s licenses don’t pass federal muster to serve as ID for boarding flights. Yup, all of those hassles and headaches for naught.

Fortunately, federal officials have taken pity on the state, giving it an additional year before its licenses will no longer be accepted at airport security checks.

But that waiver only lasts until October 10, 2019.

That’s when state licenses will have to meet federal Real ID standards, which include guidelines about when in the licensing process a person’s photo should be taken and that their full first name be included on the license, according to a report by NJ.com.

New Jersey has been moving toward meeting those standards since 2011, switching over to advanced digital licenses, making changes in the type of documents that must be presented and making sure to use new photos of drivers on their licenses, according to the report.

The state says it expects to begin issuing the new licenses by spring of 2019—good news for folks who have to renew their licenses after that, but bad news for those who have recently renewed. People who want to use their licenses as identification at airports will have to get a replacement license by October 2020, the report said.

Without a Real ID license, people will have to show a passport or military ID as proof of identity at airports or federal facilities, according to the report.

Quote of the Day: “Climate’s been changing for five billion years. Go ask Noah.” — Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Seth Grossman, during a debate with Democrat Jeff Van Drew.

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NJ Politics Digest: State Gets an Extension to Improve Driver’s Licenses