Assembly Approves Benson Bill to Study Bringing Electronic Driver's Licenses to N.J.

Legislation Assemblyman Dan Benson sponsored to require the state to study the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey was given final legislative approval by the full Assembly, 75-0 on Monday. 

The bill (A-4110) requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, to prepare and submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report on the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey.

 

Legislation Assemblyman Dan Benson sponsored to require the state to study the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey was given final legislative approval by the full Assembly, 75-0 on Monday.

The bill (A-4110) requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology, to prepare and submit to the governor and to the Legislature a report on the feasibility of electronic driver's licenses in New Jersey.

"The report would cover the cost and resources required, advantages and disadvantages, privacy, security issues, use by law enforcement and any other concerns related to the issuance of electronic driver's licenses by the MVC," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "Let's face it. It's 2016. Technology is an ever-present part of our lives, and it's only going to become more common. 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."

Under a recent law, New Jersey already allows use of electronic proof of insurance.

The report would also include an assessment of the means of issuing electronic driver's licenses through a mobile application, and the accessibility of the app by drivers.

Furthermore, the report would make recommendations to the governor and Legislature concerning the development and publication of an app for the issuance and use of electronic driver's licenses.

The recommendations would provide information related to the fiscal implications, such as: the cost, savings and efficiencies of creating electronic driver's licenses; keeping personal identifying information secure; whether charges should be assessed upon drivers for electronic driver's licenses or the use of an app; and the anticipated amount of time necessary for effective implementation.

"Given advances in electronic security features, digital licenses can be as secure if not more secure than the current license used," Benson said. "It's time we laid the groundwork for exploring making this technology a reality."

The bill was released by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Jan 7. Identical legislation in the Senate (S2695) was approved, 39-0, in March of last year.