We now rely on our cell phones to store all sorts of information for us, and we can even rely on them to some degree at traffic stops. New Jersey currently allows electronic documents to be provided for proof of insurance and proof of registration. While, there currently is not an approved electronic format for driver’s licenses, it could be coming soon.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission recently announced that drivers can begin displaying vehicle registrations through your phone. Now when you renew your registration online, the registration documents are e-mailed as a PDF and can be saved on your cell phone or tablet or printed. This change is effective with registrations expiring in April 2023.
Under N.J.A.C. Section 11:3-6.3, your insurance company may issue an electronic format insurance card. Some insurance companies even have apps where you can store your insurance card or those apps allow you to add them to your Apple or Google Wallet – a digital folder on your phone that can store credit cards, boarding passes, vaccine passports, and other electronic documents.
In January 2022 a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Senate, Bill 773, to require the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to create mobile driver’s licenses and identification cards. That bill was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee where it has been languishing ever since. However, there seems to be other avenues where the introduction of a digital or mobile driver’s license and/or identification card is more likely.
In 2022 Apple announced that they were working with a number of states to introduce digital driver’s licenses and identification cards to be stored in your Apple Wallet. Louisiana’s LA wallet was one of the first with LA Wallet being launched in 2018. A number of states already have digital driver’s licenses and State IDs available from Apple or other services – including Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah.
New Jersey, along with Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, and Puerto Rico, are all reportedly working with Apple to develop these virtual IDs and driver’s licenses, but they have not been released yet. The future development of this technology is exciting and helpful for those that regularly forget their wallets.