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TRU-ID (effective 5/7/12)

What is TRU-ID?
TRU-ID is New Jersey’s implementation of the federal REAL ID Act, which sets new standards for the issuance of driver licenses and identification cards.

The United States Department of Homeland Security has released its rules governing the implementation of the REAL ID Act.

Facts to Know…

Sample REAL ID
New Jersey will begin issuing compliant driver licenses, non-driver IDs and permits at its agencies statewide beginning on May 7, 2012. The new credentials will have a single gold star or a single gold star in a circle in the upper right corner of the card as shown in the sample license example on the left.

    • A current New Jersey driver license or non-driver ID will continue to be valid as identification for federal purposes:
      • Until December 1, 2014 for individuals born after December 1, 1964
      • Until December 1, 2017 for everyone else

    • After the 2014 and 2017 dates, federal agencies will no longer accept a driver license or ID card unless it is REAL ID-compliant. This means an individual will not be allowed to board commercial flights or enter federal facilities unless he or she has a REAL ID-compliant or other document acceptable to the federal government, such as a U.S.-issued passport.

    • Beginning May 7, 2012, all Motor Vehicle Commission customers seeking to obtain, renew or change a driver license or non-driver ID will be required to follow the MVC’s TRU-ID document requirements. These requirements will replace the existing 6 Point ID Verification document requirements. Documents presented must show proof of the following: Valid Social Security number, legal identity, legal presence in the United States and principal residence.

    • Some New Jersey drivers born after December 1, 1964 will have already renewed their driver license or ID prior to May 2012 when implementation of REAL ID standards begins. These documents are not REAL ID compliant, although they will remain valid for driving and other ID purposes until the noted expiration. Unless there is a need to board a commercial flight or enter a federal facility after December 1, 2014, the driver does not have to return to the MVC prior to expiration. If the driver requires a REAL ID-compliant document, he/she may return to the MVC after May 2012 to apply for a No Fee duplicate and meet the necessary TRU-ID requirements.

TRU-ID: The REAL U. It’s as easy as 1-2-3

: A current New Jersey Digital Driver License is not an acceptable proof of identity under REAL ID.

STEP 1: Applicants must present one of the following documents:

  • Unexpired U.S. Passport or Passport Card
  • Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate with an official seal
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DOS-issued, Form PS-240, DS-1350 or FS545)
  • Permanent Resident Card (DHS or INS-issued, Form I-551)
  • Unexpired EAD - Employment Authorization Document (DHS-issued, Form I-766 or Form I-688B). This form must be accompanied by a Social Security Card*
  • Unexpired foreign passport (with valid U.S. visa affixed and accompanied by an approved I-94 document noting the applicant’s most recent admittance to the U.S.)*
  • Certificate of Naturalization (DHS-issued, Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Certificate of Citizenship (DHS-issued, Form N-560 or N-561)
  • State-issued driver license or ID compliant with the standards established by REAL ID*
  • Other documents as DHS may publish in the Federal Register

*If presenting this document, the applicant must present an additional document from this list or other documents issued by the DHS or other federal agency to demonstrate lawful status.

STEP 2: Applicants must present a complete nine-digit Social Security number using one of the following documents:

  • U.S.-issued Social Security card
  • Most recent W-2 form
  • Form-1099
  • Pay stub with the applicant’s name and complete Social Security number

STEP 3: Applicants must present two proofs of principal residence. P. O. Boxes are not acceptable. Select from the following documents:

  • MVC-issued driver license renewal form
  • Utility or credit card bill issued in the last 90 days
  • Checking or savings account statement from a financial institution in the last 60 days
  • Property tax bill, statement or receipt from the last year
  • Original lease or rental agreement showing the applicant as the lessee or renter
  • First-class mail received from any federal, state or local government agency in the last six months
  • Applicants under age 18 may present a parent or guardian certification that verifies residency

For a PDF of the TRU-ID brochure featuring acceptable identification documents click here.   

Valid Documents Required

All documents presented by an applicant must be original or certified copies, in English, and have the required state and/or municipal seals. Certified copies of New Jersey records are available from the municipality that originally issued the document and from the State Office of Vital Statistics and Registry or by calling (609) 292-4087. No document that is expired (eg. U.S. Passport, driver license, etc.) will be accepted by the MVC when applying for a driver license, non-driver ID card or permit.

Name Changes

If an applicant’s name is different from the name on his or her civil birth certificate (i.e. maiden name), then the applicant must show legal proof of the name change. The proof must link the present name to the previous name.

Legal proof includes one of the following:

  • Certified marriage or civil union certificate
  • Certified divorce decree
  • Certified court order

Note: A divorce decree may be used as authority to resume using a previous name only if it contains the new name and the previous name and permits a return to the previous name.