New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission is canning TRU-ID, which it suspended in May after the ACLU-NJ convinced a judge to put the brakes on it.
TRU-ID would have required New Jerseyans to turn over sensitive personal documents to the government, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards, without any assurances that these would safely protected from identity thieves.
So it’s maintaining the existing 6-point licensing system, which has been in place since 2003, continuing to accept a range of documents as proof of identity, rather than limiting the list to only the most sensitive, as TRU-ID would have done.
The MVC released information about TRU-ID before the planned implementation and sought no input from the public, legislators or stakeholders, the ACLU argued.
The judge ruled that this violated New Jersey’s Administrative Procedure Act, which requires public notice and the chance for citizen review for any new state rule or regulation.
“New Jersey law demands a transparent, democratic process that would give the public a chance to weigh in on a program such as TRU-ID that would adversely affect our privacy,” said Ed Barocas, acting executive director of the ACLU-NJ.
“It’s disturbing to think how close New Jersey got to having such an intrusive ID system pushed onto us by mere fiat rather than through proper legal channels,” he said.
State officials said TRU-ID was conceived in order to comply with the federal Real ID Act, a 2005 policy that sought to create a national identification card.
Roughly half the states in the country have opted out of Real ID, with many of them making it illegal for their state governments to participate.
In addition to privacy concerns, the ACLU-NJ said it “feared the potential impact of TRU-ID on some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable communities with regard to civil rights and personal safety.
“The MVC’s attempt to require all documents, including birth certificates, be in English imposed a burden on anyone born in a non-English speaking country,” the union said in a release.
“It was also initially uncertain whether the state would make any exceptions for victims of domestic violence, who are currently allowed to use an alternate address for all state and local government purposes, rather than their actual home addresses to protect their safety,” the ACLU-NJ said.
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