The DMV- how to avoid the worst situations

It’s the LAW. Au Pairs must get a New Jersey license within 60 days of arrival to their NJ home. And yet there are all kinds of stumbling blocks put in the way! Here are a few tips I have learned over the last 18 months:

  1. Be prepared. Bring a folder with your passport, (including your DS2019 and I-94 paperwork), your SSN, your International Drivers’ Permit and your Country’s License. Bring your most recent Bank Statement as “Proof of Address”. (If you receive statements electronically, go to your bank and have them print one for you and NOTARIZE it free of charge- all you have to tell them is that it is for the DMV.) If you were issued a NJ Driver’s permit while you were learning, BRING IT.
  2. STUDY. I should have emailed you the list of most common test questions in NJ. You can also study the app that I have linked under “Obtaining a Driver’s License” in “Helpful Links”. Focus on stopping distances, and driving under the influence of alcohol information. You should know your sign shapes.
  3. Where should you go? Here is what I have learned: The Randolph office has caused the most problems for International Drivers of DMV. Avoid it. Rahway office has an employee who automatically schedules International Drivers for a physical driving test, so if you happen to get that employee, you may be legally bound to wait several weeks longer in order to take the test. Avoid that office if you can. The Newark DMV is staffed with several people originating from Colombia, and we have found that Colombian Au Pairs have no trouble getting their license there. The Edison DMV has traditionally caused less trouble than Rahway. And a new office just opened in South Plainfield: 5000 Hadley Road, South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080. I will add more tips when I find out more about its pros and cons.
  4. Be Polite but Firm. If you are told that your license needs to be translated, or that you need to take a road test, or that your “immigration status isn’t verified”, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK TO SPEAK TO A SUPERVISOR. They may tell you that you DO NOT have this right, call me so that I can speak to the person you are working with. If I do not answer the phone, CALL YOUR HOST MOM/DAD. Ask to have them speak to a supervisor. Here are the key words: “New Jersey law requires me to have a Drivers License 60 days after joining my host family. How can you help me obey this law?”
  5. Reach Out for Help. For these or any other problems that come up, text me immediately. I am trying to connect with people inside the DMV who may be able to smooth the way. But please be patient!


Thursday, 16 August 2018 1:54 PM


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