NJ licenses getting new notation for residents who struggle to communicate
Individuals in New Jersey who've been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or communication disorder are getting an easier way to relay that information to law enforcement.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law on Monday that permits these residents to make an official indication of their diagnosis on their driver's license or non-driver identification.
Now officials have more than a year and a half to prepare for the move.
According to the Governor's Office, the special notation on one's ID will help officers understand the increased potential for communication challenges during encounters such as traffic stops. At the same time, New Jersey residents with a disorder can use their ID to easily and comfortably communicate their needs.
As another part of the law, New Jersey must develop guidance to help officers understand how to effectively communicate with people who have an autism spectrum disorder or communication disorder.
"Some common traits of autism spectrum disorder, such as little or no eye contact, or other communication difficulty might cause misunderstand with others, including police officers on patrol," said state Sen. Nia Gill, D-Essex, a sponsor of the measure.
People with a diagnosis, or their parent or guardian, who want the notation on their ID must submit the required documentation to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
The bill's language states that the law wouldn't take effect for another 19 months after it's signed.