Republican state Senator Joe Pennachhio is looking to make it harder for New Jersey’s first responders to get their EMT & paramedic certification cards by enabling the same six point document verification system currently required for a New Jersey driver’s license.
Here’s what his team had to say about it:
Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) that would expand upon the documentation accepted by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) as part of its 6 Point ID Verification program to include EMT and paramedic certification cards has passed the New Jersey Senate.
“New Jersey’s 6 point ID Verification process is a powerful crime-fighting tool,” Pennacchio (R-26) said. “It’s our first line of defense against identity theft, fraud, or even terrorism. We don’t have to sacrifice our strict security standards in order to make easier for people who spend their time-saving lives to visit their local MVC.”
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, there are more than 26,000 emergency medical technicians and 1,700 mobile intensive care paramedics licensed by the department’s Office of Emergency Medical Services.
Under Senator Pennacchio’s S-1335, a valid emergency medical technician or paramedic certification card issued by the New Jersey Department of Health shall count for two points under the Secondary ID requirement of the NJMVC’s 6 Point ID Verification program.
The 6 Point ID Verification program is designed to help prevent identity theft by ensuring that driver licenses are only issued with proper legal documents and verification. The verification program is part of New Jersey’s effort to comply with the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act, which allows for New Jersey driver’s licenses to be accepted as valid identification for the purposes of entering federal facilities and boarding commercial aircraft.
“This bill will eliminate the unnecessary hurdles that EMTs and paramedics face when applying for new driver’s license by allowing their first responder’s ID cards to count as 2 points of verification,” added Pennacchio. “We entrust first responders with our lives everyday it is common sense to trust their ID cards as verified forms of identification.”
The Assembly version of S-1335 is currently pending a hearing in the Assembly Transportation Independent Authorities Committee. A copy of Senator Pennacchio’s legislation can be found here.