Two weeks ago, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission launched a “no appointment needed, walk right in” Real ID driver’s license program for drivers with licenses expiring within the next three months.

The program, which runs from the 5th to the 20th of every month, is being hailed as a major success.

MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said while overall wait times have increased to get a Real ID at the MVC, “the response to the walk-in policy has been great and we’ve been able to manage and move people through pretty well.”

Anyone whose driver’s license is expiring within the next three months will not need an appointment if they want a Real ID. If your license doesn’t expire within three months and you want a Real ID license, you still need to go online and make an appointment.

Starting Oct. 1, you will need a Real ID driver’s license or a passport to fly commercially or enter a federal facility.

Fulton said that since the walk in policy went into effect Feb, 5, the number of Real ID licenses being issued went from about 1,500 a week to more than 4,000 a week. She said those numbers will continue to climb as the agency adds capacity.

The walk-in program for February will be paused after offices close on Feb. 20 and it will resume on March 5.

She said to minimize wait times, the MVC recommendation for the Real ID walk-in program is to "meet us in the middle."

“Meet us in the middle of the month, meet us in the middle of the week. If you can, meet us in the middle of the morning or the middle of the afternoon because that’s when the lines are a lot shorter," she said.

She said the MVC understands people may not be able to get to an agency during the week, so they've hired people to work on Saturdays.

Fulton said the biggest problem with Real ID is that some people aren’t paying attention to which documents they need bring to get one. A full list is at

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In the coming months, the MVC plans to launch a Real ID advertising awareness campaign.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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