By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A bill now under consideration in the New Jersey legislature would allow a resident of the state who is not a legal citizen to get a driver’s license.

It’s a debate simmering across this country.  A few states, most notably California, allow illegal immigrants to obtain a license, making it clear that the document is not a security ID you’d use at, say, an airport.

New Jersey assemblyman Joe Cryan of Union County says it makes sense to allow the same in New Jersey.  His bill calls the license a “driving privilege card.”

“We need to register these folks. We need to get them insured and we need to deal with the practicality and the fact those folks are here,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Applicants would be required to provide proof of residency and employment, and the card would have to be renewed every four years.

The legislation has sat in committee since its introduction in January, and Cryan concedes it’ll be a hard sell to some of his colleagues.