What to Know
- The unrelenting long lines facing customers hoping to set foot inside one of New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission has prompted the state to open the agencies six days a week, a reversal from its original plan.
- Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Wednesday afternoon via Twitter. The new schedule will go into effect this upcoming Monday.
- Some hoping to get in early have resorted to sleeping outside and waiting in line overnight in front of some offices
The unrelenting long lines facing customers hoping to set foot inside one of New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission has prompted the state to open the agencies six days a week, a reversal from its original plan.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Wednesday afternoon via Twitter. The new schedule will go into effect Monday.
Wednesday marked the second day of NJ MVC's reopening after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. And, just like the previous day, the sight outside these agencies were the same: people camped out for hours, massive lines and delays.
By early morning Tuesday, the day the agencies reopened, there were already hundreds of eager customers lining up outside many NJ MVC offices including the one in Springfield Township -- all hoping to get titles for their cars as well as other services after agencies were closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some individuals even waitied on line since 3 a.m. that morning.
Some people were only in line to sell their spot, and they did, for hundreds of dollars. Others opted for camping out in line overnight — like people would do years ago for concert tickets, but in this case, it's the MVC — in hopes of getting an early appointment.
The MVC located in Springfield Township is not the only one seeing large crowds. The Lakewood Police Department tells News 4 New York, the MVC office there shut down mere hours after its reopening Tuesday because it already reached its capacity.
If you are lucky to make it inside an MVC, you must follow social distancing and safety protocols. These safety measures and months of pent up services are contributing to long lines and a slow process. Also adding to some wait times is each site being broken up into two sections: vehicle centers (for those needing new vehicle registration, titles, or license plates) and licensing centers (for those needing new licenses, permits or real ID). Those who need both were told they needed to wait in both lines.
Bob Hubiak told News 4 as he waited on line he bought a used car a month ago, but has not driven it since the offices have been closed.
“The virus is a real thing. It’s the most dangerous thing I’ve done in two months, coming here,” he said referring to waiting on line alongside other customers.
The NJ MVC urges customers to check their website to see if the service one needs is a transaction that can be done online, like registration renewal.
Murphy also urged customers not to camp outside and to see if business can be conducted online to avoid large crowds.
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton issued a statement Monday that the commission was aware of the high volume of customers visiting MVC agencies and sent additional assistance to the busiest agencies.
“As we reopen today, MVC agencies are experiencing extraordinarily high customer volumes. In anticipation of long lines due to social distancing restrictions, Agency management personnel were pre-deployed to our busiest agencies, beginning at 6:00 AM, two hours before our start time. Additionally, all of our senior staff in operations are deployed to agencies to help process transactions. While we understand the frustration of our customers in this extremely challenging and difficult time, our employees are doing the best they can to keep everyone safe and work as efficiently as possible," Fulton's statement reads in part.
Muphy also expressed his frustration at the massive lines and long waits experienced by those visiting MVC agencies.
New Jersey officials have gone on to remind the public that license, registration and inspection expiration dates are extended until July 31 or later and that online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Additionally, Murphy said that in order for agencies to not go understaffed, he is exempting MVC personnel from any work furloughs.
The resumption of some in-person transactions at New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission offices were set to take place late last month. However, they were delayed until July 7 due to a problem with a new text message system that's intended to prevent overcrowding.