Drivers will be able to make appointments instead of waiting in line at certain state Motor Vehicle Commission agencies, starting next month.
MVC officials will offer appointments at 11 of the 16 vehicle centers starting Nov. 2. Customers may go to NJMVC.gov now to make an appointment for registration and title transfers for privately purchased vehicles.
Drivers who recently moved to New Jersey also will be spared waiting in line at agencies and allowed to skip a second trip.
All MVC Licensing Centers will process out-of-state driver’s license transfers by appointment only. Licensing Centers also will be able to process out-of-state registration and title transfers, sparing those drivers from having to make a second trip to an agency.
Vehicle centers in Cherry Hill, Hazlet, Jersey City, Lakewood, Manahawkin, Medford, Somerville, Springfield, Trenton, Turnersville and Wallington will switch to appointments only, meaning they will not take walk-in business.
The remaining five Vehicle Centers – East Orange, Newton, Runnemede, South Brunswick, and Washington – will continue to serve customers for vehicle transactions on a walk-in basis, as well as by appointment.
Appointments for out-of-state transfers and registration/title transfers can be scheduled online at NJMVC.gov and are available on a rolling, 30-day basis. Officials warned that because demand is high, drivers may not get an appointment at their preferred location.
The change is an indication that the MVC is reducing the backlog of transactions resulting from a four-month closure of facilities when the coronavirus was at its peak. Agencies reopened on July 7 to long lines of drivers with business to conduct.
“In-person Vehicle Center Services, specifically, new registrations of privately purchased vehicles, have been steadily declining week to week, to the point where we believe that our appointment capacity can meet demand,” said B. Sue Fulton, MVC chief administrator.
“Unlike (driver’s) license transactions, these (vehicle) transactions have proven very consistent from customer to customer, so we can accurately predict how long each will take,” she said.
MVC officials had shied away from switching to an all appointment system, as suggested by legislators and some drivers who were interviewed, because it would reduce productivity. Last week, the MVC allowed Commercial Drivers to make appointments to renew their licenses, which must be done in person under federal regulations.
“Shifting to an appointment system limits that capacity as well as our flexibility,” said Fulton, who praised MVC employees for handling thousands of additional transactions than during the same period in 2019.
Senior citizens age 65 and older will be able to reserve appointments at any time, while continuing to benefit from exclusive “Senior Hours” at Vehicle Centers, designated Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m., now by appointment, officials said.
Most basic, non-commercial licenses can be renewed online at NJMVC.gov.
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Larry Higgs may be reached at [email protected].