The number of transactions that drivers have to stand in line for at state Motor Vehicle Commission agencies is being reduced after MVC officials announced drivers have one more transaction they can make appointments to do instead of waiting in line.
MVC officials announced Wednesday that drivers can make appointments to renew a registration that can’t be done online.
The addition comes five days after the MVC announced last Friday that drivers could make appointments to register and title vehicles bought from private parties, or to transfer out of state licenses, both of which must be done in person.
Because most vehicle registrations can be done online at NJMVC.gov, appointments are only available for drivers who unsuccessfully tried to renew their registration online, but are not eligible. That requires a trip to one of the 16 agencies designated as vehicle centers.
Drivers can make an appointment at https://telegov.njportal.com/njmvc. Appointments are scheduled on a rolling, 30-day basis.
The news comes as MVC officials are under increasing pressure from drivers and legislators to allow drivers to make appointments for any transactions instead of waiting in line at agencies. State Senator Anthony Bucco has a bill pending to allow all drivers to make appointments for any MVC business.
MVC agencies reopened on July 7 after a 4 month shut down due to the coronavirus and drives have faced long lines and multiple hour waits as MVC work to clear the back log of transactions. That situation has been compounded when agencies have to close after an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Currently three agencies are closed:
The Washington Vehicle Center closed Tuesday evening due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. It will reopen Saturday, November 7. The employee who tested positive was last in the Washington Center on Friday, October 23.
The Manahawkin agency is closed after an employee testing positive for COVID-19. That employee was last in the agency on Oct. 17. It is scheduled to reopen next Monday.
The Rahway agency remains closed since Friday due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19 and will reopen Saturday, November 7. The road test facility there is not affected.
Can’t the MVC deploy its mobile agencies to these locations?
“We have not deployed our Mobile Units to locations that have been closed due to employees testing positive for COVID-19,” said William Connolly, an MVC spokesman.
One reason is the mobile units wouldn’t make a sizable dent in the workload normally processed by an agency.
On an average weekday, MVC’s Licensing and Vehicle Centers process roughly 12,000 transactions, compared to 130 transactions processed by the two mobile agencies during the same time period, he said.
But the MVC has sent Mobile Units to state prisons, which was first reported by the New Jersey Globe. NJ Advance Media confirmed that with MVC officials, who said the commission is required to do so.
“The Motor Vehicle Commission provides non-driver identification cards to people being released from State prisons as required by statute,” Connolly said. “The MVC has temporarily assigned two Mobile Units to process non-driver identification cards for re-entering individuals. These transactions must be done in person.”
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Larry Higgs may be reached at [email protected].