When New Jersey Motor Vehicle aqencies reopened on June 29 after being closed for several months in the statewide coronavirus lockdown, there were chaotic scenes outside many, with hundreds of people lining up for hours for in-person services. During the months of closure, the state had extended expiration dates for those with expiring licenses, registrations, inspection stickers, and temporary tags. It also allowed online renewal of licenses and registrations. Nevertheless, the backlogs inexorably grew in various categories.
Motor Vehicle Commission chief administrator Sue Fulton said in a July 13 interview with NJTV News that MVC workers were ready for high demand once doors opened but that she had not anticipated “the level of anxiety that’s built up over three months of closure” and “didn’t anticipate that people would refuse to leave when we couldn’t get to them.” In response to the chaos, the MVC announced several changes to help ease the wait time and the stress on customers and workers alike, among them opening six days a week in July instead of five.
Well, chalk one up for oft-beleaguered MVC personnel, who have cut the backlog in road tests from 40,000 to zero. Gov. Phil Murphy noted the achievement in his coronavirus briefing Wednesday. And, to all the newly permitted drivers out there, no need to hurry.