Passaic resident Isabelino Reyes is on his eighth attempt at renewing his license. Each time, he stands for hours in line only for the Motor Vehicle Commission to hit capacity and send him home. The crowd isn’t the worst one he’s seen, even though it wraps around the building.
“I’m trying to at least make it in the door,” Reyes, who has arthritis, said. “I just don’t want to sit right now because then it’s difficult to stand up, very difficult. Your legs lock up. My knees, my knees are bad, my ankles. My hands.”
Just a few spots behind him is Montclair resident Terry Pryor, who took her only day off this week to renew her license. She already tried two other locations last week but witnessed the same chaos.
“I need a license renewal and I can’t do it online. I work in a supermarket,” Pryor said.
Army veteran Rick Colon saw Pryor struggling and offered to carry her chair.
“There are people out here who are standing who are sick, do you understand? You see someone in a wheelchair, come on, have some heart. It’s America. Help people out,” Colon said.
Sen. Anthony Bucco says he sponsored a bill that’s on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk that could alleviate the long lines and headaches by allowing people to keep their license picture for longer and people over 65 could keep theirs indefinitely.
“The governor issues executive orders every day,” Bucco said. “He could sign an executive order tomorrow.”
Another bill Bucco sponsored would allow car dealerships to register used cars and process titles.
“That would cut the line down tremendously,” Bucco said.
The Motor Vehicle Commission said it a statement, “… Almost all registration renewals, and a majority of license renewals, are now available online. MVC staff will distribute tickets up to the capacity for the day. … Nobody needs to stand there all day.”
Colon waited for seven hours during his last visit. When he got his ticket and saw it was at the front of the line, he gave it to Reyes.
“Yeah, that’s sad. That’s not my job, that’s their job. They should be doing that,” Colon said. “That’s the only way you take care of this world. You’ve got to help each other.”
“That was a very nice man right there. God bless him for doing that. I appreciate it,” Reyes said.
A little kindness amid continued chaos.