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Why can’t New Jersey reopen motor vehicle agencies like other states? lawmaker asks

Updated: May 29, 2020

Posted on 28 May 2020

RANDOLPH, N.J. – Drivers who bought vehicles from another person and new drivers, waiting to get learner’s permits or take tests, have gotten an unwelcome surprise during the last two months – they can’t get help from the state’s motor vehicle agencies.

Assemblywoman Aura Dunn says that the continued closure of state Motor Vehicle Commission offices is harming a significant section of the state’s population and disproportionally harming lower-income citizens and younger people.

“Two more weeks until the MVC can open is too long,” said Dunn (R-Morris) from an empty parking lot at the Randolph MVC. “That brings us to three months of the MVC being closed.”

Motor vehicle agencies are processing drivers’ needs on a limited basis in at least 22 other states – usually by appointment and for business that cannot be done on-line.

New Jersey car buyers have to go to a dealer so that they can get license plates because the state’s MVC doors remain locked tight, thus reducing their purchasing options and raising costs to travel for work.

The one silver lining of the crisis noted by Dunn is the chance to reform and renew a broken government agency.

“On a good day, the experience here is a nightmare with long lines and hours of wasted time,” said Dunn. “We not only need to open the MVC offices; we need to take this opportunity to seriously reform this agency.”

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