TRENTON, NJ — In addressing the frustrations of New Jerseyans who have waited in long lines at the state's Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) facilities when they reopened this week, Gov. Phil Murphy blamed the situation on the backlog due to the coronavirus crisis.

"What many experienced was not up to their expectations, or ours, and we will do better. You’re not happy, and neither am I." he said at his July 8 press briefing.

The governor added that he did not want anyone camping out overnight at an MVC facility, although reports on July 9 indicated there were people who did not comply with that request.

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"Stay home and stay safe. See if you can conduct business online. Wait a few more days, but, don’t camp out," Murphy said. "If your transaction can be completed through MVC’s online services — use it. Skip the line, skip the trip."

Expiration dates were automatically extended at the beginning of COVID-19 lockdown for the following: driver’s licenses, permits, nondriver IDs, commercial registrations, inspections and temporary tags.

"I encourage you to take advantage of this extended time to lessen the crowding," said Murphy, adding that here are a lot of things people can do online, such as renewing licenses. "You don't need to go to Motor Vehicles to do that (renew your license)."

Meanwhile at Monmouth County’s MVC facilities in Freehold, Eatontown and Hazlet, members of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office have been on hand to assist residents “as they wait on long lines, due to the inadequacy of the State of New Jersey when it came to reopening MVCs,” according to a post on its Facebook page.

With hundreds of people lined up for hours in the sweltering heat, Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden and officers have been distributing cold bottled waters and ice pops to help keep them as cool and hydrated as possible. 

“While Sheriff Golden commends the workers inside the MVC for doing the best job they can under these circumstances, the lack of organization from the state is unacceptable,” the Facebook post said. The (Sheriff’s Office) will support residents of Monmouth County for as long as this continues.”

To help ease congestion, MVC facilities will remain open on Mondays throughout July — a reversal from prior plans. They now will be open six days a week — Monday through Saturday — beginning next week. They will be closed this Saturday, July 11.

Also, to ensure that MVC facilities are not understaffed, the governor is exempting MVC personnel from work furloughs. 

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