TRENTON, N.J. – Some motorists cannot register a car and new drivers are desperate to take the road test, but all are experiencing frustration that the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission has been shuttered since March 17.
Three Republican lawmakers are especially concerned that without an immediate solution that crowds will exacerbate the frustration when agencies finally reopen. Facilities are expected to remain closed through at least June 11.
“We need to come up with other options if the MVC agencies remain closed,” said Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Bergen). “Perhaps the administration should reach out to dealers about helping people process new registrations for private car purchases.”
New car dealers usually handle the titling process and get people on the road immediately by issuing temporary tags. For private sales, buyers must go to an MVC agency to do what dealers typically charge customers to complete.
Rooney said that the Murphy administration should open the opportunity for private sale buyers to go the dealers to register their cars for a fee.
“We cannot continue to let the people of New Jersey go without much-needed services,” continued Rooney. “By allowing private sale buyers to register their car at dealership New Jerseyans will be able have some relief during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Assemblywomen Serena DiMaso and Aura Dunn also said drivers schools could be used to help new drivers complete their driver’s tests.
“Third-party testing could start filling in the gap for prospective drivers in need of a road test,” said DiMaso (R-Monmouth). “Driving schools could immediately begin helping people go ahead and take their test and get their driver’s license, especially teenagers.”
DiMaso noted that the MVC could subsequently email a temporary copy of the license and later send a hard copy by mail.
“Our students need to have access to reach important milestones like getting a driver’s license,” said Dunn. “Driver’s schools should be considered as a way to help our children reach this rite of passage.”
In fiscal year 2020, MVC officials forecast agencies would process and issue more than 14 million documents, of those 6.67 million were driver’s licenses, 2.98 million were vehicle titles and 2.5 million were vehicle registrations.
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 online.