NEW JERSEY — While asking New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) customers not to crowd or hunker down overnight at local agencies, Gov. Phil Murphy outlined a set of extensions Friday during his coronavirus briefing in Trenton.
Expiration dates have been lengthened for driver’s licenses, non-driver identification, vehicle registrations, inspections, and temporary tags. Any documents that expired between March 13 and May 31 are now valid through Sept. 30, and documents that were set to have expired June 1 to Aug. 31 are now valid through Dec. 31.
Tuesday’s reopening of agencies four months since the coronavirus pandemic forced offices to close was met with hordes of customers throughout the Garden State. Authorities were called in to assist in various municipalities, where confused crowds quickly amassed.
The MVC says they assisted with 7,824 new licenses and registrations Tuesday, which was 15% more than one average day in the first quarter of 2020 pre-COVID. The next day saw 8,607 new licenses and registrations processed.
“Please, if you're told the agency has reached capacity don't hang around, don't camp out overnight…and please, while we recognize you may not be happy, by the way, I don't blame you, I’m not happy either, don't take it out on the hard-working MVC employees who are doing their jobs. They are our neighbors, and fellow New Jerseyans,” Murphy said Friday.
The agencies continue to take steps to mitigate COVID-19 exposure, working to prioritize customers it knows it can help in a single business day. Officials said new drivers who passed their road tests will be served first, followed by drivers who can drive under the new expiration date extensions.
Murphy and State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced at least 367 more people have contracted COVID-19 statewide (at least 174,628 total) and 1,978 more deaths (31 confirmed and 1,947 probable) for an aggregate total of 13,532.
In a series of welcome signs, Murphy shared that the rate of transmission fell to below 1.0 (currently 0.98) and the number of patients on ventilators dropped to 94 — below 100 for the first time in months. In addition, as of Thursday there were 904 people hospitalized and 162 in intensive or critical care. The daily positivity rate was 2.23% as of July 6.
“In the past couple of days…the rate of transmission has dipped. Thank God, let's keep it there below 1. It is currently at 0.98 This is a good sign, just two days ago was 1.1, meaning a rising rate of spread,” said Murphy. “Again, daily positivity and the rate of transmission or RT are the two most meaningful measurements we have of the spread of this virus across our state.”
Continuing to provide opportunities for testing — although Murphy cautioned against it today due to Tropical Storm Fay - the state has partnered with Essex County, Montclair Township and Interfaith Urgent Care to offer free COVID-19 and anti-body testing on Monday and Tuesday.
Testing will be available at the Wally Choice Community Center, 49 Maple Avenue in Montclair, from Noon to 7 p.m. To pre-register visit montclairnjusa.org.